Renovations and upgrades are coming to the Emergency Department at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, which will be known as the Teck Emergency Department following a $2.5 million donation from the mining company, which operates the Highland Valley Mine near Logan Lake.
The announcement on April 4 noted that the Emergency Department will feature antimicrobial copper surfaces and equipment, designed to protect patients and health care workers. 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.
The renovations and upgrades to the Emergency Department at RIH are part of Phase 2 work at the site, which includes the new nine-storey Phil and Jennie Gaglardi Tower. The tower is scheduled to open in mid-July 2022, and work on the Teck Emergency Department will start shortly thereafter, with a planned completion date of 2026. The work will take place in stages, and the current emergency facilities will remain open for the duration.
The renovated emergency department will offer expanded care, and will aim to reduce wait times at one of the busiest emergency departments in the Interior.
The donation from Teck builds on more than 25 years of support to the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation by Teck and its employees at Teck Highland Valley Copper Operations. It is also the latest in a series of contributions made to hospitals across B.C., including St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital, and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital.
There is no commercial benefit to Teck from the increased use of antimicrobial copper at RIH, as the amount of metal needed is very small. The goal of the program is to improve health and safety for communities, and Teck has funded numerous initiatives across a range of industries and public facilities to help improve health and safety in high-traffic, high-touch areas through the installation of antimicrobial copper.
Teck’s Copper & Health program has installed copper surfaces in a number of health care facilities, on public transit in partnership with TransLink and the Toronto Transit Commission, and in schools through partnerships with BCIT, SFU, and UBC.
“Through our Copper & Health program Teck is helping to make communities safer through the use of antimicrobial copper in public spaces,” says Don Lindsay, Teck CEO and President. “Royal Inland Hospital provides care in the same region as our Highland Valley Copper operation and we’re very proud to make this important contribution supporting the health and well-being of health care workers, patients and the public for years to come.”
“Teck’s gift will help ensure RIH’s capacity to keep pace with the complex, urgent care needs of Kamloops’ growing and aging population and the demand for specialized, interdisciplinary care,” says Heidi Coleman, CEO of the RIH Foundation. “As the only tertiary referral hospital in our area, the new Teck Emergency Department at RIH will thoroughly and dramatically transform patient-centred care within our community.”