The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board voted to support Sicamous’ application for grant funds to build a wellness centre in the community.
The District of Sicamous is applying for a $6 million grant through the Canada-British Columbia – Rural and Northern Communities Program.
If grant funding is received, The Wellness Centre will provide office space to all of the district’s medical professionals; it is a central part of Sicamous’ attempt to attract another doctor the community. The centre could serve as a place to practice for up to two doctors, three dentists an optometrist and a physiotherapist.
The proposed site for the wellness centre is on Main Street. Along with offices for medical professionals, the plan for the medical centre building features a coffee shop, community daycare facility and as many as 12 elevator accessible residential suites for seniors.
The need for the wellness centre is expressed in a report from the District of Sicamous which states that 45 per cent of Sicamous’ population have had to leave the district to be treated by health-care practitioners in other communities.
Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz who also sits on the CSRD board as a municipal director, told the board at their Jan. 10 meeting about a similar wellness centre project in Chetwynd that succeeded in attracting doctors to the community.
Rysz also said Sicamous plans to partner with neighbouring First Nations to house a regional healing centre for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It would also serve as a regional hub for both physical and mental health services.
The CSRD Board gave their unanimous approval to a letter of support Sicamous can include with their grant application.