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Local chiefs and N.W.T. government officials are marking the opening of the new facility in Norman Wells on Monday afternoon. (The Town of Norman Wells) Community and government officials are celebrating the opening of a new health centre and long-term care facility in Norman Wells, N.W.T.

The Sahtu Got’ine Regional Health and Social Services Centre and Sahtu Dene Necha Ko Long Term Care Facility replaces the town’s 40-year-old health centre, and is much larger than the old facility.

The new building, which houses the long-term care facility, measures approximately 43,000 square feet, compared to the previous health centre, which was about 4,500 square feet in size.

The N.W.T. government spent $41.1 million to design and build the new health centre and long-term care facility, according to Damien Healy, spokesperson with the Department of Health and Social Services.

Health Minister Glen Abernethy, Infrastructure Minister Wally Schumann, Sahtu MLA Daniel McNeely, chiefs of surrounding Sahtu communities, and a number of officials with the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority will be at the opening event Monday afternoon.

The new health centre includes rooms for family, couples and individual therapy, a quiet room for families, six clinic rooms, a procedure room, and a wheelchair-accessible reception area. 18 individual long-term care rooms

The long-term care facility is designed for elders with "level 3 and level 4 supportive needs," according to the health department.

Level 3 and 4 care involves people who may not be able to get around on their own, who needs complex support, or might be at risk of harm because of their condition. Both levels of care require 24-hour, on-site nursing.

The facility has 18 bedrooms for individual residents, which are divided between two houses. Those houses each have a kitchen, fireplace, living room and patio.

The territorial government says it’s working to make sure traditional foods can be cooked and served at the long-term care facility.

Nurses, cooks and other support staff will be at the long-term care facility 24/7, which is equipped with a physiotherapy room, a foot care area, spa and hair salon, as well as a dental and eye clinic room.

Elders will also have access to a spiritual centre and be able to relax in the centre’s screened-in deck and courtyard areas, according to the health department.

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