Kathy Derksen, president of the Hospice Society’s board, spoke at the official opening of the new facility on Friday, May 27. The first patients and families arrive on May 31. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Kathy Derksen, president of the Hospice Society’s board, spoke at the official opening of the new facility on Friday, May 27. The first patients and families arrive on May 31. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

2022: Top stories of the year

Year In Review: Hospice residence, Foundry open doors

End of life care and youth health care both took steps forward in Langley in 2022

Langley got two new major health facilities this year – one dedicated to youth, the other to ensuring those at the end of life were comfortable and together with loved ones.

The new Doug and Fran MacDonald Langley Hospice Residence officially opened its doors on May 31.

The building had been long awaited, with a years-long fundraising campaign, and construction that took place through much of 2021 and early 2022.

The new 16,000 square foot, 15-bed facility replaces the 10-bed facility that was part of an existing, aging building on the Langley Memorial Hospital Grounds.

Just down the hill from the hospital, the new facility has more amenities and facilities. Rooms open onto a courtyard full of greenery, and there is a spa room with a specialized bath, blanket warmers, private washrooms, and artistic touches, including a mural created by local artist Felicity Holmes.

It was named in honour of the MacDonald family, who were among the key donors.

“It started small,” Dean MacDonald told the Langley Advance Times at the opening of the new facility.

Dean’s mother Fran was in hospice care at the end of her life in 2008.

The air conditioning in the aging building was not exactly working that well. The MacDonalds, including Dean’s brothers, sister, and father, wanted to help upgrade the system to help others who would need hospice care.

From there, they started a relationship with hospice society that led them to agreeing to be the lead sponsors of the new building.

Health Minister Adrian Dix offered remarks at the opening, remembering a few years before when they marked the beginning of construction at the site in front of a big mound of dirt.

“These places, these centres mean so much to people,” he said, offering thanks to Kathy Derksen, president of the Langley Hospice Society’s board.

“It’s about living well, right to the end,” said Derksen.

In December, Derksen’s decades of work for the Hospice Society would be honoured as she was named the H.D. Stafford Langley Good Citizen of the Year, by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

In July, another major health centre opened its doors, this time in downtown Langley City.

Foundry Langley has been a long-awaited centre for a variety of health supports for people aged 12 to 24.

The youth-centered project provides mental health and substance use support, primary health care, peer support, and social services, and is operated by Langley’s Encompass Support Services Society.

In attendance at the July grand opening was Mike Gee, who has raised thousands for the centre through the Seamus Gee Legacy Project, founded to honour the memory of his late son.

“Today’s a huge day for community, for youth,” Gee said at the opening.

“It’s much needed and long overdue.”

The creation of the centre was supported by the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, which raised $2.1 million in donations towards the renovation of the building the centre occupies. It will also be providing funding that will help Foundry create flexible programs as needed to support youth.

The provincial government put $800,000 in funding towards the establishment of the center, and will provide annual funding for operations and services.

Multiple Foundry locations have been opening up around the Lower Mainland and across B.C., part of a push by the provincial government to get better health and mental health services to youth communities.


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson, and Langley MLA Andrew Mercier were among the speakers at the official opening on Tuesday, July 19, of Foundry Langley, a new mental health facility for young people. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson, and Langley MLA Andrew Mercier were among the speakers at the official opening on Tuesday, July 19, of Foundry Langley, a new mental health facility for young people. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

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