MONCTON (GNB) – The first residential hospice in southeastern New Brunswick officially opened today.

Albert House, on Pleasant Street in Moncton, is a ten-bed facility designed to meet the needs of people in palliative care.

“Palliative care is an important part of our overall health-care system,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “Albert House plays a vital role when it comes to providing support and care to individuals at the end of their lives, and to their families, and we are proud to have such a wonderful facility operating right here in Moncton.”

Allain spoke on behalf of Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.

The hospice features four family rooms, a commercial kitchen and dining room, a sunroom, and other common areas for residents and their families. It is operated by Hospice Southeast New Brunswick, a registered charity, and serves residents of Albert, Kent and Westmorland counties.

“This is a new era for our organization and a great step in enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of this region,” said Dennis Cochrane, past president of the Hospice Southeast New Brunswick board of directors. “We are the largest and fastest-growing region in the province but did not have a residential hospice to serve our citizens. Now we have a state-of-the-art facility that is a model in palliative care and has been built to serve southeast New Brunswick for generations to come.”

The provincial government is investing up to $715,000 annually for two years to support clinical care. The Department of Health and the Regional Development Corporation are providing $2 million for capital.