West Island Palliative Care Residence provides 14 new beds

François Lemieux
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New pavilion inaugurated in Pointe Claire

Dignitaries getting ready to cut the ribbon at the inauguration ceremony of the West Island Palliative Care Residence's new pavilion. Photo by Rob Amyot.

The West Island Palliative Care Residence (WIPCR) inaugurated its new pavilion last Thursday morning that will add 14 beds to the nine that have been operating in the original residence in Kirkland for a decade now. The announcement was made at the first floor of Le Vivalis personal care facility of which the new Pavilion Stillview occupies the fourth floor on Stillview Road at the corner of Hymus Boulevard in Pointe Claire.

The expansion to 23 beds allows WIPCR to conform to the norms recommended by the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services of one palliative care bed per 10,000 residents. The expansion has been made possible by important private and government investments.

The government of Quebec will be chiming in $840,000 per year. Representing the provincial government at the press conference were Family Minister Yolande James and Jacques-Cartier MNA Geoff Kelley who has been involved with WIPCR on a professional and personal level in the past. In 2010, he chaired a committee across Quebec to look at the end-of-life situation. As well, both his parents sojourned at the residence in 2004 and 2008 before passing away.

“The one bed per 10,000 residents ratio is something we recommend at the Quebec government. Nine beds were insufficient for the West Island population and there was an enormous demand for these beds so I think this is a very good news for the community.

Although she did not do a speech at the inauguration ceremony, WIPCR executive director Teresa Dellar shared her excitement through a press communiqué released before the conference started.

 “This is a wonderful milestone and a great achievement for everyone involved with WIPCR, especially all our generous donors and volunteers who make everything we do possible,” she said. “With this added capacity we will be much more able to meet the great need for quality palliative care services on the West Island, care that is both necessary and essential.”

Private donations from the Eric T. Webster Foundation and from Pfizer Canada were also secured by WIPCR. Pfizer has donated $80,000 to maintain five beds.

“What brings us to get involved with this project is the fact that at Pfizer, we believe in making people healthier and we also think it takes more than medication to do that. Through that vision, we make investments like this one. Our experience with WIPCR in the last 12 years started with a starting donation throughout the years, we’ve been involved both financially and by encouraging our employees to get involved with the residence,” said Pfizer Canada vice president of primary care sales and business solutions Allen Van Der Wee who is also chairman of WIPCR’s board.

The expanded facility in Pointe Claire will have beds available for up to two weeks at a time for terminally ill patients who are still taken care of at home but whose caregivers need respite. This will give family caregivers more support and enable them to continue to work and reduce the financial strain of a terminal illness.

The Pavilion Stillview will provide access for loved ones of patients to stay the night and will offer fresh meals prepared daily on site by a chef as well as bereavement services.

The addition of the new beds means WIPCR will be able to care for 350 terminally ill people each year making it one of the largest palliative care centres in Canada. Along with the support of government and donors already secured, the additional services will require a further $500,000 each year raised from community donations.

Organizations: West Island Palliative Care Residence, Pfizer, Quebec Ministry Social Services Eric T. Webster Foundation

Geographic location: Pointe Claire, Quebec, Kirkland West Island Stillview Road Hymus Boulevard Canada

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