Erwin Malzer

Erwin Malzer

VJH project nearing an end

IHA chairperson Erwin Malzer visited Vernon Monday as part of his regional tour of the health authority.

Health care is moving up in Vernon.

Along with 85 new residential care beds planned locally, Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s top two floors in the Polson Tower are nearing completion.

“It’s on time and as planned,” said Erwin Malzer, Interior Health Authority chairperson. “It will be fully operational by next year.”

Malzer visited  Vernon Monday as part of his regional tour of the health authority.

He met with local government representatives, MLA Eric Foster, the hospital administration team, physicians, staff members and more to discuss challenges and successes and receive progress reports on new initiatives and projects.

“There is a beautiful, brand new floor upstairs,” said Foster of the $30-million expansion which will add 60 beds to the Polson Tower (30 on each floor).

Of those, 16 will be new beds and the remaining 46 will be relocated from elsewhere in the hospital.

The move ends the days of cramming four patients in a single room.

“They’re not just better for patients and families, they are much better for staff,” said Malzer of a single-bed room such as those in the new tower.

“They are much more spacious, much more comfortable.”

But VJH isn’t the only place gaining beds locally. IHA has put out the tender for 85 new residential care beds in Vernon, along with 100 in Kelowna.

“There have been multiple bids and we should hear shortly,” said Malzer.

Meanwhile, the shortage of family physicians continues to be a problem in the region, particularly for the smaller communities.

“We promote the recruitment of physicians,” said Malzer. “A lot of that is working with communities to help make them more attractive.”

During his tour, Malzer was also made aware of some additional issues at VJH. But he would not divulge any details.

“We are aware of the challenges and we are always looking to improve,” he said, noting that there are only so many dollars to go around.

Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund said the aging and outdated psychiatric unit was one area hospital staff pointed out on the tour.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swans and eagles

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

A male kingfisher at Vernon’s Polson Park. (David Guscott/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
$78K in conservation grants awarded in the North Okanagan

The RDNO announced four recipients of its 2021 Conservation Fund Friday

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Central Okanagan school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say the person is self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read