Combined provincial and federal government grant helps Sun Peaks Health Association build toward long term vision

File photo.

Thanks to a grant jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Sun Peaks Community Health (SPCH) Centre will begin construction on an ambulance and triage bay this fall with an expected completion date of autumn 2023.

The grant was applied for after the Sun Peaks Health Association became aware of it in December 2020, with applications due the following month.

“It was really a Herculean effort on behalf of the [Sun Peaks] Health Association, the Health Centre staff, primarily Dr. Barclay and the resource committee, to figure out how to pull this proposal together,” Chris Hollstedt, president of the Sun Peaks Health Association, told SPIN.

The grant will cover 100 per cent of the project’s cost and will help the Sun Peaks Health Association move toward its vision of improving healthcare access to a diverse patient population.

The enclosed ambulance bay will provide better patient and healthcare provider safety and more space for staff to transfer patients to paramedics in a warm triage bay.

“Patient transport [and handoff] is a really important thing for our community so we wanted to provide an area that will really enhance and improve our ability to get some improved ambulance services up here,” Hollstedt explained.

In the future, Hollstedt said they hope projects like this will help the Sun Peaks Health Association move toward its long term goal of adding capacity to the SPCH Centre by creating a “state-of-the-art” space.

Hollstedt explained they are aiming to do so by creating better on-site care and virtual care so patients can connect with specialists from Kamloops.

“We’re really hopeful that by having appropriate facilities and medical professionals, we can add much needed capacity regionally. We’re also hoping we can, in the future, partner with [Interior Health] to get the appropriate health care capacity that our patient population needs,” said Hollstedt.

Essentially, Hollstedt said the goal is to avoid unnecessary medical transfers to Kamloops by having a facility that can retain a variety of highly qualified medical staff to meet residents’, guests’, seasonal and long-term employees’ and rural community members’ diverse medical needs.

“That’s a 45 minute drive [to Kamloops] on a good day, [and] obviously a lot longer with inclement weather and any kind of road condition change. By having medical care here we will continue to improve patient outcomes and overall experience by providing services locally,” explained Hollstedt.

“And we’ll also provide a better space for those medical professionals and first responders. They do a great job, they provide an amazing service and so it’s really important to provide them with a good space.”

You can learn more about the details of the grant by clicking here.

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