F.W. Green Memorial Home in Cranbrook. Photo courtesy Google Streetview.

F.W. Green Memorial Home in Cranbrook. Photo courtesy Google Streetview.

Plan for future expansion of F.W. Green Home taking shape

Capital projects underway at East Kootenay Regional Hospital, per update from Interior Health

A business plan for potential future expansion of the F.W. Green Home in Cranbrook is taking shape.

Interior Health is eyeing an expansion of the facility that would add 70 long-term care beds through the development of an new structure on adjacent vacant land, according to an update from Todd Mastel, Director, Business Support.

The facility, originally constructed in the 1950s and expanded in later years, currently has 60 beds.

“The plan would be to increase the size of the facility from 60 to 130 beds, so a net add of 70,” Mastel said, during a presentation to the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board. “It would be done in two phases where we would build out an initial phase on the north side of the property, which is currently vacant land.

“Once that is complete, the existing residents would move into the new construction, we would then go through a demolition process for the existing structure and then rebuild on that site to get us up to a total of 130 beds.”

The business plan, budgeted at $250,000, is expected to be complete by the end of June, with a further update coming to the hospital board next meeting in August.

Once that plan is presented to the hospital board, Interior Health will bring options forward — including estimated costs — for discussion or approval.

Mastel also provided updates on capital projects at regional health care facilities, including a number of planned projects at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.

The pharmacy renovation project is well underway, with construction expected to start next month, according to Mastel.

“We have the design on this complete, the construction is out for tender as we speak, closing next week,” Mastel said. “We’ve had lots of interest on it from contractors as part of the site visit and subsequent visit from our capital projects team. “Looking to award it here shortly with construction starting in late June or July with substantial completion in December.”

The pharmacy project, budgeted at $3 million, requires extensive duct work to ensure air flow is delivered to drug preparation areas, which is necessary to meet national standards for sterile compounding.

Another noteworthy project, the SPECT-CT imaging system, is scheduled to be up and running by the fall.

“We have our model selected, we’re at the 95 completion stage on the design, looking to tender out the construction and installation later this month with a targeted substantial completion date in October,” Mastel said.

The $2 million SPECT-CT system, which creates a 3D image of a scanned area, was made possible from generous donations by local and regional individuals and businesses through a fundraising campaign from the East Kootenay Foundation for Health.

A number of capital projects set for the 2020 calendar year were delayed due to COVID-19, said Mastel. However, a number of smaller projects at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital are in progress or already completed, such as widening patient doorways in seven rooms, exterior door replacement for four rooms and installation of an ultrasound cardiac and orthopaedic surgery table.

Under provincial legislation, capital projects are funded 60 per cent by the province and 40 per cent by regional hospital districts.

Over the course of the meeting, local officials also discussed competing priorities between the local hospital district and Interior Health, which has caused some sore feelings, particularly over the development of a master plan for the East Kootenay Regional Hospital facility.

A master plan is a forward looking document that would guide development of the facility over its lifespan. In recent years, the board has been advocating for a master plan that would guide the future vision planning for areas such as pharmacy, oncology, renal dialysis and laboratory.

“We definitely hear the frustration,” admitted Mastel. “It has not moved I think the way we would have all anticipated over the last few years.”