New Comox Valley hospital opens Sunday

New Comox Valley hospital opens Sunday

$333 million, 153 bed facility will replace aging 104 year old St. Joseph’s Hospital.

St Joseph’s Hospital has served the Comox Valley for 104 years, but on Sunday it will replaced by the brand new North Island Hospital, Comox Valley campus in Courtenay.

“Well it is an exciting time for our community and for St. Joe’s it’s a mix of emotions” explained St. Joseph’s Hospital CEO Jane Murphy. “Great pride in providing hospital care for the last 104 years.”

While St. Joseph’s kept up with medical advancements over the decades, the new hospital will feature the very latest in medical technology.

“Most of the equipment in the new facilities is new and so that represents quite a significant improvement for us because technology and equipment changes over time.” said Jeff Beselt, Emergency Room physician and Executive Medical Director, Geography 1, with Island Health.

One major improvement is that both Comox Valley and Campbell River hospitals now have their own MRI machines, and don’t have to share a portable one like in the past.

The new facility is also much roomier.

“It’s way way bigger than our old hospital” said Beselt. “If you look at different areas, for example in the emergency department where I work, it’s significantly larger. There are more areas to care for patients but even if it was the same number of bays it would also be quite larger just because of the different privacy elements and circulation space and that sort of thing. But there’s also a lot more spaces for us to care for patients compared to our existing facilities as well.”

The move in will take place on Sunday.

Ambulances and transfer vehicles will be moving the 100 patients from the old hospital to the new.

“It’s really well orchestrated and a real focus on how do we make sure that experience is positive for the patients and so they will be escorted by staff and North Island College nursing students are also a part of that.” added Murphy.

The former St. Joseph’s site will continue to provide residential care.

“We will proudly continue to provide residential care in The Views and we have an exciting vision of developing the beautiful 17 acre site into an “aging in place” campus of care for seniors in the Comox Valley.” said Murphy.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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