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HomeNewsLocal groups aim to open Ken Sargent Compassion House by 2026

Local groups aim to open Ken Sargent Compassion House by 2026

After nearly a decade of discussion and planning, the Rotary Wellness House Society, which includes members of the different Rotary Clubs of Grande Prairie, is building the Ken Sargent Compassion House.

Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation will be the facility’s managing partner, and Ken Sargent will be the major naming sponsor; both announcements were made at the 2023 Festival of Trees Gala. Major Gifts Officer Dawn Miller says moving forward, Rotary will be working to fundraise an additional $8 million needed to meet the $10 million it is expected to cost to build the facility.

She says the goal is to have the 20-room facility, which will also have a common cooking, eating and living area, completed and open by 2026 to give those coming to Grande Prairie from out of town for medical treatments who may need a hand somewhere to stay. Miller says the foundation is excited to be working in partnership with Rotary to manage the facility when it is open, adding it is a partnership that makes sense.

“We are in the hospital, we know the donors, we know the patients, we work with healthcare providers and staff on a daily basis, so it is really a win-win for everybody.”

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Miller says as the managing partner of the Ken Sargent Compassion House, the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation will need to find an Executive Director who will be in charge of the facility, hiring staff and managing volunteers. However, between now and the facility opening, they will be working to raise funds to help offset operating costs.

“We need to make this house sustainable; we also are trying to make it very, very reasonable for patients and families to stay and that all requires money, and it also requires volunteers to come in. Whether it is helping to greet people, clean up, or whatever it might be, and just helping the families navigate.”

She adds the $2 million donation the foundation received from Ken Sargent for the wellness house will be used for operation costs and help keep the expense low for those who are referred to stay at the facility, which will be located kitty-corner from the hospital.

Miller says she expects more announcements and presentations will be made for the project in time.

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