VERNON - Health Minister Michael de Jong, Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster, physicians and staff officially opened the Polson Tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital (VJH).
The $180-million Polson Tower has added 16,815 square metres (181,000 square feet) of space to the VJH site. More space has allowed for the expansion of operating rooms and the emergency department.
Other highlights of the new tower include:
- The creation of new intensive care and coronary units.
- New maternity/paediatrics ward with direct links to operating rooms.
- New and more efficient central sterilization services.
- Expanded ambulatory care and outpatient clinics.
- New ambulance space.
- Full integration with the existing hospital.
The expanded and modernized facilities at Vernon Jubilee Hospital provide a better environment for patients and staff. A series of programs and services have also been modernized and consolidated to improve patient care. Vacated space within VJH will leave room for other programs and services.
The Polson Tower is part of the Kelowna and Vernon Hospitals Project, which is all about building better care for Interior residents. Construction of a new UBC medical school building and the Centennial Patient Care Tower at Kelowna General Hospital are all part of this $432-million project.
From the groundbreaking in November 2008 to patient occupancy in September 2011, the successful project was completed on time and on budget. The Polson Tower was built as a public-private partnership with Infusion Health, who will continue with building maintenance over the life of the contract. The North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District provided $67.4 million toward the capital costs of this project.
Built to LEED Gold standards, the seven-storey Polson Tower was designed from a patient-focused perspective, with extensive input from clinical staff. The new tower offers an enhanced environment for healing with a focus on the elderly, who are both patients and visitors.
The Polson Tower is named after Samuel Polson; who in 1908 donated the land on which the current hospital resides.
Norman Embree, board chair, Interior Health -
"With larger spaces, improved efficiencies, and the latest technology, this new tower will enable our physicians and staff to provide the excellent care for which they are known in a much improved environment."
Rhona Martin, chair, North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District -
"With growing excitement, we have watched this building rise out of the ground for three years now. Today is an historic day for the residents of this area, and we should celebrate the accomplishment of improved patient care for the whole region."
- Since 2002, over $1 billion worth of capital projects has been invested in Interior Health by the Province and partners.
- The tower is more than twice the size of the Wesbild Centre, home to the BCHL Vernon Vipers, and is also the tallest building in Vernon.
- Through Infusion Health, Graham Design Builders and Stantec Consulting were responsible for the construction of the tower.
- Construction of the Polson Tower began Nov. 17, 2008. It opened to patients Sept. 25, 2011.
- The Kelowna and Vernon Hospitals Project is the largest health-care capital construction project in the history of Interior Health.
- The Kelowna and Vernon Hospitals Project is responsible for creating about 2,700 jobs.
For more information on the Kelowna and Vernon Hospitals Project, visit: www.buildingpatientcare.ca
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