The Bonnyville Health Centre is the focal point for health care in the Lakeland region. It not only offers emergency, acute and long-term care, but is also the Community Cancer Centre and as such, offers chemotherapy and other programs from the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton.
The Health Centre is also a leader in the practice of palliative care - allowing terminally ill patients and their families to self-determination regarding the treatment of the patient. "We’ve been into the terminology of palliative care for the past four years," said Sister Mary Ellen. Palliative care allows the patient to spend as much time as possible in the familiar surroundings of their own home, only moving them to the hospital when necessary. Even then, the family is given as much privacy as possible. "We have one palliative care suite which offers a room for the family and tries to recreate a home-like atmosphere," said the Sister. "It’s equipped with a fridge and microwave so that the family can have privacy."
Built in 1986, the 54-bed Health Centre is served by eight full-time doctors and a wide range of specialists. This team of specialists allows people from throughout the district to come to Bonnyville for medical services they could otherwise only get from making a two-hour trip to the nearest metropolitan city.