A $50,000 grant from the Ministry of Health will assist the Mountain Resort Municipality of Sun Peaks determine the viability of an expanded health-care centre, Minister Terry Lake announced last week.
“The Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality, Sun Peaks Health Association and the community have been working hard at promoting their vision of an expanded health centre for families, residents and tourists,” said Lake. “This funding will help outline the business case for an expanded health centre.”
The Sun Peaks Health Association created a temporary health centre in 2002 to serve the community. The existing health centre is currently run out of a modular building consisting of a reception area, a physician’s office, an examining room and a washroom, and is staffed by volunteers and physicians.
“The Sun Peaks community is extremely pleased that this funding will support us to move forward with planning,” said Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality mayor Al Raine. “We’re excited to get moving on the project that will support the health of our visitors and area families; however we all want to make sure that we have a business model that makes sense.”
As the local and tourist communities continue to grow, the Sun Peaks Health Association and municipality want to ensure they are proactively planning to meet long-term needs.
The Sun Peaks service area includes Whitecroft, Louis Creek Valley and Heffley Lake, and the population varies greatly from season to season due to visitors and seasonal employees, from 400 permanent residents year round to over 5,000 in the winter.
According to the municipality, in 2012-13 the health centre, ski patrol and first responders with the Sun Peaks Fire and Rescue handled approximately 2,000 patients.
Now, with $50,000 in funding provided by the Ministry of Health, the municipality of Sun Peaks will be able to develop a plan for a comprehensive emergency care and health services centre.
The municipality will match the $500,000 that the Sun Peaks Health Association has raised, and has committed to undertaking a major fundraising campaign to raise an additional $1.5 million to support an expanded facility.