The tranquil effects of the ocean as well as local artwork will play comforting roles in helping people recover at the new North Island Hospital’s Campbell River & District campus, which also features bigger rooms for more privacy and an emergency department three times larger than the previous space.
The campus was officially opened today by Health Minister Adrian Dix and North Island MLA Claire Trevena.
“We’re here to celebrate a new hospital campus for North Island families, as well as the people and community spirit behind it,” said Dix. “A lot of hard work and planning went into this facility, one where people will get quality public health care and be comforted by ocean views, along with artwork and healing gardens, hopefully making their recovery process a little less stressful.”
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.
“People throughout the region have been awaiting this new hospital for many years and I am extremely happy to see the doors officially open and families getting care in a brilliant facility for generations to come,” said Trevena. “I’ve been supporting this new campus from the outset and it’s great to see the community come together today to celebrate public health care.”
The Campbell River campus includes healing gardens for patients, visitors and staff, and in consideration of the cultural needs of the Indigenous community, there will also be traditional medicine gardens featuring plants used by Indigenous healers.
“Today we are celebrating more than a building. We are celebrating the people that worked hard to make the North Island Hospital possible. I’d like to thank those who have dedicated their skills and commitment to making today a reality,” said Roger Barnsley, Island Health’s vice board chair.
“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.
- The North Island Hospital, Campbell River & District campus is part of the North Island Hospital Project, which also includes a 153-bed campus in Comox Valley.
- The 32,316-square-metre (348,000-square-foot), 95-bed campus includes larger, single-patient rooms, an emergency department that is more than three times larger, surgical space with four operating rooms, 12 surgical daycare spaces and 10 post-anaesthetic recovery rooms, a bigger ambulatory care area to increase the number of outpatient procedures, and University of British Columbia academic teaching space.
- The hospital was designed with a sea theme including different shades of blue, which were incorporated in both exterior and interior finishing. As well, an art committee with volunteers from local museums and the art council led the design of vinyl wall images reflecting a sea theme, to enhance the emotional wellbeing of patients and staff. This includes the Living Wall, which has diverse images reflecting life in Campbell River.
- 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.
- 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 Campbell River campus on Sept. 10, 2017.