Dignitaries pose for a photo in front of the Sylvan Lake Community Health Centre after cutting the ribbon to officially open the Advanced Ambulatory Care Service on June 7. Chair of the Urgent Care Committee Susan Samson cut the ribbon to open the centre. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake and area celebrates opening of AACS

Community members, financial backers and dignataries were present for the grand opening on June 7

The Advanced Ambulatory Care Services (AACS) in Sylvan Lake celebrated it’s grand opening on June 7, only three days after opening to the public.

The grand opening was held in the Senior’s Centre at the NexSource Centre Thursday afternoon, with a ribbon cutting following.

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman was slated to attend the opening, but couldn’t make it. Instead, Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne said a few words on behalf of the Alberta Government.

“Let me tell you how proud and how happy I am to be here,” said Payne, adding the opening of AACS in Sylvan Lake was an exciting occasion.

“This has been a long time coming, and the credit goes to all of you.”

Payne says the opening of AACS and the improved health care services for Sylvan Lake and area are a result of years of advocacy, campaigning and fundraising.

“Our government is so proud to partner with you to finally make this a reality,” said Payne.

She continued on to say the newly opened facility delivers the right care, at the right place at the right time.

Chair of the Urgent Care Committee, Susan Samson, says the last few years have been a journey.

The grand opening was a little emotional for Samson, who has champion the cause for around five years now, and has seen how important it is to Sylvan Lake and the surrounding communities.

“When it comes down to it, good health is everybody’s business,” said Samson.

Like many of those who spoke during the grand opening, Samson gave her thanks to all those who supported and partnered with Urgent Care to see AACS come to fruition.

In particular, Samson was thankful to Health Minister Hoffman who didn’t turn the committee away, and instead gave them a chance and “multiple audiences” to discuss the needs of the area.

“I have to say from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Urgent Care Committee we would not be here without the blessing of Minister Sarah Hoffman,” Samson said.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre also gave his thanks to those who worked tirelessly to see better health care be brought to Sylvan Lake for the town, it’s visitors and surrounding communities.

“Sylvan Lake has better access to health care through Advanced Ambulatory Care in our community, and it is all thanks to an incredible effort of teamwork, community and collaboration,” said McIntyre.

Advanced Ambulatory Care Services is located in the newly renovated Sylvan Lake Community Health Centre. It opened it’s doors to the public on June 4.

On the first day open, AACS Medical Director Dr. Elsabe Nel saw 22 patients on the first shift.

AACS is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s purpose is to treat non-life threatening illnesses and injuries that cannot wait for a scheduled appointment with a family physician. The Advanced Ambulatory Care Services is equipped to treat sudden illnesses, non-complicated fractures, minor allergic reactions and more.

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