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Multi-phase upgrades completed at Arrow Lakes Hospital

Dr. Craig Courchesne spends some time at the newly renovated physician dictation area at Arrow Lakes Hospital (ALH) in Nakusp following the completion of a renovation project on the emergency and acute care spaces at ALH. — Submitted photo

People needing care at Arrow Lakes Hospital (ALH) can now access an updated emergency department and new space to support families, with the completion of a significant renovation project at the Nakusp hospital.

“This hospital plays a central role in the health and well-being of residents and visitors in Nakusp and the surrounding communities. Now, renovations have provided a more modern, bright and comfortable space for urgent and outpatient care,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.

The project was completed in two phases. The first phase, featuring a new trauma bay, opened in September 2019. The second phase has now been completed and features new exam bays, a triage area, a multi-purpose room available for families to gather, a visiting specialist room and more space for physicians.

“The Arrow Lakes Hospital upgrade completion is incredibly important to the people of Nakusp and surrounding communities,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West.

“This will provide high quality public health care for the constituents of Kootenay West. Residents have waited a long time for this upgrade and I am so pleased that they will now have a larger and modern emergency department.”

The $2.1-million project was funded by the Ministry of Health and the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District (WKBRHD). A further $250,000 was donated by the Arrow Lakes Hospital Foundation and the Arrow Lakes Hospital Auxiliary to go towards equipment.

“Congratulations to the community and everyone involved in this project. Patients in Nakusp and the surrounding region will be well served with these enhanced emergency spaces,” said Doug Cochrane, Interior Health Board Chair.

“There is more privacy for patients and their families and enhanced working conditions for our excellent staff and physicians. We are thrilled to see this new space now open to patients.

The scope of the project was determined through an initial planning and assessment phase funded by the WKBRHD and included direct input from hospital staff and physicians.“This was a priority project for our board and we are thrilled to see it open,” said Suzan Hewat, Chair of the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District.

“These new treatment areas will allow staff and physicians the ability to provide care to patients in a modern setting and families will now have a quiet space to gather and support loved ones in care. As someone who was born and raised in Nakusp, I know firsthand the importance of this project to the entire community.”

The additional funding from the Arrow Lakes Hospital Foundation and the Arrow Lakes Hospital Auxiliary went toward the purchase of an equipment boom and patient monitoring system for the project, an indicator of the tremendous community support the Arrow Lakes Hospital receives.

“The Arrow Lakes Hospital Foundation warmly and deeply thanks the people of our community for their extraordinary level of support in raising sufficient funds to provide for the purchase and installation of cardiac monitors in a retrofitted emergency and trauma area at Arrow Lakes Hospital,” said Bob Ruttenberg, Chair of the Arrow Lakes Hospital Foundation.

“We are excited that the renovation is now complete and that our hospital will be equipped to best meet the needs of our patients and medical staff. 

“We are so very proud to be a partner in our community’s ongoing charitable support for health services.”

Arrow Lakes Hospital serves close to 5,000 people living in the communities of Nakusp, New Denver and Silverton as well as the surrounding regions.

Construction work continued throughout the COVID-19 crisis, with Interior Health complying with direction from the Ministry of Health, the Province and the Provincial Health Officer, and its contractor taking the proper precautions during this time to ensure safety at the site.

A new trauma room is open to patients at Arrow Lakes Hospital (ALH) in Nakusp as part of a renovation project on the emergency and acute care spaces at ALH. — Submitted photo