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'Sno-show' employees plague hospital during storm

A loader works to clear mounds of snow at Kelowna General Hospital.
January 07, 2015 - 8:40 AM

KELOWNA — While many local businesses and institutions shut down in the face of Sunday’s extreme weather, the hospital had no such luxury.

But even as chaos reigned on the city’s roads, hospital managers say the epic snowstorm that plastered the Okanagan had little impact on Kelowna General Hospital because they found needed replacements.

“While initially we did have some concerns that staff would not be able to make it in because of the weather, we were able to manage that, and there weren’t any significant impacts to our operations or the services we provide patients,” said health services administrator Sharon Cook, in a written statement.

The hospital faced the same problem that shut down classes in the Central Okanagan school district and Okanagan College.

“We did have staff that were either unable to drive to work or were affected by school closures,” added Cook, who said the health authority’s staff schedulers were able to fill in the gaps.”

She gave credit as well to the hospital’s plant services staff for keeping clear the roads and parking lots that surround the Interior’s largest hospital.

On the patient care side, Cook said extreme weather usually means a change in the pattern of cases emergency room staff will see.

“Right now we are seeing pretty typical presentations of winter-weather related injuries, many due to slips and falls,” she said.

While the hospital managed well during the storm, Cook urged local residents to take extra care as they dig out from one of the Central Okanagan’s biggest snow dumps in decades.

“It’s important for people to take extra caution, particularly with lots of snow and icy conditions, whether you’re walking, shovelling, driving or playing in the snow,” she said.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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