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August 18, 2010

Children's services get new home

Children with disabilities or who need special services will soon have a new community site offering a multitude of health-care services under one roof - a move that will enhance access to care.

The provincial government announced today that it would invest about $16.7 million into the Specialized Services for Children and Youth (SSCY) site, which will begin construction next spring, with completion expected in 2012.

The new 87,000 sq. ft. centre will be located in the Christie Building at 1147 Notre Dame Ave., situated near the Health Sciences Centre and Children's Hospital. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) has taken out a 30-year lease agreement of this 1931 Art Deco style factory building.

Once renovated to LEED and PowerSmart standards, the building will be a hub of ambulatory services for children and youth with special needs, including health-care clinics, rehabilitation and respite services and health-care outreach teams.

"In removing some of the obstacles faced by children with special needs, we give them a greater opportunity for a better quality of life," Housing and Community Development Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross said today in making the announcement on behalf of the province.

"The site will bring the expertise of a wide variety of health care and social services professionals under one roof, and by having them integrated, will ensure children and their families receive seamless, family-centred and community-based services," said Real Cloutier, Chief Operating Officer for the Winnipeg Health Region.

SSCY is an alliance of Manitoba Health, Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs, with the Winnipeg Health Region. The services to be offered at SCCY are currently located at a number of other sites scattered throughout Winnipeg.

"We are thrilled with the opportunity to work together with families and our partners to create a centre and a service delivery system that will be easier for families to navigate and will better respond to the issues faced by children and youth with disabilities and special needs," said Cheryl Susinski, Executive Director of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children.

A multi-disciplinary team will be working together to ensure co-ordinated and simplified access to a range of programs and services provided by various agencies:

Winnipeg Health Region programs include:

  • Communication disorders.

  • Child development clinic.

  • Clinic for Alcohol and Drug Exposed Children.

  • Newborn follow-up clinic.

  • Home care and Children's Special Services case coordinators.

  • Pediatric rehabilitation services, such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Other services will be provided by:

  • Children's Special Services

  • The Rehabilitation Centre for Children

  • The Society for Manitobans with Disabilities

  • Community Respite Services

  • The Movement Centre of Manitoba.

Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs' Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Outreach Team will also move into the building, along with behavioural specialists, an autism outreach team, integrated children's service team and family support.

Other partners committed to working within the collaborative model, but which are not moving into the site include the Child Guidance Clinic, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Mount Carmel Clinic, Central Speech and Hearing Clinic, Open Access Resource Centre, St. Amant Centre, Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre and the Movement Centre of Manitoba.

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