Dream becomes a community reality

Last Friday around 150 residents, staff, community members and health workers attended the official opening of the $600,000 redevelopment to the Braidwood Multi-Purpose Service by the Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, along with the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health, Melinda Pavey. The refurbishments are designed to improve the quality of life for aged and high-care patients.

The facility now boasts an extended and refurbished day room/veranda for the ten permanent residents to allow them ease of movement, a new partly-covered deck, a compliant ramp from the deck to the garden, an automatic door from the deck to the lounge area and air conditioners.

"This significant investment in the Braidwood MPS will greatly improve the quality of life for current and future residents by providing a homely, comfortable setting as well as a modern working environment for health service staff”, Mr Barilaro said.

The NSW Government partly funded the project through the Locally Funded Initiatives Program, allocating $280,000 for the extension to the residential living area.

"The Braidwood community should also be congratulated for their dedication and enthusiastic support of the Doug Smith Appeal, set up in honour of local pharmacist, the late Doug Smith, which raised $240,000 for the refurbishment. It is wonderful to see rural communities working together for such worthy causes," Mr Barilaro said.

Doug died suddenly in 2009. He was a well-known identity as a former Director of the local Bendigo Bank, and active member of the Health Advisory Committee and cattle breeder. Doug was proactive in raising fund through grants for local community development. The appeal was launched soon after his death to fulfil his dream of seeing better aged care and specifically dementia services in Braidwood.

The Braidwood MPS houses an aged care facility, acute care beds for patients of varying clinical needs, a special care suite for terminally ill patients as well as a 24-hour emergency service - an innovative model of care being successfully replicated throughout many NSW rural communities.

Along with private donations, the Braidwood community contribution included: $100,000 from the Braidwood Community Bank, $43,000 from the Veolia MulwareeTrust, $18,000 from the Hospital Auxiliary towards the fencing around the community maintained gardens which was constructed by the Lions and Apex Clubs, $10,000 from students at the Braidwood Central School, $16,000 from the Monday Quilters group, and $20,000 from the Lodge of Truth MasoniCare.

"The redevelopment work is another example of the NSW Government’s commitment to improving infrastructure and health services for rural and regional communities throughout the state,” Mrs Pavey said.

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