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Health care centre RFEI issued

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Mission could be home to a new health care centre by 2014.

Fraser Health Authority (FHA) issued a request for expression of interest (RFEI) Wednesday to build the two-part project, located next to Mission Memorial Hospital (MMH) on FHA-owned land.

An applicant will be chosen to design and build a 200-bed complex residential care facility for seniors, but ownership and operation stays with the health authority. The centre will be available for people with 24 hour, seven days a week needs, and there will be a day program.

According to FHA, this will add 25 per cent more residential care beds in the community.

The capital cost for the 128,000 sq. ft. site will be financed by Fraser Valley Regional Hospital District (FVRHD), with support from FHA.

Fraser Health is also looking for a company to design, construct and operate a 27,000 sq. ft. community health centre, which Fraser Health will lease. Some of the programs slated for the site include a diabetes and seniors' clinic, public, home and mental health, and addictions care.

The chosen applicant can also build up to 23,000 sq. ft. of additional space to rent to others, such as doctors and retailers.

While the private sector is being called upon to design and build the community health centre, Fraser Health will be delivering the services, said Mission Mayor James Atebe, who sits on the FVRHD board and has been working on the project for nearly four years.

These two buildings will strengthen and expand current health care services and address seniors' needs — the top two health-related priorities identified in 2009, added Atebe, noting the centre is a Fraser Valley first.

This facility will give residents a one-stop shop for health care and help attract professionals to Mission, something with which this community has struggled, Atebe explained.

"For me, this is an historical achievement."

"Integrating clinical services can dramatically improve client service and health outcomes," said Dr. Nigel Murray, Fraser Health president and CEO. "Not only will clients be able to access a range of services close together, but our care team still be better able to coordinate the care provided to the client."

The RFEI closes May 24. Construction could begin later this year.

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