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Nanoose First Nation celebrates groundbreaking on health care facility

Access to health care for the Nanoose First Nation is getting a healthy shot in the arm.

The band broke ground on its new $1.9-million health care facility building Monday.

Chief David Bob said the centre will give the community stability around health care and is the best use of land in securing the future for the nation’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“It will have a positive impact on them,” said Bob.

The two-storey building will house the nation’s administration offices on the first floor and health programs on the second.

The federal government is funding the majority of the building, with the band contributing $120,000. It is expected to be complete within 10 months.

The building will be home to the First Nation’s on-reserve health care services and programs, which include the health nurse, who provides service two to three days a week.

It will also house: pre- and post-natal assistance programs; community and inter-tribal health programs; home and community care programs; diabetes prevention; early parenthood groups and counselling services.

In addition to the health-care services, the facility will provide space for community programs for children, youth, women, men and elder groups.

Ultimately, the band hopes to see the centre employ a doctor, dentist, and mental health and addictions worker.

Bob said one option to attract a mental health worker to the space could be forming a partnership with the Vancouver Island Health Authority. If the position was funded through VIHA, the service would be open to the public so people could get help closer to their home.

“They would be more than welcome to come here,” he said.

The health centre will serve the more than 200 Nanoose First Nation members on and off the reserve and is located in upper Lantzville.

reporter3@nanimobulletin.com

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