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The executive director of the Eastern Region of Southern Health says there are no plans at this time to expand the Villa Youville personal care home in Ste. Anne. Marie Lacey is responding after the Chief Executive Officer of Villa Youville indicated the waiting list for beds has grown to 25 people and it may be time to start thinking about expansion. Lacey says Southern Health looks at statistics over the long term, noting waiting lists for PCH beds tend to fluctuate.

"We look at the waiting list for long-term care, whether it's for the Villa Youville or for our other facilities, it ebbs and flows. I know that the Villa Youville has traditionally been a little bit lower at 6-8 and now it's grown to 25. We kind of compare that to some of our other facilities nearby. So, for instance, the Heritage Life long-term care centre in Niverville, they are at a wait list of 12 people which is an historic low for them. So, the wait lists climb and they fall."

Lacey adds it would take a sustained longer waiting list at Villa Youville before the RHA would consider expansion.

Villa Youville is the only all-French personal care home in rural Manitoba, where residents can continue to enjoy the cultural experience they enjoyed at home. Lacey notes Southern health also has two fully bilingual personal care homes in St. Pierre and Notre Dame. She explains the difference between all-French and bilingual.

"Bilingual will mean a level of service where you can get your service in English or French whereas a Francophone facility is culturally based. It's a pure French environment as you might live in your home from when you were young. So it really carries on traditions and values of the Francophone community."

Southern Health has the largest French population of all rural RHAs and Lacey says they are committed to providing services in both official languages.

"We have 354 designated bilingual positions. We can do French assessments on everyone coming into our French-speaking facilities. We always give staff who perhaps aren't as strong in their French, an opportunity to take courses. So I think Southern Health is quite committed to providing French services where they are needed."

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