Proposed Sylvan Lake care centre gets new name

Sylvan Lake’s proposed Urgent Care Centre is tweaking its name but the mission remains unchanged.

Sylvan Lake’s proposed Urgent Care Centre is tweaking its name but the mission remains unchanged.

The community-led committee has tirelessly pursued a health facility that would offer seven-day service with extended hours, medical care for non-life-threatening injuries, examination and observation spaces and access to laboratory and X-ray services.

However, it has become clear over time that urgent care centre — nor the less comprehensive designation of family care clinic — did not fit the province’s definition of those facilities.

Instead, Ambulatory Care Centre — Sylvan Lake Area will be the new name.

“The name is not important,” said committee chairperson Susan Samson. “What I want to reassure all of our partners is that we have never deviated away from the things we’ve said will have to be the core services in any facility in Sylvan Lake.

“We’ve always said that is the bare minimum that we needed and we’re not moving away from that, we’re not giving any of that up.”

The committee’s pursuit of a facility to serve the Sylvan Lake area, including outlying communities Bentley, Benalto and Eckville, has been making steady progress.

Paperwork to form a non-profit corporation is near complete and will be filed within the next few days.

Work to build a detailed business case, which will identify the location, space required, services provided and operational costs for an ambulatory care clinic, continues and is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Beginning next week, meetings with Alberta Health to go over the application process will begin, followed by sessions with other interested stakeholders, such as doctors, the Primary Care Network, Family and Social Services, Alberta Health Services, police and community groups.

Samson wants to maintain momentum while the province is supportive. Last month, the Alberta government set aside $45 million in funding for Family Care Clinics that could also be used for an Ambulatory Care Clinic. Nine communities are known to be in the running for funding help.

Health Minister Fred Horne has also proven a supporter of Sylvan Lake’s efforts, said Samson.

Meanwhile, the community continues to show its support. The Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival presented $12,000 towards the care clinic project. About $45,000 has now been raised through Tim Hortons and other community donors and will be used to provide extra medical equipment.