Local veterans get internet access in time for Remembrance Day

VetsWIFI303Residents of the Horizon Health Network Veterans Health Unit in Fredericton now have easy access to the internet thanks to s-Novations, the City’s telecommunications company. E-Novations is the company responsible for the City’s Fred-eZone free wireless network. The staff and family members of residents requested internet connectivity earlier this year and e-Novations responded by installing Fred-eZone in the unit’s common areas.

“This is a great move by e-Novations, allowing our veterans to use technology to stay connected,” said Mayor Brad Woodside in a statement.

The Veteran’s Health Unit is located adjacent to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital. The 47-bed facility provides long term care for veterans, and until now has has no internet connectivity.

Maurice Gallant, president of e-Novations and director of the City of Fredericton’s Department of Information, Improvement and Innovation, said the connection has many benefits to veterans at the unit.

“Residents can use mobile devices to connect to the internet, view family photos, and stay in touch with their families,” said Gallant. “Family members who come to visit their relatives can also appreciate the ability to connect to the internet.”

The connectivity is not only appreciated by staff and visitors, according to Janet Crealock, recreation therapist at the Veterans Health Unit.

“They are curious about the equipment such as iPads that can be used for communication, games, and the internet,” said Crealock. “We have received positive feedback from families who have used the service to reach family across the country. We have had a request from a son in England to speak with his father on the Alzheimer Unit. Another family talks to a granddaughter in Alberta weekly on FaceTime. This was not possible a few months ago.”

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