While PBI has decided it will not make the former Drumheller Hospital part of its new home, the potential of the site is still being looked at.
The Drumheller Mail reported in its October 28 edition that PBI has decided at this time not to move any of its operations to Drumheller. As Jordan Webber, business manager for Community Futures Big Country explains, looking for a future for the facility is a Community Futures born initiative.
“This has been a Drumheller initiative, where PBI was invited to be an educational partner,” said Webber.
He says Community Futures has been working on what it calls the Health Training Project in Drumheller for eight to 10 months. According to a release, the goal of the project is to attract and retain young professionals to the community by merging health training with specialized medical service delivery to produce a sustainable facility in the area.
He says the project has remained relatively low key as not to disrupt the decision of the board of PBI while it was making its decision.
“The more Drumheller pushed the higher the temperature was in Three Hills,” said Webber.
While they have lost one of their potential partners, the spirit to press on has remained. He says they have a strong relationship with the ownership of the facility as well as partners in the medical and post secondary fields.
He says they have made presentations on their project to a number of surrounding municipalities.
“There are other educational partners we are looking at as well,” Webber said. “We approached Prairie because they were the obvious choice due to their close proximity. Since they have declined we’ll look at others. From our perspective we haven’t decided what route we’ll go next.”
While the project has remained low key he says it is important to acknowledge that the project continues.
“We approached businesses and community organizations for letters of support and had a great response from that. Of those people, we need to let them know that definitely the partners have changed; Prairie is doing what is best for them in their eyes, but as far as our project goes, we still have big plans,” he said.
He adds they have a grant application to the Rural Community Adaptation Program for its assessment.
Community Futures has scheduled a public meeting on Monday November 30 at the Audio Visual Room at the Drumheller Civic Centre at 7 p.m. to present the project and to receive public input.
For more on the project, see www.cfbigcountry.ca/health. Some of the documents describing the proposal play will be available at locales including the Drumheller Chamber of Commerce, the Big Country Community Futures office and the Town of Drumheller. For more information contact Webber at 403-823-7703, extension 2.