Businesses showcase themselves to Long-Term Care design teams

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Brenda Schwan, Executive Director Health Services/Capital Project Lead for the Swift Current Long Term Care Project, talks to the three qualified teams shortlisted to participate in the Request For Proposal stage in the P3 procurement model during a visit in Swift Current on Dec. 17.

A strong turnout of local contractors and businesses took advantage of a chance to meet with the three design groups remaining in the bidding process to construct Swift Current's new Long-Term Care Project.

A business to business networking session was held on Dec. 17 in order to link Southwest businesses with the three teams bidding to build Swift Current's new 225 bed Long-Term Care Centre via a P3 process.

Brenda Schwan, Executive Director Health Services/Capital Project Lead for the Swift Current Long Term Care Project, felt the afternoon was a good opportunity for interested Southwest businesses to promote their services and experiences to the design teams.

"Each business had three minutes to sit down with the proponent teams, and then they got to kind of show off their business…and kind of say what they thought they could bring to the project and how they could add value and why they wanted to be part of the project," Schwan said. It is now up to the individual teams to determine if they will be utilizing local businesses, and how they can incorporate them into the project.

"They were really quite pleased that they had had the opportunity. I think it really generated lots of excitement about the project, knowing that they could potentially play a roll, have a part in that. Some of them had an opportunity to have a look at some of the work that we've done through the summer, and again there was just a sense of energy and excitement," explained Cypress Health Region CEO Beth Vachon. "I think that's one of the positive things, is that we've been really excited about this project, but when we can start to feel that excitement within the broader community that's just a good thing. So we were really pleased with having an opportunity to bring those businesses in."

The three design teams began the day at the Cypress Regional Hospital in order to participate in a site tour and orientation, seeing where the Long Term Care Centre's connecting link to the hospital is, in addition to seeing first hand the approximate 15 acre site where the construction will occur. It was announced in late November that Integrated Team Solutions, Plenary Group, plus Willow Healthcare Partners had been invited to move forward to the Request for Proposal stage of the project.

The entire process is new for both the Cypress Health Region and SaskBuilds, as this is the first long-term care facility to proceed under a P3 model. The project is a replacement for the Swift Current Care Centre, Prairie Pioneer Lodge, and Palliser Regional Care Centre long-term care facilities in Swift Current. Construction is scheduled to being in August 2014, with completion sometime in spring 2016.

"They're very hands on. SaskBuilds is actually the lead on the project, so they're taking the procurement lead on it," Schwan pointed out.

"It's moving along," Schwan added. "Some of the comments were 'whoa, this is happening soon. We didn't realize it was coming this soon' so I think that led to some of the excitement about the project too."

"Its been good. I think there's lots of stuff just figuring out the two processes, and being one of the first P3s out. But its been a great experience just trying to figure out how the policies work and stuff like that and having a process. So I think as a Region we actually have an advantage being first out to help create some of those and have input into how those policies actually work."

Vachon added that the province is closely watching this process, as it is likely to a blueprint into how other projects proceed.

"There is lots of interest in how this is moving forward, and some of the feedback that we're getting is that the process is running really well," Vachon said. "Our partners in this, SaskBuilds and the Ministry, are very pleased with how things are progressing. The event that we held yesterday, they liked that whole idea and model."

Organizations: Cypress Regional Health Authority, SaskBuilds

Geographic location: Swift Current

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