Ktunaxa Nation Territory – Community members, leaders, partners and elders of the Tobacco Plains Indian Band, part of the Ktunaxa Nation, celebrated yesterday the opening of a new $3.3-million multi-purpose health station.
The 297-square-metre health station houses a community health room, health centre area, gymnasium, Elder's room, Band administration office and more. The new facility allows the Band to provide timely and accessible health and wellness services, while ensuring acceptable standards are met for all Band members.
"Can you believe it was only a year ago that we were here for the groundbreaking ceremony?" said Tobacco Plains Chief Mary Mahseelah. "And now we are standing in front of a new building that provides much-needed health care space for our community."
The health station supports the Band's current and future health needs by housing the delivery of services for Elders' health, diabetes, dental care, mental health and addictions. Health care providers such as a nurse practitioner and kinesiologist will also be based at the health station.
The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is pleased to partner with the community in pursuit of improved health, safety and social wellness. The FNHA contributed $1,479,541 towards the health station, with the community raising significant funds to achieve the total cost of the project.
"We recognize the positive impact that a health facility can have on health outcomes and bringing the community together," said Lisa Montgomery-Reid, Interior Regional Executive Director. "Interior leadership has stressed the importance of ensuring that all of our communities have access to health care facilities, and through the advocacy of our Interior Region Nation Executive, capital projects remain a top priority. The Ktunaxa Nation has done a fantastic job of advocating on behalf of all of their communities."
"The FNHA is pleased to support the development of the Tobacco Plains health station," said FNHA Chief Operating Officer Richard Jock. "This health facility not only allows for the expansion of programs and services but also brings them closer to home for band members. Such community-based health services are a cornerstone of our plan to improve the wellness of families and communities."
The Tobacco Plains Indian Band is located on 10,600 acres in and around Grasmere, B.C. in the East Kootenays, near the Montana border. The health station will serve the local population of 600 persons.
First Nations Health Authority