Update on ICU expansion

Interior Health describes the current pace of the project at recent hospital board meeting.

The East Kootenay Regional Hospital's ICU expansion project is still on pace for completion for mid-2016.

The East Kootenay Regional Hospital's ICU expansion project is still on pace for completion for mid-2016.

Work continues to progress at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital, as representatives updated the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District on the status of the ICU expansion last week.

Todd Mastel, Director, Business Support, from Interior Health, delivered a presentation on the $20 million project to the KERHD board.

The new building structure for the ICU and electrical equipment is complete and the walls and windows have been installed. The exterior brick work is well underway and will be complete in June.

The interior walls are now framed and work to finish the walls and floors is in progress. The Steepleview link, which will connect this addition to the existing hospital, has been framed and will be closed in during May, with finishing work continuing through the summer.

“We’re still looking at full completion of the project for mid-2016, but that’s for both the major streams, the ICU component as well as the electrical,” Mastel said. “The electrical will have a longer timeline; we fully expect to be in the new ICU well before mid-2016.”

The major electrical and mechanical equipment is all on site and set in place.  The crews are working on completing the installation and commissioning the new service and distribution system in late summer. The connection of the existing hospital to the new system will continue through the fall.

The new ICU unit will replace the current four-bed unit and feature two additional high-acuity beds, which will address current and future needs.

The integrated design includes a 787 square-metre (approximately 8,470 square-feet) addition on the northeast side of the existing hospital. The size and design of the new ICU will provide for an improved work environment for physicians and staff, and added privacy for patients and their visitors.

Outside of the ICU, IH is also working on the development of a paediatric space, which will take over the area of the existing ICU.

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.

“The next stage would be to go to a more detailed schematic design, and we’re looking at starting that in the fall,” said Mastel.

Representatives from the East Kootenay Foundation for Health were also on hand to update the board on their fundraising drive for new ICU equipment.

Donations received from area auxiliaries ($450,000 from the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary, $90,000 from the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary, and $50,000 from the Invermere Health Care Auxiliary), have pushed the total ever closer to the $1 million total goal.