People on the North Shore and in coastal communities are closer to accessing public health-care services in a modern environment as work begins on a new patient care tower at Lions Gate Hospital.
This includes the Sea-to-Sky corridor, Sunshine Coast, Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola on the Central Coast, as well as local Indigenous communities.
“It’s an exciting day for people in the region as shovels are going in the ground for the new tower,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “People will be able to get quality, publicly funded health care in a state-of-the-art facility, which will also help attract and retain health-care workers in the Coastal Community of Care as they prepare for any challenges that may lay ahead.”
The six-storey Paul Myers Tower will have eight operating rooms, a pre-operative and post-operative care area, including anesthesia intervention and isolation rooms. There will be 108 beds in 84 single rooms. All will have ensuite washrooms.
The new acute care tower will be built on the current Lions Gate Hospital site where the former North Vancouver General Hospital was located. Also known as the Activation building, it was demolished in spring 2017.
Vancouver Coastal Health is working in collaboration with representatives from Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations to ensure both the design of the new tower and the services provided support the provision of culturally safe care.
The tower is expected to be ready for patients in 2024.
The project cost of approximately $310 million will be shared between the Province, Vancouver Coastal Health, and a $100-million fundraising campaign by Lions Gate Hospital Foundation. The new tower is named after North Shore businessperson and philanthropist Paul Myers, who donated $25 million.
“People on the North Shore deserve to know that there’s a modern, high-quality hospital facility available in their community if they or their loved ones ever find themselves in the position to require acute care,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of State for Infrastructure and MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “Our government’s decision to take action on building a new Lions Gate Hospital tower is incredibly important to our community and I’m pleased to see construction underway.”
Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver-Seymour, said: “We are all glad that this new tower is being built, as it will reflect the increased complexity of modern medical care and highlights the importance of infection control. I, too, want to thank the various funding partners for this project, which adds another component to improvements of our overall health-service provision to the community and province.”
Lions Gate Hospital provides a full range of acute care services and many specialized services. The hospital has 254 beds, eight operating rooms, and a variety of diagnostic services and equipment.
Chief Jen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation –
“As Indigenous Peoples, we have had a long and complicated history with the health-care system, and we look forward to walking a new path with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure that the historical and systemic racism and discrimination documented in the In Plain Sight report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is not repeated when it comes to providing care for our Tsleil-Waututh community. We are hopeful about forging a new relationship with Vancouver Coastal Health to ensure we are on the path to transformative change together and that this relationship is, in the sense of true partnership, collaboratively planning health services for our Tsleil-Waututh people.”
Sxwíxwtn Wilson Williams, Squamish Nation spokesperson –
“The Squamish Nation looks forward to the completion of the Paul Myers Tower at Lions Gate Hospital and the expansion of medical services it will offer to our people. We are hopeful that the commitment to provide culturally safe medical care to all Indigenous people, is the first step to implementing the recommendations of Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond's report, In Plain Sight. Our Nation looks forward to the continued collaboration with Vancouver Coastal Health and Tsleil-Waututh Nation, because our communities are stronger when we work together.”
Vivian Eliopoulos, president and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health –
“We’re pleased that construction has begun on a new acute-care tower at Lions Gate Hospital, which brings us one step closer to improving access to care for residents on the North Shore, Coastal and surrounding Indigenous communities. The new tower will enhance the experience of patients and families accessing care with an innovative patient-centred design.”
Judy Savage, president and CEO, Lions Gate Hospital Foundation –
“Paul Myers’ initial leadership gift of $25 million inspired a remarkable community fundraising effort to invest in the future of health care and I would like to extend my heart-felt appreciation to all those who supported the historic $100 million campaign. This will be an exciting time for us all to see the new Paul Myers Tower rise from the ground to herald a new era of health care on the North Shore.”