Town welcomes health minister to promote care

In an effort to try to enhance healthcare services and facilities at Stettler Hospital and Care Centre, town council welcomes

In an effort to try to enhance healthcare services and facilities at Stettler Hospital and Care Centre, town council welcomes the health minister for a tour next month.

At its regular meeting last Tuesday, council confirmed that Health Minister Fred Horne will visit Stettler and tour the hospital in June, as council continues to rate improvements to health-care facilities and services in Stettler atop its list of priority in the town’s strategic planning for 2013.

“Health care remains the No. 1 priority for town council and we want to use the minister’s visit to continue to put forward efforts to modernize health-care facilities to ensure residents of east-central Alberta can enjoy health care they deserve,” Mayor Dick Richards said.

The Stettler hospital has long served as a regional service for health care that town council promotes.

“Minister Horne will definitely be coming to Stettler next month, though we’re still working on a firm date,” chief administrative officer Rob Stoutenberg said.

With council also eager to add three physicians, a doctor from Scotland is expected to arrive within months, he said.

“We have additional leads,” said Coun. Leona Thorogood, who represents council on the recruitment committee and spoke with Dr. Phil Vogel about potential candidates.

A physician couple formerly practising in northern Alberta and returning to South Africa has expressed interest to return to Alberta and is being lured to Stettler, she said.

As the second priority, a new indoor sports facility and fieldhouse continues to be studied by the Clearview School Division for the project with the County of Stettler., followed by plans to enhance the outdoor rink.

Setting plans for a new seniors’ centre in the SRC upstairs is No. 5 on the list, along with an ambassador program and a water-meter replacement program.

Further enhancements to West Stettler Park, a green policy for composting and anaerobic landfill, a strategy to attract new residents and improved relations with the County of Stettler round out the top-10.

Just below the cut of the top-10, the town listed:

Improved service road and highway access.

Regional training officer.

Neighbourhood party program.

Not-for-profit centre.

Business leader input under economic development.

Rounding out the list is a skatepark, town communication strategy, digital records, ready-town industrial land, sidewalk improvements and east end pathways and employee succession planning.