Providence Health Care’s goal of being a leader in seniors care has gained momentum after the recent acquisition of a 216-bed seniors care home in partnership with Fraser Health.

The home – formerly named New Vista and now called Chénchenstway – is located at 7550 Rosewood Street in Burnaby. Providence intends to operate up to 110 beds at the home, and Fraser Health 106 beds. It is currently being refurbished and readied for a summer 2023 opening.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to offer an enhanced living environment to seniors currently living in those care settings that we know are not ideal,” says Mark Blandford, Vice President, Seniors Care, Clinical & Operations. “For that reason, we’re offering Mount Saint Joseph Long Term Care (LTC) residents and families the first option to live in Chénchenstway, and also offering the MSJ LTC care staff the opportunity to move worksites should they desire.”

Blandford adds that MSJ LTC was the natural first choice to make this offer, as it has unique challenges of over-crowding, multiple beds per room and aging infrastructure and mechanical systems.

“MSJ LTC was never originally designed as a seniors care home,” says Blandford. “The COVID experience has added more urgency to our desire to reduce the number of residents per room in our homes. As much as possible, we want residents in single-occupancy rooms. Chénchenstway gives us that opportunity, with up to 110 residents each having their own room and washroom. We’re also doing this – on a smaller scale and with a limited number of rooms – at our Langara and Youville homes.”

Blandford says that the move to Chénchenstway is a voluntary offer to residents, families and staff.

“There is no requirement for current MSJ LTC residents to choose a move to Chénchenstway. Residents can continue to stay at MSJ as long as they want. The MSJ LTC unit will continue to stay open and continue to operate but the total number of LTC beds at MSJ will be reduced over time as multi-occupancy rooms are reduced in favour of more single and double occupancy rooms.”

Colleen Anderson, Director, Clinical & Operations, Seniors Care, MSJ LTC, Honoria Conway Assisted Living, says the partnership with Fraser Health is unique and the joint planning for this initiative has been comprehensive and ground breaking.

“We’ll have two separate organizations, providing our unique brand of care on separate floors, but we’re also going to share some common services, such as facilities management, to ensure efficient use of public resources.”

Anderson says robust transition planning is underway.

“Our approach is to first engage with residents, families and staff and gauge their level of interest in moving. Unions representing staff at MSJ Long Term Care will be involved throughout this process. And we’re grateful to the Ministry of Health for supporting and approving the transition.”

Anderson adds Fraser Health and Providence are also taking a proactive approach to strengthening relationships with Indigenous people and the host First Nations within the respective organizations’ regions.

“Our care models will continue to have a culturally safe and socially just approach. Respecting the language and culture of Indigenous communities is one of the ways our organizations are expressing our commitment to Cultural Safety.

Early in the process, the project team worked closely with Squamish Hereditary Chief Ian Campbell to identify an appropriate site name and follow correct protocol. We are grateful to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) People for providing the name ‘Chénchenstway’ to this home, which is a Squamish word meaning ‘To lift each other up’.”

Kristine Medina, Interim Resident Care Manager, MSJ LTC, is looking forward to the transition planning and looking for opportunities for improvement.

“In our initial discussions with residents, families and staff, there are, of course, a lot of questions about how the transition will work – but also a lot of excitement. Everyone is eager to learn more about the benefits Chénchenstway has to offer residents and staff.”

Benefits For Residents – All residents who choose to live at Chénchenstway will have their own individual private room and washroom, bigger and better dining, improved bathing and showering facilities, improved outdoor spaces for social/group activities and care programming, better overall building and facilities functions including improved air flow heating and air conditioning, as well as a number of other improved amenities. 

Benefits For Staff – Staff will work in a renovated and upgraded facility, which will provide access to more staff break rooms, locker/change rooms, washrooms/showering facilities, upgraded staff administrative and operational spaces, easy access to the outside space/gardens to take their breaks in, and much more.

“What I’m most excited about is how care will improve at both sites,” says Medina. “MSJ Long Term Care has provided stellar service to the community, and will continue to do so with improved daily experience and safety of residents. The same is true for Chénchenstway when it opens.”

Anderson adds the planning teams from Providence and Fraser Health deserve a big kudos for making this opportunity a reality. “The Providence team has been amazing – from HR to Facilities Management, Finance, support services and LMC service leads, to the Office of Strategy & Results, Indigenous Wellness & Reconciliation team, and all our operational leaders and staff.

I especially want to thank Art Yee, Senior Manager, Strategic and Operational Projects for Providence, for leading the planning group and organizing our work.”

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