People living in the Mid and North Island will benefit from bigger patient rooms, peaceful surroundings, and more surgery space in the North Island Hospital’s Comox Valley campus.
The campus was officially opened today by Premier John Horgan, along with hospital volunteers, health professionals and community members.
“People visit hospitals at the most challenging and critical times in their lives, and we want to make sure they have access to quality care,” said Premier Horgan. “People will get the care they need at this remarkable new facility thanks to the talented and committed health professionals who put patient care first.”
The combined cost of the North Island Hospital project is $606.2 million, with the project cost-shared through a 60/40 split between the provincial government and the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District.
“Quality patient care and a design focused on patient comfort make this outstanding new hospital something that Comox Valley and Mid Island residents can be proud of for years to come,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix. “This has been a highly complex project and a huge transition, and we are grateful to staff and health professionals for their hard work and continued commitment to excellence in patient care.”
“This campus is something we as a community have supported from the outset, and our families and loved ones will benefit from the enhanced facilities and improvements to patient care,” said Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard.
“This new hospital will play a vital role in the region, and I thank the health professionals, administrative staff, families and community members who helped get the doors open to patients to serve our growing population’s health-care needs,” said Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser.
The Comox Valley campus includes healing gardens for patients, visitors and staff, and in consideration of the cultural needs of the Indigenous community, traditional medicine gardens featuring plants used by Indigenous healers.
“These new facilities are the result of years of planning and ongoing support from our community partners. Thank you for the long-term dedication from everyone involved, and the investments provided by the Province and Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District. North Island residents will now have access to high quality health-care facilities close to their homes for years to come,” said Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District chair Charlie Cornfield.
“This hospital has been built with local people, cultures and values in mind,” said Island Health vice board chair Roger Barnsley. “The services our staff provide reflect local community needs and deliver excellent care in a refreshed and modern setting. We’d also like to thank St. Joseph’s General Hospital for its 104 years of legacy of caring with compassion in the Comox Valley. We’ll continue to build on the tradition that St. Joseph’s has defined as we serve the residents of the North Island.”
- The North Island Hospital, Comox Valley campus is part of the North Island Hospitals Project, which also includes a 95-bed campus in Campbell River.
- The 39,826 square metre (428,700 square foot) 153-bed Comox Valley campus includes larger, single-patient rooms, an emergency room three times larger than the original space, six operating rooms, 18 surgical procedural rooms, cardio-pulmonary diagnostic services, a laboratory, pharmacy, an orthopedic clinic, and University of British Columbia academic teaching space.
- The hospital campus’ design was based on the theme of “peace in the forest,” reflecting the natural treed setting on which the new facility sits. The facility also includes The Gathering Place, a non-denominational spiritual room for use by people of all faiths and cultures. The spiritual room features sound proofing and a ventilation system to accommodate music, drumming and smudging ceremonies.
- The maternity ward has rooms with extra space to allow large family groups to be together during labour, delivery and recovery. There is also a fixed MRI machine, which is expected to process about 60 MRIs a week, replacing the previous mobile unit. The hospital also supports custom dietary needs, and patients can order from a restaurant-style menu on an iPad with assistance from Food Service Ambassadors, who visit the patients twice a day.
- The St. Joseph's Hospital site, now known as The Views at St. Joseph’s, will continue offering residential care to members of the community who can no longer live independently. Further options for its future are being discussed with Island Health and community organizations.
- Over the life of the project, construction of the new hospitals created an estimated 2,200 direct jobs and more than 1,400 indirect jobs. Patients moved in to the Comox Valley campus on Oct. 1, 2017.