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Edgewood treatment centre expands

Edgewood treatment centre has embraced the campus model with the opening of a new $3.8-million building to house patients in its extended care and family programs.

The new building, called the Jane Ferguson Building in honour of the centre’s founder, who died in a plane crash near Penticton in 2003, will house about 20 family program participants, 35 male clients in the extended-care program and the after-care and outpatient-care programs.

Up until now, the male extended-care patients – those who need additional support after they finish the in-patient program – were housed in nearby residences and those participating in programs for family members of people with addiction issues will be able to stay on site, as opposed to leaving each day, said Lorne Hildebrand, executive director.

The change will maintain the feeling of being in a recovery environment, which is lost a bit when people have to go off site and away from others in the program, he explained.

“The bottom line is it’s just good clinical care,” said Hildebrand. “The plan right from the beginning was to create this campus notion.”

When the family program is not running, Edgewood can use those rooms to house physicians coming on site for training, he added.

Both Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney and Mayor John Ruttan, on site for the grand opening celebration, remarked on the natural beauty around the facility – in between the main building and the new building, which are connected by a covered walkway, is a brook and pond.

Lunney went on to emphasize the importance of Edgewood’s approach to treating the whole family rather than focusing just on the individual, as addiction destroys relationships and affects the whole family.

This is the fourth expansion at Edgewood’s Boxwood Road site since it first opened in 1994 as a 42-bed treatment facility. Current capacity is 85 in-patients, 40 extended-care patients and 20 family program beds.

The residential treatment program is based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and includes a medical component: the facility has on-site detox services – a feature many treatment centres do not offer – and on the staff roster are a full-time physician, two psychiatrists and 24-hour nursing.

Hildebrand said plans for further expansion are on the horizon, including opening extended care facilities in other communities – Edgewood already has satellite offices in Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria.

The vision also includes building an extended-care building for female patients on site.

For more information on the centre, please go to www.edgewood.ca.

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