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Nelson Health Campus to be complete this year, open early 2025

The $40-million project will add a 75-bed long-term care facility to the city
The Nelson Health Campus under construction in Nelson’s Fairview neighbourhood. When complete, it will add 75 long-term care beds to the community. Photo courtesy Interior Health

Construction on the Nelson Health Campus will be completed this year, but the facilities won’t open until 2025.

Ground broke in 2022 on the $40-million project that will add a 75-bed long-term care facility and a separate community health centre to Nelson.

It was initially scheduled to open in 2024, but now will be set back by about three months to early 2025.

Lannon de Best, Interior Health’s executive director of clinical operations for the Kootenay-Boundary District, said the intake process for the long-term care facility will begin in the fall.

Locals won’t be given priority for the beds. Instead, the health authority’s policy is to have potential residents work with a case manager, rank their preferred locations and are then be placed on a wait list based on their health.

“A bed that’s made available is given to those who have the greatest need,” he said. “That’s our first priority and I think that’s a very sensible and understandable approach.”

De Best said IH staff currently working at 333 Victoria St. will be relocated to the campus’s community health centre in the Fairview neighbourhood, but some mental health and substance use staff may stay at the downtown building for the sake of accessibility.

Home care support staff at Gordon Road Wellness Centre will also move over to the campus.

Recruitment and training has also begun to staff 65 full-time equivalent positions required for the long-term care building.

De Best said he believes the new facility will be a draw for potential staff, but acknowledged housing is limited in Nelson. He said IH keeps an updated list of rental units available and is also focused on recruiting locals who wouldn’t need new accommodations to work at the campus.

“This opportunity for training will allow them to make a career change or enter the health-care profession, and they won’t have to look for housing when they’re done because they already live in town.”

The campus will be co-owned by Columbia Basin Trust and Golden Life Management, with IH leasing and operating it.

It’s being built on the site of the former Mount St. Francis hospital, which was open from the 1940s to 2005.


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Interior Health says the Nelson Health Campus will be finished in 2024, but won’t open until early 2025. Photo courtesy Interior Health

Tyler Harper

About the Author: Tyler Harper

I’m editor-reporter at the Nelson Star, where I’ve worked since 2015.
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