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Health information centre set to open at Ridge Meadows Hospital

Saint Mary's Health Foundation donates $7,000 towards new facility.
The 200-square-foot Health Information Resource Centre will feature space for patients

A new Health Information Resource Centre is scheduled to open up at Ridge Meadows Hospital in the spring, after a $7,000 donation from Saint Mary's Health Foundation.

The 200-square-foot facility will be located inside the main entrance of the hospital and feature space for patients, their family and friends to access health information in print, electronic and audio-visual forms.

"Every single resident in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows can benefit," said Annika Polegato, development manager with the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation. "The idea is the patient, whether they be a hospital patient or a community patient, if they have questions, they can come in to have free access to information about their condition or challenges."

According to the foundation, about 50 per cent of British Columbians do not have the minimum level of health literacy to make proper decisions about their own health. This can translate into an increase in health care costs.

"That's a staggering number, for me, to think that for every other person that we meet, they don't fully understand the health care system and how to take care of themselves," Polegato said.

"This will give them a space to go to ask the questions, to get the information, proper medical information, to better care for themselves."

The centre will be open 24 hours a day with volunteers on site during peak times to help people access the resources.

The centre will cost $70,000.

Money for the centre will also come from the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation, a non-profit registered charity, which is working to provide $800,000 this year for various projects, including, a bus for Baillie House residents, three cardiac monitors, patient lifts and two highly specialized microscopes for urology and orthopaedic surgeries.

The Saint Mary's Health Foundation funds programs and initiatives at hospitals and health care providers in the Greater Vancouver area.

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