Cold Lake Hospital’s renovated palliative care rooms an upgrade for seriously ill

Left to right: Natasha Jovanovic, chair, Palliative Care Society, hospital site manager Catherine Garon, Kari Leiper and Kim Coosemans, coordinator and president of Hearts for Healthcare cut the ribbon on the renovated palliative care rooms on Monday.

The Cold Lake Healthcare Centre has two modernized rooms to provide a comfortable space for seriously ill patients.

The newly renovated palliative care rooms on the third floor of the hospital provide more space, leather furniture and modern tech connections for laptops and TVs to allow patients to video call family off-site.

It was a long process since Alberta Health Services approached the Cold Lake Palliative Care Society and later Hearts for Healthcare on the project.

Each contributed $15,000 for the facelift, while businesses in the city also donated furniture, blinds, and other cozy amenities to make the space as vibrant as possible.

“It’s been a long haul in three years trying to get this up and running. But as we got closer to it was so nice to see that families were already using them,” said Natasha Jovanovic, chair, Palliative Care Society.

Community members, AHS, Hearts for Healthcare, Cold Lake Palliative Care Society and local dignitaries in one of the newly renovated rooms.

They help oversee the palliative care services in the city, which is meant to improve a person’s life who is going through a life-threatening illness.

“For patients that need end of life care, maybe they can’t stay home longer. And this gives an opportunity for them to be in the hospital getting nursing, 24-hour care, and have their families be present with them as well,” said Jovanovic.

Hearts for Healthcare, a local non-profit, got involved midway through the process and works to recruit physicians and improve facilities in the Lakeland.

“It’s just really important to the community that you have these types of things available to you and making that space comfortable in those end of days, so this was important to both of us. I mean, we knew the community wanted this project,” said Kari Leiper, Hearts for Healthcare coordinator.

Big upgrades have come to the Cold Lake hospital! The palliative care rooms have been renovated thanks to AHS, Hearts for Healthcare and the Cold Lake Palliative Care Society. We're out in the community thanks to…Marina Mall Value Drug Mart Tri City Value Drug Mart Bluewave Energy Bonnyville Lloyd Sadd Demers' Insurance Brokers Caouette & Sons Implements Ltd.

Posted by Lakeland Connect on Monday, February 24, 2020

‘It’s available to you’

The renovations finished in December of 2019 and roughly 40 patients a year will use either room which serves Cold Lake and the area.

Palliative care is any form of medical care that looks to reduce the severity of disease symptoms while preventing and relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for patients facing serious and complex illnesses.

Jovanovic hopes these improvements will encourage more use of the rooms.

“It’s always been a room that’s been used, but not to this degree. That’s what we’re trying to promote. It’s here and it’s available it’s for you,” she said.

“So using the venues in the community, like getting the furniture or getting the paintings they were all from community members. We went to them locally.”

One of the two rooms is currently in use.

Local dignitaries and healthcare members took part in the ribbon-cutting, including Mayor Craig Copeland.

“I must say it’s an amazing space for the family and for a loved one who has passed away because the space is so big, it allows people to come in and be there,” said Copeland.

“The changes in the room are fantastic and I think it’s going to be great for all the community members.”