From left, Carl Meadows, Acute Health Service administrator at Penticton Regional Hospital, Pati Hill, a former PRH patient, and Brent Kruschel, Capital Planning and Projects Chief Project Officer with Interior Health, pose for a photo on opening day of the David E. Kampe Tower on Monday. (Robin Grant/Penticton Western News)

‘It feels lived in on day one’: South Okanagan hospital opens

Single-patient rooms, surgical rooms, satellite imaging and rooftop helipad all ready for patients

The Penticton Regional Hospital’s new David E. Kampe Tower officially opened its doors on Monday.

“It feels lived in on day one,” said Carl Meadows, Acute Health Service administrator with the hospital on Monday afternoon.

READ MORE: Going to the new Penticton hospital tower? Here are the access points

“I was expecting a little more chaos so I think it is absolutely fantastic. It’s just great to see everyone so happy at such a great venue.”

On Sunday, staff and volunteers all helped more than 70 patients move into the new location, he said, and everything ran smoothly.

READ MORE: Video: Virtual tour of the David E. Kampe tower

“This has been a 10-year-in-the-making project so everybody knew what to do, and our volunteers are helping people with way-finding, so it really has gone miraculously well,” he said.

READ MORE: Who is on the new Penticton hospital commemorative stamp?

The six-storey tower has 84 single-patient rooms, five new surgical rooms, satellite medial imaging, a rooftop helipad and 480 parking stalls, all of which are ready to take patients.

Meadows said, so far, the doctors, nurses and patients seem happy with the new hospital.

“It’s first-class, right? It’s only single-patient rooms, which is better for infection control and privacy. It’s a win-win all around. They’re just thrilled.”

READ MORE: New parkade and payment system at Penticton Regional Hospital

Pati Hill, a former PRH patient who is now a volunteer with the Patient Voices Network, called the David E. Kampe Tower a ‘towering achievement.’

“Everyone who has participated in bringing this project through to today deserves a pat on the head,” she said.

“It allows the staff more room and more technology to make enhancements to patient care. The single-occupancy rooms give patients privacy to heal and to receive the support from their families and friends.”

For phase two of the new tower, renovations to the emergency department will begin in May or June, said Meadows.

“When you walk into that emergency entrance that whole area is going to be patient care areas for waiting, more comforts where there is more breathing room, more confidentiality, and better streaming to make sure the right patients get to the right service,” he said.

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Robin Grand
Reporter, Penticton Western News
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