‘Great day’ for public health care in Penticton

David E. Kampe Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital is set to open for patients later this month

Enhanced health-care services are on the way for people in the fast-growing area of the South Okanagan as the state-of-the-art David E. Kampe Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital is set to open to patients April 29, 2019.

“This is a great day for public health care for people in Penticton and throughout the South Okanagan, as the David E. Kampe Tower will deliver better care for families,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The facility will have more beds, more operating rooms, state-of-the-art diagnostics and easy access to a number of outpatient services.”

READ MORE: Major milestone for Penticton hospital

The 84-bed modern tower has single patient rooms, each with its own washroom. A new ambulatory care centre has outpatient services, including cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, respiratory, pre-surgical screening and maternal clinics. Surgical services at the tower include five operating rooms, three minor procedure rooms, two endoscopy rooms and a cystoscopy room.

The six-storey facility will have a nuclear medicine program, rooftop helipad and space for the UBC faculty of medicine program to expand. A new, permanent MRI machine that scans up to 46 per cent faster — almost double the number of scans each year — in the tower will replace a mobile unit and is the first of its kind in Canada. The MRI room has several features to make patients feel more comfortable, including a TV, head-set and other amenities.

READ MORE: Penticton hospital tower campaign enters home stretch

Dix said many of the hospitals around the province were built from the 1950s to the early 1970s and now need to be replaced and updated.

He said the community effort to make this new building a reality is an extraordinary achievement.

“It should feel like it’s everybody’s project,” he said.

“Look at what we have,” added MLA Dan Ashton. “It’s an incredible project.”

Chief Chad Eneas of the Penticton Indian Band said the project is the result of support from many within the community.

“The generosity of many has made this possible today,” he said.

Doug Cochrane, board chair of Interior Health, said the facility, which he describes as “an enhanced healing environment,” will improve medical care in the South Okanagan.

“Come April 29th, the David E. Kampe Tower will transform the way health care is delivered at the Penticton Regional Hospital,” he said.

The tower is named in honour of David E. Kampe, owner of Peters Bros. Construction, a major donor to the Penticton Regional Hospital. Kampe is a Penticton philanthropist and has made numerous donations toward improving health-care services in the region.

“The development of Penticton Regional Hospital is near and dear to my heart, having lived and worked in the South Okanagan for my entire life. Being able to support the hospital project is a great honour,” said David Kampe.

“When I look at what we have built, I think of the families that will benefit from the facility and the medical professionals and support staff that will provide the first-class services. While I appreciate the acknowledgment, the thanks should go to the people who made this vision a reality and the people who provide the services. I’m thrilled to see this new tower opening.”

READ MORE: Kampe tours namesake tower

The tower also makes health-care services easier to access by bringing programs throughout the hospital into one location.

“I thank David Kampe for his generous donations to this project and for all he does in the community, giving back and helping others, making people’s lives better,” Dix said.

“The community as a whole has gotten behind this project through its support for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation, which is raising $20 million to help purchase much of the equipment for the tower.”

The total project cost of $312.5 million was shared between the provincial government, Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District, Interior Health and South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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