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Hospital officials say they're pleased by palliative care unit tender award

Officials with St. Martha's Regional Hospital in Antigonish say the most positive sign for a new palliative care unit has happened.

Martha Cooper, the hospital's site lead, says the tender has been awarded; St. Martha's Regional Hospital Foundation members are contributing as much $600,000 for construction.

She says they'll renovate an existing wing, their current transitional level care unit, to a six-bed palliative care unit.

Cooper tells The Hawk it will advance their service to community members.

"Currently, St. Martha's offers an extremely solid palliative care unit, particularly in the community," she says. "Our current palliative care is offered in different units throughout the hospital- this will allow us to offer palliative care in a confined space."

Cooper says staff members will have extra education, and an understanding of the needs of patients and their family members.

She says renovations will benefit everyone.

"We'll also have a significant space assigned to families for their needs during a palliative care journey with a loved one," she says. "As well, (we'll have) some space for volunteers."

Cooper says it's a dream that has been many years in the making.

She says they hope to start construction by the middle of January, with a goal of opening by the end of May.

Photo credit: Nova Scotia Health Authority (www.nshealth.ca)

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