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Updated Monday, 27 March 2017 15:02:51 -0400

Some good news for Veterans from the CEO at the Perley-Rideau Veterans Hospital

I am writing to inform you that today Veterans Affairs Canada issued a media release announcing the creation of a 25-bed program at Perley Rideau to provide long-term beds for Veterans who were not previously covered for long-term care. As you are aware, we have advocated for this change for a long time to address the natural decline in War Service Overseas Veterans who now call Perley Rideau home.

This specialized unit -- as designated by the province -- emerges from a partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, Veterans Affairs Canada and The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. Thanks goes out to our partners and stakeholders, including the Royal Canadian Legion and the Perley Rideau Foundation, for promoting the expansion of long-term care to more of Canada’s Veterans.

This unique designation was earned as a result of decades of outstanding care and the creation of a stimulating social environment provided by the entire Perley Rideau Community. It is a privilege to serve our Veterans and you show it in your actions each day.

To qualify for this new unit, the definition of "Veteran" has been greatly expanded and covers more of the Veterans who served in the Second World War and Korean War along with Veterans who wore the uniform after the Korean War.

War Service Overseas Veterans will not be bumped in this process. This unit will have its own distinct waiting list that will be managed by CCAC.

This is terrific news for Canada's Veterans and a success for all parties involved and we plan to formally thank everyone later this year.

I am proud to say that some of these new Veterans have already moved into the Perley Rideau including one Veteran who was a long-serving volunteer and served as the chair of the Perley Rideau Foundation.

CBC TV, radio and print will share our story today and I hope we will attract additional media attention in the days ahead.

I want to let everyone know that this good news doesn't mean we will be taking a step back to the days when the 250 Veterans were young and the average stay was measured in years. This news only reinforces our commitment to make the necessary changes so that Perley Rideau is seen as an innovative care provider to seniors and Veterans in the Ottawa region and that we are indispensable to the health system.

I thank everyone for your support and patience during these times of change and I look forward to formally celebrating this new unit at an event in the cafeteria later this spring.

We will add a new page to the homepage of our website (perleyrideau.ca) ‎providing information to Veterans and their families specific to this news and I invite all of you to share this terrific news.

Akos Hoffer, CEO, The Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre

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