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Representatives from the new Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care project presented a report to City Council on Tuesday.

It detailed the project’s overview, current status, and future plans. Construction officially began on the hospital on July 22 and Northern Health Project Director Tom Sparrow says everything is on schedule.

He says Northern Health is also looking at the future of the existing hospital building on 100th Avenue.

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Sparrow stressed the importance of having spiritual healing areas dispersed throughout the new hospital. He mentioned that Northern Health is looking at putting in a non-denominational spiritual room into the new building that is part of the residential care facility.

Northern Health is also looking at constructing a separate building that will be a spiritual area as well.

A healing garden is also in the works, and Sparrow says it might be expanded to a year-round use.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bruce Lantz had concerns regarding the reduction of one maternity care bed when the new facility opens. Sparrow says he’s not too concerned about that, as the new facility can easily compensate for the loss.

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Sparrow says some of the next steps include continued communication and interaction with the community, organizations, and First Nations. Construction should be complete by spring of 2012.

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