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Posted: February 24, 2016

ICU project shows what can be accomplished

e-KNOW Editorial

It’s amazing what can happen when people work together.

When partisanship is forgotten by a common goal being sought, humans succeed and achieve species defining goals – things that always outweigh the trivialities of personal quirks and tastes. Or party lines.

Sadly, the game that is ‘big league’ politics demands complete partisanship. It demands complete allegiance to party, even if common sense is being shat upon and it’s obvious even to the dimmest of bulbs in society that shenanigans are afoot.

It is why very little gets done by the ‘big league’ politicians, besides achieving re-election for the employment boat that is (insert name of your party here) and spinning so much BS that aliens are coming to Earth out of concern about the build-up of methane in the universe. That nebulous of lies wraps the thing that should be cherished and treated with complete reverence – the baby that is human society, a fragile thing in the best of times, that is being crushed from the weight of the BS generated by a system that has outgrown itself.

It is a system that should be in an intensive care unit (ICU), receiving as much care and attention as possible.

Luckily, the East Kootenay now has a regional hospital that can meet such a challenge.

And it has one because a whole bunch of people from different places with different agendas put their chins to the grindstone and, taking care with our tax dollars, fixed a major hoodoo in regional health care.

The East Kootenay Regional Hospital (EKRH) was once maligned as being one of the worst in Canada; Maclean’s Magazine going so far as to ‘crown’ it thus about 15 years ago.

KERHD chair and Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher
KERHD chair and Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher

Last Friday, local, regional and Interior Health leaders came together to celebrate the completion of the $20 million ICU and electrical system project at the EKRH, and to pronounce a new era of health care in the East Kootenay.

Kootenay East Regional Hospital District (KERHD) directors from throughout the East Kootenay, Golden and Creston areas and Interior Health worked together to find the funds to make this project happen.

The Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary, Invermere Health Care Auxiliary and Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary all played major roles, as did the East Kootenay Foundation for Health, finding major sums of cash through local donations to fund equipment and other needs for the ICU and hospital.

John Kettle was chair of the KERHD when the ICU project began.
John Kettle was chair of the KERHD when the ICU project began.

The East Kootenay will benefit for generations from this hugely upgraded facility.

We wish to pass along our thanks and appreciation to all involved in making this project a reality, from Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett who did his door booting best to inspire the Ministry of Health into attention, to the Interior Health staff members who stickhandled with our tax dollars, to the KERHD board for steering the ship straight and true, with special light on current board chair District of Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher and former chair John Kettle.

Oft noted during last Friday’s celebration was the professionalism and yeoman’s efforts of EKRH staff, who struggled for years working in a facility that did a lot of creaking and moaning from less-than-adequate space. To Dr. Lawrence Jewett and all EKRH staff; thank you.

There is still much to be done at the EKRH, as KERHD board chair McKerracher pointed out Feb. 19, vowing he will endeavor to ensure other needs are met over the next few years.

That will require unity and effort from all once again; but the model to follow is there. May this model find wings and fly to the so-called ‘higher levels’ of government.

It really is amazing what can happen when people work together.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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