The new ICU expansion is nearing the final phase of construction with a mid-2016 completion.

The new ICU expansion is nearing the final phase of construction with a mid-2016 completion.

ICU expansion nearly finished

Project is on pace for a mid-2016 completion as construction crews tackle final phases.

  • Nov. 9, 2015 8:00 p.m.

For the Townsman

Interior Health is beginning the final phase of construction of the new intensive care unit, as well as major electrical upgrades, to East Kootenay Regional Hospital (EKRH) in Cranbrook.

Final finishing of the interior is underway and commissioning of all the intensive care unit (ICU) systems is in progress. Major electrical work has all been installed and final commissioning is in progress.

The new electrical system will improve the power supply to the entire hospital, optimize the electrical system performance and allow capacity to expand for future power needs.

The electrical infrastructure will be located in the basement of the new addition.Work on the exterior paving and landscaping is already finished, with some minor remediation work to take place in the spring to ensure plants and grass are fully established.

Interior Health said connection of the existing hospital to the new electrical system will continue through the fall of 2015 and winter of 2016. The approximate total project cost of the redevelopment project at EKRH is $20 million.

Funding is provided by the Province, Kootenay East Regional Hospital District and through East Kootenay Foundation for Health and East Kootenay auxiliaries, which are contributing towards the clinical equipment.

Training of staff will begin in late 2015 and continue through the winter to ensure a smooth transition of patients into the new unit.Construction-related activity will continue on site from approximately 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the fall/winter, and the public can expect periodic interruptions to normal traffic patterns during this time.

Interior Health is working with the project contractor to minimize these impacts and appreciates the ongoing patience of local residents and visitors to the hospital as these major improvements to EKRH move forward.

Pediatric Redevelopment

Last October, Interior Health announced the creation of a new pediatric unit for the hospital which would be based in the current ICU space once the new ICU is completed.

The Pediatric Redevelopment is separate from the ICU/Electrical Redevelopment project. The estimated cost of this redevelopment is approximately $750,000 with design work expected to start within the next several months.

Currently, pediatric and maternity/neo-natal services are located on separate floors of the hospital. While the full scope of the project providing renovated spaces for pediatrics is yet to be complete, planning has started with a goal to create an enhanced environment for these young patients, their families, and the staff and physicians providing care.

The new pediatric unit will be adjacent to the existing maternity/neo-natal unit, bringing all of these services into one area of EKRH.

ICU Equipment Campaign

To date, approximately $450,000 has been raised by the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary, $90,000 from the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary and $50,000 from the Invermere Health Care Auxiliary.

IHA noted that efforts to raise funds for new ICU equipment are steadily moving closer to the $1 million total goal.

East Kootenay Foundation for Health continues to focus its efforts on this important work and expects to see the fundraising goal achieved shortly. For more information about upcoming foundation events or to donate, go to www.ekfh.ca.