Photo: George Le Masurier
The Views at St. Joe’s has been gifted to a new entity called the Providence Residential & Community Care Services Society (PRCC).
Chair of the St. Joe’s Board of Trustees Chris Kelsey told Decafnation last night the Bishop of Victoria has given St. Joe’s, including its 17 acres of property at the top of Comox Hill to the nonprofit company.
Providence Health Care is a British Columbia Catholic health care organization that operates St. Paul’s Hospital and seven community care facilities in the Lower Mainland. The Bishop of Victoria sits on the board of a society that owns Providence.
The Views at St. Joe’s is Providence’s first acquisition outside the Lower Mainland and is, at the moment, the sole operating facility of the newly-formed PRCC. It’s expected that Providence’s other community care facilities will eventually be moved in the new company.
The acquisition means that, at the closing date of April 1, the current St. Joe’s board will be dissolved. But Kelsey has been appointed Vice Chair of PRCC, and he said there will always be representation on its board.
“What this means is, we’re not going anywhere,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey said the St. Joe’s board starting working on its future role four years ago, when it became clear that Island Health was closing down its acute care hospital. And, he said, Providence shares their vision of a campus of care dedicated for seniors.
“With Providence, we’re building an organization focused solely on seniors care,” he said. “A dementia village concept is part of that plan.”
Running an acute care hospital requires “90 percent of your attention and your budget,” leaving less flexibility to make seniors care better.
“Now we can focus just on that,” he said.
The Views staff will become PRCC employees and medical staff will receive their privileges through the new company.
FURTHER READING: Providence Residential & Community Care
To get out from under the financial restrictions of the Hospital Act, it’s the intent to eventually make PRCC an independent entity, and distance itself from Providence hospitals. That would allow PRCC to borrow funds for capital project, which it cannot do under the Hospital Act.
That’s important for The Views, which needs to be modernized, as do several of Providence’s existing and aging seniors facilities the Lower Mainland.
Providence assisted St. Joe’s in preparing its proposal for the new Comox Valley long-term care beds.
But Kelsey said he does not believe St. Joe’s is the leading proponent for the news beds.
“If that were the case, we would be talking by now. And we’re not,” he said.
But that won’t delay PRCC from moving ahead with a new vision for the St. Joe’s site.
“Whether or not we receive any of the new long-term care beds from Island Health, we will move ahead with a redevelopment of The Views,” Kelsey said. “Either through a competitive process or direct negotiation.”
Kelsey said St. Joe’s and Providence have been working with Island Health and the Ministry of Health through the transfer of ownership process, and both have supported the change.
The Views Administrative Officer Michael Aikins said the change in ownership actually accelerates the redevelopment plans.
“With PPRC as owner, we’re going to build a community with various levels of housing and care options that support seniors, and their spouses and partners, to age in place on a single campus — ranging from independent living, long-term care and specialized dementia care and neighbourhoods,” he said in a news release.
Read more at Decafnation.