OKANAGAN OUTLOOK 2011 — 18 Interior Health: Things are Looking Up When Dr.Ro
bert Halpenny talks about tow-
ering achievements, he’s not speaking in platitudes.
With millions worth of projects and con-
struction underway across the entire Interior Health Authority, it’s easy to find highlights for the chief executive officer. The $180-mil- lion Polson Tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital opened Sept. 25, and the Centennial Tower at Kelowna General is quickly taking shape for its May 27, 2012, scheduled opening.
It gives both hospital campuses new focal points – symbols for aggressive reorganiza- tion and expansion at IH.
“The last year has been eventful for our or- ganization,” Halpenny said. “Interior Health has also had success with the continued ex- pansion of critical care, ground and air trans- portation services and in reducing adminis- trative costs to maximize dollars for direct pa- tient care. The organization is also improving the sharing of clinical best practices across all our sites with patients benefiting from
department. While they may be the largest and most
visible, the expansion projects are two of many happening at IH.
The request for proposals has been issued
for the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre Project in Kelowna, with construction to begin next summer.
greater quality care.”
The seven-storey Polson Tower is 231,500 square feet and includes space for maternity, intensive care, and emergency services, as well as operating rooms and an expanded outpatient area.Tw
o floors are currently va- cant and will be assigned as funding be- comes available.
KGH’s six-storey Centennial Tower is even larger at 360,000 square feet. It quadruples emergency services, consolidates and cen- tralizes operating rooms, allows day proce- dures to occupy a larger area, adds a rooftop heli-pad and features a new renal dialysis
In April, IH announced an additional $5.9 million will be available in 2011-12 to en- hance publicly funded residential care sites. The investment will standardize the delivery of residential care across Interior Health and will be directed to staffing, education and quality initiatives.
Outside the Okanagan, Interior Health cel-
ebrated the completion of the $24.7-million hospital redevelopment at the Shuswap Lake General Hospital; completed the $4.3-million Invermere and District Hospital’s ER redevel- opment project; is continuing construction on the $15-million Kootenay Lake Hospital rede- velopment project in Nelson; and released
master site plans for Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake.
This fall will also see the inaugural class of med students admitted to the Southern Medical Program. After spending their first four months at UBC’s Vancouver campus, the 32 first-year students will move to UBC’s Okanagan campus in January 2012.
“With this inaugural class, Interior Health
will truly be part of a fully operational four- year undergraduate medical program – it is a momentous milestone,” Halpenny said.
Halpenny, who is also IH president, also led a recent reorganization plan this year he says “focused on improving the quality of service and access for our patients while en- suring we continue to maximize taxpayers’ dollars for frontline health services.”
In addition, he said, IH was about one per cent in the black on its $1.7 billion budget ? money that goes into new buildings, equip- ment and technology.
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