Hon. Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and MLA Kootenay East, joined Interior Health, Kootenay East Regional Hospital District and community representatives to celebrate the official unveiling of a new intensive care unit (ICU) and electrical system upgrade at East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
The new ICU unit will replace the current four-bed unit and feature two additional high-acuity beds. High-acuity beds are for patients who require more care than a standard inpatient ward, but less than the ICU, and will help make sure the right bed is used to meet the care needs of patients.
“These improvements are an example of what we can achieve through a collective effort focused on quality patient care,” said Erwin Malzer, Interior Health board chair. “I’d like to thank everyone involved for their commitment and persistence in seeing this project through. We can all take pride in this tremendous regional facility that serves patients from across the East Kootenay.”
The new ICU is located in a 787 square-metre (approximately 8,470 square-feet) addition on the northeast side of the hospital. The size and layout will provide better flow through the unit for doctors and staff. It offers patients additional privacy, family spaces and maximized natural light.
The new electrical system, located in the basement of the new addition, improves the power supply to the entire hospital, optimizes the system’s performance and provides capacity to expand for future power needs.
The $20 million project was funded through the Ministry of Health ($11.478 million) and the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District ($7.652 million), with the remaining $870,000 coming from community donations including a direct donation from the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary and contributions from the Invermere and Kimberley health care auxiliaries as part of a broader East Kootenay Foundation for Health campaign.
In the months ahead, Interior Health will be training clinical staff and getting the ICU ready for when patients move into the new unit in April.
The community contributions are also allowing Interior Health to direct funding to a new pediatric department at East Kootenay Regional Hospital. The new pediatric unit will be located in the existing ICU space adjacent to the maternity/neo-natal unit, bringing all of these services into one area of the hospital. Interior Health will provide an update on this exciting additional project in the spring.