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Bethany Care Society to take over health care in area seniors' lodges

Mountain View Seniors' Housing terminates contract with AHS
MVT stock Mountain View Credit Union building
Mountain View Seniors' Housing, with an office in Olds and lodges in Carstairs, Olds, Didsbury and Sundre, is terminating its contract with Alberta Health Services to provide health-care management and delivery for residents. A new provider will take over in the spring of 2021. File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS - Mountain View Seniors' Housing (MVSH) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bethany Care Society to provide health-care management and delivery for residents in the Sundre, Olds and Didsbury lodges starting next April, officials said.

The MOU sets up a strategic care partnership between the parties.

The MVSH board is confident the partnership will provide the best care for residents at the lodges, said MVSH chief administrative officer Sam Smalldon.

“Working together, this transition will take place in a seamless manner, to ensure our residents will not be affected by this change,” said Smalldon.

The change should not have any impact, financial or otherwise, on lodge residents, he said.

“There’s no intended impact and it is supposed to be a smooth transition of care contract responsibility and accountability from MVSH to Bethany Care Society as of April 1,” he said.

MVSH is a non-profit organization that operates seniors’ lodges, seniors’ life leases, seniors’ self-contained apartments and subsidized community housing. It is funded, in part, through requisitions from area municipalities.

In April 2019, MVSH announced it was terminating its master services contract with Alberta Health Services (AHS). At the time Smalldon said, “AHS funding has been inadequate to provide the level of quality care MVSH believes in, requiring ongoing support through municipal requisitions.

“The board has discussed and questioned involvement in delivery of health care for a number of years. The board contends health care is a provincial and AHS responsibility, not municipal taxpayers.”

Bruce Beattie is the chairman of the MVSH board, as well as Mountain View County reeve.

“Our history of working closely with Bethany Care Society gives me full confidence that this new strategic partnership will benefit both our residents and MVSH as we return to our primary purpose of providing quality housing options for seniors to live in their home community as they age, while continuing to receive the best of health care in our lodge,” said Beattie.

Beattie updated councillors on the agreement during the Oct. 7 council meeting.

Bethany Care Society is a not-for-profit provider of seniors’ services and affordable housing in central and southern Alberta.

Jennifer McCue is the president and CEO of the society.

“We are excited to enter into a strategic care partnership with MVSH to ensure quality care and services are provided to these communities,” said McCue. “Our commitment is to work collaboratively with all parties to ensure a seamless transition.”

The announced partnership with Bethany comes as the MVSH board completed an in-depth revision of its 2021-2025 strategic plan resulting in a decision to focus its future work on providing high quality seniors’ housing in the area, said Smalldon.

“Our primary goal is to continue development of our core capacities and strengths in facility management and resident services for seniors at each of its four lodges,” said Smalldon.

The board will continue to work in partnership with the Alberta minister of Seniors and Housing in managing the low-income public housing portfolio on behalf of all municipalities in the geographical boundaries of Mountain View County, he said.

“This includes housing for eligible residents of the provincial seniors self-contained manors) and community housing programs,” he said.

The MVSH lodge in Carstairs currently has care management and delivery for residents provided by AHS and this will continue in 2021, he said.

“Bethany Care Society is well recognized in Central and Southern Alberta as a respected and strong organization in care management and delivery,” he said.

The MVSH board has now been notified by AHS it has signed a master services agreement (MSA) for care with Bethany Care Society as of April 1, 2021.