Nakusp’s emergency ward hasn’t been upgraded since the 1970s

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

Much-needed renovations to the Arrow Lakes Hospital’s emergency ward are going ahead with the announcement today of $2.1 million in funding for the project.

Calling it a “happy day for Nakusp and the Slocan Valley”, officials with Interior Health, the provincial government and local politicians set aside their differences and were all smiles making the announcement at the hospital this morning.

“I’m really proud to announce the provincial government, along with our partners in Interior Health, and the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District, are supporting the redevelopment of the Arrow Lakes emergency department,” said Katrine Conroy, the MLA for the area.

The emergency ward, which saw 3,700 visits in the last year, hasn’t been updated since it was first built in the mid-1970s.

Among the work to be done includes a new dedicated triage area; two new trauma bays; renovated patient exam bays with improved privacy; new utility rooms; and an enclosed multi-purpose meeting room near the emergency department for family consultations or waiting space for family during trauma situations.

“My family’s had a lot of health care visits to hospitals and ER, I know how important it is for a family to have a private space in a hospital,” said Conroy. “So I’m very happy to see that part of the process.”

The announcement had been anticipated for several weeks, after intense lobbying by Nakusp Mayor Karen Hamling and other WKBRD officials, who had set the renovations as a priority for four years. Hamling took her case to Conroy after Interior Health insisted local governments pay 100 per cent of the cost of the project. Usually the District pays 40 per cent.

Under the announcement today, Interior Health will pay the other 60 per cent of the cost of the renovations.

Conroy noted the role Nakusp’s mayor and council played in getting the project moving.

“To Mayor Karen Hamling and your council, you have been troopers through all this and your persistence and patience has been exemplary and I want to commend you on your tireless advocacy for the people of Nakusp,” the minister said.

“I don’t like the word tenacious for her because she’s a little too gentle for that,” said WKRBD chair Aimee Watson. “But she is persistent and clear, and knows her work. It wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without Mayor Hamling.”

Hamling took the praise in stride.

“Council and I are very thankful and excited that this project is finally happening,” she said, adding it couldn’t have happened without the backing of the village council for her position.

“[Interior Health Chair] Pat [Dooley] said she was ecstatic, well I am also ecstatic in case anybody hasn’t noticed,” she joked.

Interior Health will start the project design in April 2018 and then move to tender for construction services. It will take approximately one year to complete the emergency department redevelopment from the start of construction.

Work would take place in three phases to ensure ongoing care is provided at the site. The project should be completed by the end of 2019.


MLA Katrine Conroy made the announcement today in Nakusp

Just Posted

Fernie local apprehended after break and enter

Elk Valley RCMP Early in the morning of Saturday, March 17, an… Continue reading

Former Riders coach reflects

Mohr looking for new opportunities after contract ends

Athletes ready for world stage

Three Fernie athletes to compete in the world’s biggest junior freeride competition.

Hydro prices to surge

Elk Valley businesses brace for 3 per cent Hydro rate increase.

Elk Valley rallies for car fire victim

Aussie loses everything in car fire

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

Sparwood skaters impress

Club farewells coach

Army cadets test survival skills

Cadets endure -18C conditions

Exhibition builds compassion

Opioid use in focus

Medicinal cannabis patient shares story

Fernie mom spreads compassion

Epic deal for FAR

RCR signs new partnership

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Most Read