By Emma Honeybun
Posted May 1, 2024 2:00 am.

The Anne Oake Family Recovery Centre, a rehabilitation centre dedicated to treating and housing women and two-spirit people, and their families, while they seek help for issues with addiction, was formally announced on April 24 at Victoria Hospital, where it will be constructed.

The centre is named for the wife of longtime Winnipeg sports announcer Scott Oake, who died of breast cancer in 2021. The Oakes co-founded the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, which opened earlier in 2021 in Sturgeon Creek. The Bruce Oake centre focuses on addictions treatment and recovery for men and was named for their son, who died of an overdose in 2011.

Scott Oake said at last week’s press conference that many women are hesitant to enter recovery programs because they don’t want to lose their kids, so the new centre will offer the added benefit of housing a patient’s dependents during their time receiving help.

“When Scott explained that he wanted to do the Anne Oake Recovery Centre, so that women and two-spirit folks have a destination on their recovery journey, I said, ‘Yeah, it makes perfect sense,’” Manitoba premier Wak Kinew said, addressing a crowd which included front-line health workers.

“From the start of the project that became the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, a women’s centre was always in our plans,” Oake said. “Our commitment was always that when the first recovery centre was up and running, with successful results and sustainable funding, we would undertake a women’s centre. where women will have the same opportunity to get the recovery that men get.”

The project is anticipated to cost over $20 million, and there is no definite timeline for construction, as funds must be raised.

“I never said that raising the money (we’ll) need for the Anne Oake Family Recovery Centre will be easy, but the community spoke loud and clear,” Oake said. “If you want a reference point, the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre, it’s a 43,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility (which cost) $15 million

“The Anne Oake Family Recovery Centre will be larger, it’ll be 50 to 70 beds because of the need to keep women and children together. So again, I can’t give you an exact cost. But obviously, the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre was built three, four years ago, and construction costs have gone up, I think, about 30 per cent. So we’ll have to raise a lot more.”

The Bruce Oake Recovery Centre has operated at a success rate of 57 per cent, which Oake described as “astronomical in the world of recovery.”

Kinew, who was accompanied by Uzoma Asagwara, minister of health, seniors and long-term care, and Fort Richmond MLA Jennifer Chen, also said that development of Victoria Hospital’s new emergency room is anticipated to begin within the next two years.

Source: Free Press Community Review