The provincial government announced today that sites in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor have been selected as the future homes of two long-term care facilities in central Newfoundland.

The new 60-bed facility in Grand Falls-Windsor will be constructed on Scott Avenue, between Valley Road and the site of the former Abitibi Consolidated mill. The 60-bed facility in Gander will be built next to the College of the North Atlantic campus.

In addition to long-term care facilities in Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor, a contract valued at approximately $600,000 to design a 20-bed protective care unit extension for the Dr. Hugh Twomey Health Centre in Botwood has been awarded to Fougere Menchenton Architecture Inc.

Upwards of 200 public service employees will be required to staff the facilities. Construction for all three projects will begin in 2019, leading to more than 343 person-years of employment created and $39 million in economic activity.

“Our actions are ensuring that we are meeting demand for long-term care, transforming how mental health and addictions services are accessed, and ensuring that residents receive care in the most appropriate setting,” says Premier Dwight Ball. “Benefits of our work also include creating new jobs and stimulating business activity – in the central region alone we are creating 343 person-years of employment and $39 million in economic activity.”

As part of today’s event, the province also announced the launch of a new primary health care reform initiative in Botwood. This involves working with frontline providers at the Dr. Hugh Twomey Health Centre to improve access to a variety of primary health care services. As part of the services that will be provided, Botwood will be the first community to introduce remote mental health services using the provincial Telehealth system. These remote mental health services will supplement Doorways, the single session walk-in clinics which are now available in Botwood and province-wide.

NTV’s Colleen Lewis is covering the story and will have more tonight at 6 on the award-winning NTV Evening Newshour.