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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Community Meeting Held For South Bruce Grey Hospice Satellite Project

Walkerton | by Robyn Garvey  

Excitement builds although development won't likely start until 2023.

Excitement is building for the Southern Bruce Grey Hospice Satellite project.

Young and old alike gathered Tuesday evening at the Victoria Jubilee Hall to learn more about the future six bed satellite hospice that is coming to Walkerton's East Ridge Business Park.

Bruce Grey Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker is pleased to see all of the collaboration that is taking place in the community saying there is a lot of energy and synergy for this very important project.

Residential Hospice Fund Development Manager Rachel Taylor agrees, noting that they still are months away from their fundraising kickoff and they have already already received 155 thousand dollars in donations.

The project is still in the infancy stage as architectural drawings as well as the necessary soil testing and engineering work is being done.

The actual shovel won't likely hit the ground until 2023, as organizers want to first raise enough money to cover two years worth of operational costs before beginning the build. 

The Province is providing 1.2 million dollars in one time capital funding, and has committed to providing 840 thousand dollars in operating funding annually.

This operating funding (840 thousand) will cover half of operations, with the remain 50 percent to be raised locally each year.

Palliative Care physician Dr. Susan Batten says the satellite hospice will fill a great need in this area.

Next to Victoria, Batten says this region has the highest over age 60 population.

Batten adds there is a lot of beauty in hospice care, as family, staff and volunteers alleviate pain and provide support and comfort.

Champan House RPN (nurse) Sarah Gray knows all too well the value of hospice care.

Gray says hospice is not a place people come to die, it is a place they come to live well with the time that they have left.

The Southern Bruce Grey Hospice will be located kitty corner to the Walkerton water tower on the east end of town on a four acre parcel of land in Walkerton's East Ridge Business Park.

Brockton has agreed in principal to donate the land, however the donation is not official until Council votes on the matter later this summer, they are waiting first for all of the costs associated with the land comes in.

The Chapman's House will serve as the template for the satellite facility.

Since opening in 2013 (first in temporary location and later in current location in 2018), the Chapman House has provided end of life care and comfort to over 600 people.

The average occupancy rate at Chapman House is 93%, further evidence as to why the Southern Bruce Grey Region is in desperate need of a hospice.

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