Invermere: The first phase of the $4.3 million Invermere and District Hospital’s Emergency Department redevelopment project is complete. This phase focused on the construction of a trauma room, ambulance canopy, and the development of the lower level of Columbia House for the co-location of Public Health and Home & Community Care programs.
“The completion of the first phase of the Invermere ER redevelopment project is great news for the residents of the East Kootenay region and represents our commitment to revitalize health care facilities across the province,” said Health Services Minster Kevin Falcon. “Across the province, the health care sector will benefit from $2.6 billion in capital improvements over the next three years.”
“When the redevelopment of Invermere and District Hospital is complete in early 2011, patients and health care professionals alike will have access to an expanded and enhanced emergency department that is double the size of the old one,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. “The new emergency department will increase the number of treatment bays from six to 12 and include a new separate ambulance entrance.”
Site preparation started in July 2009 and construction began in November 2009 by Mierau Contractors LTD of Kamloops and Abbottsford. Mierau has been working with Interior Health on a variety of construction projects since 2001. The redevelopment project was designed by internationally-experienced Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Limited with on-the-ground input from the doctors, nurses, and staff who will be working in the area.
“I would like to offer my thanks to the physicians, nurses, staff, residents and community for their continued patience and support during construction,” said Invermere/Golden Health Services Administrator Erica Phillips. “We are at the half way point of this project and delighted to be moving into the new trauma area. The upcoming summer months will be a test as the population in the area can more than double, but we are very confident that the excellent health care professionals at IDH are more than ready for the challenge.”
Cost of the redevelopment project is being shared between the Province, through Interior Health, the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD) and the Columbia Valley Hospital Auxiliaries, and the East Kootenay Foundation for Health. The Province’s share is $2.8 million.
“The Directors of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District are very pleased to see how well this project is progressing and are looking forward to seeing Phase 2 get underway” said KERHD Chair John Kettle. “The improvements being made to the hospital will ensure that high quality emergency health services are available for all.”
The Columbia Valley Hospital Auxiliaries and East Kootenay Foundation for Health are working in partnership to raise $500,000 to purchase the equipment needed for the project. The “Together for Everyone” campaign has already purchased all the equipment needed for Phase 1, and is within $50,000 of the $500,000 target.
“It has been an amazing experience working with the extraordinary members of the Columbia Valley Auxiliaries,” said East Kootenay Foundation for Health Executive Director Donna Grainger. “Through our unique partnership we are working our way through the equipment wish list for this project and the support of area residents and service groups is truly helping to make the ‘Together for Everyone’ campaign a success.”
Phase two of this project is scheduled to begin June 1st and will focus on the emergency department, triage area and waiting room. The new emergency department will double in size from 245 square metres (2,500 square feet) to 546 square metres (5,800 square feet) and the number of treatment bays will jump from six to 12. The current emergency department will be relocated until construction is complete in early 2011.
Partnering with Regional Hospital Districts and Foundations, the Province has committed over $400 million to improve and expand more than 30 emergency departments across the province since 2001, including the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook. Capital projects, completed and underway, are enhancing the physical structure of B.C emergency rooms as well as addressing challenges such as acute care capacity.
Media for more information contact:
Jennifer Inglis: Interior Health Communications -250.420.2404
Donna Grainger: East Kootenay Foundation for Health-250.489.6481