The Invermay Health Centre has been temporarily closed as the Sunrise Health Region undertakes an engineering study of the facility.
The process is being undertaken after a staff member noticed “a structural change in the floor” at the facility Jan. 17, Suann Laurent president and CEO of the Sunrise Health Region told the regular Board meeting last Wednesday.
A structural engineer was brought in to investigate and “found out we had issues with air quality in that crawl space” in the affected area, said Laurent.
The air quality concern led to having air quality equipment brought in which identified quality issues throughout the facility, and while levels were not considered dangerous to staff and residents, the SHR decided to move residents and staff as further work was undertaken to determine “what we needed to do,” said Laurent, who added “… we’ve started temporary relocations in our region.”
Depending on weather, Laurent said they expected the residence to be empty as of last Thursday.
Once empty “a structural engineer will be looking at the integrity of the building,” said Laurent.
In addition the source of air quality issues will be sought, she said.
In the process of preparing to move residents SHR officials met with residents, families and staff Saturday, Jan. 26.
“I’m … humbled by the level of support from residents, family, community and staff,” said Laurent. “We have a great team out there.” She added “it’s a very very difficult situation out there but people are working through it.”
In the end the decision to move the 25 residents was one the SHR felt it had to take.
“The decisions were all driven by resident needs,” offered Laurent. She added most of the residents were transferred to available spaces in Canora, with some others move to alternate locations within the region, often based on family requests.
The relocation will also affect the facility’s 55 staff. While some of those are on maternity leave, or off work for other reasons, Laurent said those on shift will be accommodated within the region.
As for the costs associated with the relocations, and the pending work which may need to be undertaken on the building originally built in 1959, Laurent said they will investigate what existing insurance may cover, and be in negotiations with the province regarding possible funding for something that is clearly outside a normal budget. At present they have no estimate what costs might be, pending the findings of the engineers.