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Deal closing for new residential rehab in old Sault Star building

Zoning changes set for approval by City Council on Monday
Dr. Nadia Bowen
Dr. Nadia Bowen is identified as the residential rehab's physician lead in documents to be presented to City Council on Monday

In a move expected to secure a 20-bed residential rehab facility in the old Sault Star building, City Council is set next week to approve zoning changes at the 145 Old Garden River Rd. site.

Councillors will be asked on Monday to re-designate the property, owned by DiTommaso Investments Inc., from industrial to institutional.

The new residential management and safe beds facility, announced by Sault MPP Ross Romano in late May, is to be run by Sault Area Hospital.

Wendy Hansson, the hospital's president and chief executive officer, will appear at Monday's meeting with Lisa Case, clinical director for mental health and addictions, to provide an update on the project.

The hospital will brief reporters on the initiative in an online session Friday afternoon that will be covered by SooToday's Darren Taylor.

Materials prepared by the hospital for its presentation show Dr. Nadia Bowen as the new centre's physician lead.

Dr. Bowen has been practising at Sault Area Hospital as a hospitalist physician, providing care to patients in SAH's rehab units as well as other parts of the hospital.

She has also served on the palliative care team.

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Dr. Bowen completed her residency through Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

She's known for her love of outdoor activities including running, kayaking, cross-country and snowshoeing.

The new facility will provide "compassionate and tailored care for individuals 16 years and older who are seeking residential withdrawal management, relapse prevention or safe bed support."

It will be staffed 24/7 by a team of clinical and support staff including:

  • registered social workers and psychotherapists
  • registered addiction services workers
  • registered nurses
  • registered practical nurses
  • nurse practitioners
  • addiction medicine physicians
  • support staff

No date has been set for opening the new facility but hospital officials say they want it to happen as soon as possible.

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.