On Oct. 21, Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and Teck Resources Limited celebrated the beginning of construction of the new Teck Emergency Department at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH).
Teck contributed $2.5 million towards the hospital’s new emergency department, which will feature the installation of innovative antimicrobial copper surfaces and equipment to help protect patients and health care workers.
The Teck Emergency Department ushers in a new era for RIH, with renovations scheduled to be complete in 2026. When finished, the department will offer expanded care and enhanced patient outcomes in one of the busiest emergency/trauma centres in the B.C. Interior, which serves a catchment area of more than 250,000 people. The facility upgrades will result in reduced wait times for access to treatment.
Copper has unique antimicrobial properties and is proven effective in eliminating up to 99.9 per cent of harmful bacteria within two hours of contact. When installed in high-touch, high-traffic locations, copper can help reduce the spread of infectious disease. Research has shown that every year, patients in Canada contract infections in health care settings, and copper’s antimicrobial properties are a proven tool to help minimize this risk.
The donation builds on more than 25 years of support to Royal Inland Hospital Foundation by Teck and its employees at Teck Highland Valley Copper near Logan Lake. It is also part of a series of contributions to install antimicrobial copper surfaces in numerous institutions across B.C., including Thompson Rivers University, Science World, Vancouver International Airport, Lions Gate Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
“Teck is proud to support better health outcomes at Royal Inland Hospital through our contribution to the new Teck Emergency Department,” says Don Lindsay, Teck’s Executive Vice Chair. “The installation of antimicrobial copper surfaces will enhance safety for patients, health care workers, and visitors in this new state of the art department.”
Matt Parrilla, General Manager of Teck Highland Valley Copper Operations, says that “Our employees at Highland Valley value the care that the staff at Royal Inland Hospital provides for the interior of British Columbia. We live and work in this community and are proud that we have supported the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation for more than 25 years.”
“Teck’s $2.5 million contribution to the new Teck Emergency Department will allow the doctors and the nurses to better serve patients in our region,” says Heidi Coleman, CEO of the RIH Foundation. “It is going to transform the way we do medicine in the emergency department.
“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Teck and Highland Valley Copper for this wonderful gift.
“They are our friends, our family, and an important part of our community.”
There is no commercial benefit to Teck from the increased use of antimicrobial copper, as the amount of metal needed is very small. The goal of the program is to improve health and safety for communities.
For more information about the role of antimicrobial copper, the Copper and Health program, and other examples of copper in action, visit www.coppersaveslives.com.