The Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre moves into larger, state-of-the-art facilities

January 20, 2012 - The Ottawa Withdrawal Management Centre (OWMC) today inaugurated its new facilities at 1777 Montreal Rd, between Blair and Ogilvie. The OWMC, a one-of-a-kind facility in the region, is a residential service for people struggling with an addiction to drugs, alcohol or prescription medications. Hôpital Montfort oversees the OWMC, although it has entrusted management of the facility to a community organization, Montfort Renaissance. 

The official launch of these modern, spacious and well-equipped facilities was presided by Madeleine Meilleur, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier and Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services as well as Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs. She was accompanied by prominent figures in community health, among them the chair of the Montfort Renaissance board, Michelle de Courville Nicol, the chair of Hôpital Montfort board, Alain-Michel Sékula, Dr. Wilbert Keon, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Champlain Local Health Integration network (LHIN), and Chantale LeClerc, interim CEO of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). 

The facilities were relocated and outfitted at a cost of almost 7 million dollars, which was underwritten by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. 

The OWMC is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to offer assistance to people aged 16 and over. The Centre, in operation since 1974, had to leave its obsolete ByWard Market facilities in order to relocate to Ottawa East. The establishment can welcome twenty people in need of professional support to assist them through a withdrawal phase. 

“The launch of these new facilities is the result of more than ten years of hard work. We are now able to house men and women in separate areas, with easy access for people with restricted mobility, including seniors – allowing us to improve the quality and reach of our services,” said Michelle de Courville Nicol, chair of the Montfort Renaissance board of directors. 

Members of the public and people working in addiction services are invited to learn more about the work of the OWMC at open house sessions slated for January 21, 23 and 24 (see times below). After this time, clients will be transferred to the facilities, which will then be closed to the general public. 

According the chair of the Hôpital Montfort board, Alain-Michel Sékula, improvements to the OWMC align with evolving community needs across the continuum of care. “Our population has a wide range of health needs, which must be met with appropriate services. We have all seen the damage caused by addiction in its many forms. The OWMC will ease emergency room bottlenecks and, more importantly, it will offer individualized care – which increases the odds of successful outcomes.” 

The Champlain, Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) played a crucial part in the modernization of OWMC, a shining example of collaboration among several organizations dedicated to mental health and the fight against addiction. 

“The Champlain LHIN supported the planning for this project because our region needed better treatment services for people with addictions,” said Dr. Wilbert Keon, Chair of the Board of Directors for the LHIN. “It’s heartening to witness such significant progress in an area of health care that used to receive such little attention. Congratulations to the agencies and individuals who worked so hard to make this important new resource a reality for our community.” 

The new residence occupies 15 000 square feet, including separate areas for men and women, which are fully wheelchair accessible. The OWMC offers a non-medical approach to withdrawal management, but Hôpital Montfort is less than a kilometer away should additional services be required. 

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General public open house sessions will take place at 1777, Montreal Rd on: 
Saturday, January 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Monday, January 23 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
Tuesday, January 24 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
www.owmc-cgso.ca