$2 million in upgrades coming to EKRH
The sounds of hammers, nail guns and saws have rung in the New Year at East Kootenay Regional Hospital (EKRH), as Interior Health moves ahead with four significant projects that will improve patient care for the East Kootenay residents the hospital serves.
“Right now we have a total of four larger projects underway at our regional hospital in Cranbrook,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “The ongoing investments in East Kootenay Regional Hospital will ensure patients are receiving care in a modern care environment with the latest technology and supports.”
“From our new intensive care unit that opened last year to the new MRI coming to Cranbrook next year, we continue to move forward with improvements that make this hospital a world-class facility right here in the East Kootenay,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett.
The largest project currently underway (pictured) is a $750,000 redevelopment of the EKRH pediatric unit. The new pediatric unit will be in the former second-floor ICU space and will be incorporated into the adjacent maternity/neo-natal unit, which will create a combined Maternal Child Unit. All areas will meet current pediatric standards and separate rooms will provide young patients and families with more privacy.
Each room will also have a sleep area to provide a more comfortable place for parents to stay with their child. One room will meet airborne isolation standards to support pediatric patients with contagious or potentially contagious illnesses. The move also brings pediatrics into a secure, locked unit. The Ministry of Health is funding $450,000 of the project, with the remaining $300,000 investment coming from the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD), approved by the board Feb. 10.
The new pediatric unit is expected to be operational by summer of 2017.
Work has also started on three additional projects at EKRH:
– Replacement of the Radiographic Fluoroscopy system in the Diagnostic Imaging Department with a General Radiographic System. This is a $547,000 project with $286,208 in provincial funding and $190,805 from the KERHD. IH expects work on this project to be completed in April. The system’s ergonomic design will improve technologist efficiency and reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, thanks to a donation of $69,987 from the East Kootenay Foundation for Health for a digital detector, the new system will have digital capabilities that support a reduced radiation dose for patients and will allow IH to better track and document radiation.
– Renovations for a new secure room in the emergency department. This $545,000 project will ensure the emergency department has a secure room that meets updated standards for safety and security of patients and staff. Provincial funding is $327,000, with the remaining $218,000 coming from the KERHD. IH anticipates this work will be complete in March.
– Replacement of the old glass windows in the psychiatry unit with three-ply laminated safety glass. The new windows provide increased safety and security for patients and staff. The total project cost is $225,000, with $135,000 in provincial funding and $90,000 from the KERHD. This project is scheduled to be complete in March.
“All of these projects will benefit patients and our staff and physicians at East Kootenay Regional Hospital,” said IH Board Chair John O’Fee. “I’d like to thank our funding partners for their ongoing commitment to our hospital in Cranbrook and the clinical teams who provide quality care to patients from across the region.”
“Our contributions to these improvements at EKRH and to projects at facilities across our region demonstrate the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board’s ongoing commitment to ensuring our residents, physicians and health care workers have access to the equipment and health care facilities they need,” said KERHD Chair Dean McKerracher, Mayor of the District of Elkford.
It was funding commitments in the fall of 2014 from the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary and East Kootenay Foundation for Health that helped pave the way for the new pediatric unit. The auxiliary donated $441,000 and Foundation donated $309,000 for equipment for the hospital’s new intensive care unit, which allowed Ministry and KERHD to redirect $750,000 previously allocated to the ICU to the pediatric project.
Above photo: Joel Kabatoff works on the plumbing in the new pediatric space. Photos submitted