Community celebrates expansion of long-term care spaces at Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) in Port Alberni

Seniors in the Alberni Valley have increased access to long-term care thanks to the addition of 12 new publicly-funded beds at Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) in Port Alberni.

“Our government is committed to improving services for seniors across the province, and projects like this one help us achieve that goal,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “People who live in this beautiful region want to age close to home, in a comfortable and friendly setting near their family and friends. This addition to long-term care resources in our community is definitely something to celebrate.” 

The expansion of Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) brings the number of long-term care beds available in the Alberni Valley region to 204. 

“We’re very pleased to partner with the Westcoast Native Health Care Society and make more long-term care spaces available in the community,” said Leah Hollins, chair of the board for Island Health. “This is a unique facility designed to meet the needs of local residents and help more people stay in the community they love.”

Work on the addition at Tsawaayuus – which means rainbow in the Nuu-chah-nulth language – began in October 2018. Construction finished in the summer and there are now 42 publicly-funded and two private-pay long-term care beds at the facility. Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens), which also has 10 assisted living units and 20 independent living apartments, is operated by the non-profit Westcoast Native Health Care Society.

“We would like to thank Island Health for their ongoing support, and the Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation for their support,” said Darleen Watts, chair of the board for the Westcoast Native Health Care Society.  “Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) exists because of a dream that was started by five women. This group of women wanted a place to go to be cared for by our own people. Tirelessly, bake sales and bingos were organized to achieve this dream of Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens). Thank-you Jesse Hamilton, Winifred David, Virginia Sumners, June Peterson and Ruby Peterson.” 

About Westcoast Native Health Care Society and Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens):

The Westcoast Native Health Care Society is a non-profit organization governed by an elected Board of Directors. Tsawaayuus (Rainbow Gardens) is operated under the direction of the Westcoast Native Health Care Society and contracts with the Ministry of Health and Island Health to provide service. Tsawaayuus is a unique, responsibly-managed multi-level care facility whose mission is to provide holistic, culturally competent care in a family-like environment with an emphasis on Indigenous people.

About Island Health:

Island Health provides health care and support services to more than 794,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River. With more than 21,000 staff and over 2,000 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: Public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.

Media Inquiries:
Island Health
Dominic Abassi