Today is the first anniversary of the Polson tower opening at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Today is the first anniversary of the Polson tower opening at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Hospital tower celebrates first anniversary

Planning also continues for additional acute care beds in two unfinished floors

A major advancement in health care has been around for a year now.

The Polson tower at Vernon Jubilee Hospital has its first anniversary today.

“It feels like just yesterday we were opening this fantastic new patient care tower,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA.

A lot has happened since the tower opened Sept. 25, 2011. In the first 11 months, there were 32,643 visits to the new emergency department, more than 6,700 surgeries performed, and 612 babies born in the tower.

The $180-million facility added 16,815 square metres of space to the VJH site.

“The Polson tower is a bright and beautiful building to work in,” said Pam Randall the operating room material management co-ordinator at VJH.

“Since moving in it feels like everyone is more upbeat, and after 34 years working at VJH, the Polson tower has given me a second wind.”

The next step now is planning for acute care beds in the two unfinished floors in the tower. A business case for the beds has been submitted to the Ministry of Health.

“We’re getting closer to the point when we can announce details of the plan, including the type and number of beds, scope of work, timeframe and estimated cost,” said Foster.

In addition, the process to update the master site plan at VJH is underway.

A request for proposals to provide master planning consulting services recently closed Sept. 18.

The Interior Health Authority anticipates awarding the successful proposal by the end of the month, with completion of the updated master site plan in December.