Community of Hardisty concerns addressed

Dear Editor,

Alberta Health Services (AHS) knows residents and community leaders remain concerned about the temporary changes at the Hardisty Health Centre, particularly the ongoing closure of the Emergency Department (ED). 

We hear those concerns, and continue to do everything we can to resolve them. 

To be clear, it remains our intention to resume ED services at the site as soon as possible. 

We did not anticipate in spring 2020 that the temporary closure would ever extend this long.

Initially, closure of the ED and repurposing of the site’s acute care spaces was done at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of AHS’ proactive response to the anticipated surge in demand for services. 

By taking this temporary action, we were able to ensure long-term care residents were not in the same building where patients seriously ill from COVID-19 were being treated. 

This also allowed us to ensure staff were caring for a single patient population. And while that was a departure from normal practice, it was the best way we could protect our seniors. 

Throughout the course of the pandemic, we have had to make many operational decisions outside of normal practice to reflect changing needs and priorities. 

Like other facilities within the Central Zone, the Hardisty Health Centre has played an important role in our abilities to respond to an evolving pandemic situation and augment staffing challenges in other areas. 

This included utilizing space within the Hardisty Health Centre to temporarily relocate LTC residents from Galahad Care Centre, which allowed us to keep residents as close to Galahad as possible.

At this time, we continue to have the acute care beds occupied by continuing care residents. 

Staff from Galahad were also temporarily redeployed to assist with caring for the increased number of continuing care residents in Hardisty. And while those staff remain at the facility, we do not yet have the required staffing needed to reopen the ED.

Recruitment remains ongoing for RNs, LPNs as well as Healthcare Aides to support resuming full services at the Hardisty Health Centre. We need to secure 24/7 RN coverage before we can move forward in our plans to resume operation of the ED and the acute care beds. 

Over the past several months we have extended advertising of available positions, worked with our Talent Acquisition teams to expand recruitment efforts, and increased the availability of permanent part-time and full-time roles to appeal to as many candidates as possible. 

We also have been working with contracted agencies to try and secure contracted agency staff, though they are in high demand across the province. 

Recruitment challenges are not unique to Hardisty, but we have not – and will not – cease in our efforts.

We hope that this update sheds some light on our ongoing efforts to resume services at the Hardisty Health Centre. 



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