Open house shows off facility's value to community

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
June 16th, 2011

Community members had the chance to view Broadacres Care Facility on the weekend as owner Rod Gustafson prepares to sell the buildings after losing a bid to provide care under the Interior Health Authority (IHA).  Gustafson opened the facility’s doors to the public so they can see first hand the quality of the renovations completed. His hope was to encourage support for a local initiative to ensure contracting with local operators for health services.  “They’re putting nine temporary beds up at the hospital at a cost of $65,000 – waste of your taxpayer’s dollars!” said Gustafson. “They can put complex care patients in here for $200 a day whereas it’s $800 per day – that’s your taxpayer dollars. It doesn’t make sense.”  In April, Gustafson was formally notified that his bid to provide 40 complex care beds for seniors was not successful. A Cranbrook company, Golden Life Management, was contracted by IHA to build a new facility for seniors and a decision was made to renovate existing hospital rooms to accommodate 10 people in the interim. Many locals have rallied to try to impact the decision they call a waste of taxpayer’s money.   “I know they’re talking the ‘big picture’ – we needed the 40 beds in our community. But they’ve got to realize small community, small ventures. Rod’s taken this initiative on his own, and the facility’s finished so why wouldn’t they be utilizing it?” commented Grand Forks City Councillor Cher Wyers.  Visitors to the site were able to review Gustafson’s bid package, tour the facility, and discuss the situation. Some of those who visited were nurses, doctors and just concerned citizens. Many enjoyed the bright, open windowed rooms, pleasant décor, and the general ambiance of the facility.  The extensive work completed on the building, which used to be a home for adults with mental disabilities, includes building bathrooms in each room with full wheelchair-accessibility, installing lift systems in every room and a fire repression system involving construction of an outbuilding with three tanks ensuring adequate water supply as well as modifying the building to a geo-thermal heating system.  Gustafson has said that he is near bankruptcy after spending $1 million on the renovations. He alleges that the IHA had been involved in assisting him to set up the facility, and led him to believe there would be potential for contracts should the facility be completed. Now his only option seems to be to sell.

A committee of concerned citizens has formed a health care group to start to advocate about health issues as they arise in the area. The committee members have their next meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jun. 21 at the Seniors’ Hall in City Park. Committee members and volunteers only please. 

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Categories: BusinessGeneralHealth