PENTICTON - South Okanagan politicians and the medical community are basking in the pride of a mission accomplished as opening day for the new hospital tower at Penticton Regional Hospital approaches.
Political, health officials and members of the Penticton Indian Band were on hand this afternoon, April 12, to officially open the David E. Kampe Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.
The $312 million dollar, six-storey facility will house 86 single patient rooms, a new ambulatory care centre, five new operating rooms and a dedicated Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine.
The tower was named after one of the region’s biggest contributors of private funding to the hospital, David E. Kampe, who was on hand for today’s opening along with provincial health minister Adrian Dix.
“I feel truly blessed to be part of this occasion and to be here today that so many people have worked on,” Dix said. “It’s an extraordinary thing.”
Dix noted the hospital new MRI imaging machine was state of the art, and capable of scans in half the time of the hospital’s previous unit, allowing for up to 5,000 scans annually.
He said hospitals of the past sometimes had histories of not being welcoming to every member of the community, calling the role of the Penticton Indian Band in the building of the new tower important.
“Because those hospitals I talked about that were made in the 50s and 60s weren’t always welcome to our whole community, and that was particularly true of our indigenous community,” Dix said. "It’s our obligation to start with grace and ensure this is a place that is welcome to everyone from the first day."
An open house for staff and family to tour the new facility will take place tomorrow, April 13, from 10 a.m. until noon, followed by an opportunity for the general public to view the hospital from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The tower will open to patients on April 29.
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