KELOWNA - Over the next few months, there is going to be a lot of construction activity at Kelowna General Hospital, as one building goes down and another goes up.
With a shovel in hand, Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid joined health and community representatives to celebrate the start of construction on the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building today. This also marks the start of demolition of the vacant Pandosy Building, which is needed to make way for the approximately 14,000-square-metre Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building.
When the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building opens to patients mid 2015, it will be the province's fifth cardiac critical care centre and the first outside the lower mainland and Vancouver Island, meaning Interior patients won't have to travel far from their families for cardiac care.
The new building will provide a permanent location for cardiac-surgical services and programs at Kelowna General Hospital. The Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building will have state-of-the-art surgical facilities, a medical device reprocessing department, cardiac intensive care unit and post-operative recovery area.
The Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building is part of the overall Interior Heart and Surgical Centre Project. The project also includes the Dr. Walter Anderson building, renovations to the existing Royal and Strathcona buildings and fit-outs in the new Centennial building.
The total cost of the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre project is $367 million, with $70.7 million from the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District. The cost of the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre surgical building component is $169.1 million.
Interior Health entered into a fixed-price, performance-based agreement with the private partner, Plenary Health, to design, build, finance and maintain the surgical building for a term of 30 years. All clinical health services will be publicly funded and publicly provided in accordance with the Canada Health Act.
The government of British Columbia has invested around $1.5 billion dollars in capital projects in the Interior since 2001. This includes a new Centennial Building at Kelowna General Hospital, Polson Tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital and the development of the UBC faculty of medicine and Interior Health Clinical Academic Campus.
Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid -
"Our government is bringing cardiac care closer to home for Interior patients and their families. This new facility will house the Interior cardiac revascularization program, as well as a new surgical suite, and support services."
Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission -
"With the start of construction of the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building, we are entering a new era of cardiac care here in the Interior. This new building will provide timely, life-saving therapies and surgeries to area residents who previously would have to have been transported to the coast."
Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country -
"I am excited construction has started on the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building, which will improve access to cardiac care for patients and their families. Once completed, up to 600 open heart procedures will be performed yearly at the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre."
Ben Stewart, MLA for Westside-Kelowna -
"Good planning is all about staying ahead of the curve. The B.C. government recognizes the need to make services like open heart surgery available in areas with an aging population, including the Okanagan."
Norman Embree, Interior Health board chair -
"The past five years have seen unprecedented investment by the provincial government in health care in the Southern Interior. This final phase of capital construction at Kelowna General Hospital will support the enhancement of patient- and family-centred care to a level never before seen in the Interior."
Robert Hobson, Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District board chair -
"This new facility is going to improve health outcomes for residents of the Central Okanagan. As partners in the project, we are excited to see the development of much-needed cardiac services in this region."
Dr. Carol Laberge, director of cardiac services at Kelowna General Hospital -
"This building will provide patients, physicians and staff with the most advanced technologies in a modern surgical centre. It will maximize opportunities for health improvement across the Interior Health care continuum. As part of the Interior Health cardiac program, it will also build on the existing medical and inter-professional expertise, while providing tertiary level service closer to home."
- The Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building will be built to achieve LEED Gold certification, and maximize the use of wood in the interior and exterior of the facility.
- The building will also include interior design features which improve patient, family and staff well-being and reduce the length of patient stays. These design features include significant access to natural light and environments, and easy access to courtyards and building access.
- The Interior Heart and Surgical Centre building will be connected to the existing campus buildings via a network of links and bridges.
- This building is a major component in the larger Interior Heart and Surgical Centre Project, which also includes:
- The Percutaneous Coronary Intervention program, which started in November 2009.
- The Dr. Walter Anderson building, which opened in May 2012.
- The open heart surgery program, which will start in the renovated operating rooms in the Strathcona Building in December 2012.
- Other planned renovations to Royal and Strathcona buildings, which will be completed in 2013 and 2017 respectively.
For more information on the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre Project, visit: www.buildingpatientcare.ca
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)