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New facility in Winnipeg

More room and more security

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Winnipeg (May 14/03) - After serving patients from the Kivalliq region for over 30 years, the Kivalliq Inuit centre in Winnipeg has a new home.

The centre is a boarding home for patients from Nunavut receiving medical attention in Manitoba. It is one of three such boarding homes outside of Nunavut, the others being in Yellowknife, and Ottawa.

"It's a very nice facility. My understanding is that it was designed with a lot of feedback from the patients staying in the old home. It's much more geared towards the people," said Victor Tootoo, assistant deputy minister for Nunavut's Health Department.

Tootoo was in Winnipeg to review the new facility with an employee of Nunavut's Public Works Department prior to its opening on April 14.

Elaine Macdonald-Grundy, director of operations for the Kivalliq Development Corporation who runs the boarding home, said the location of the new building will make life easier for the staff and patients at the boarding home.

"The location is fundamental to the day-to-day operations and is actually centrally located to airports, hospitals and clinics," she explained.

The new building is in a nice neighbourhood with a public park and school right beside it. There is enough space in the centre to accommodate a maximum of 124 people.

The rooms each have a private bath, and are secured by key entry. They also have their own air conditioning units.

Macdonald-Grundy said there is a large dining room in the facility with an area specifically designed for residents to enjoy traditional food at their convenience.

Employees moved patients over from the old building to the new within a couple of hours on April 14. The Government of Nunavut expects that the old boarding home will be cleared out by the end of next month.

The project was undertaken to provide Nunavummiut with a better and newer facility when they were outside of Nunavut for medical attention. It was valued at about $2.5 million. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for this summer.