Jim Dixon, chair of the Lacombe Health Trust, kicked off renovations at the Lacombe Hospitals Emergency department. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Jim Dixon, chair of the Lacombe Health Trust, kicked off renovations at the Lacombe Hospitals Emergency department. Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express

Construction begins on Lacombe Hospital Emergency Department improvements

$3.1 million project a collaboration between AHS and the Lacombe Health Trust

The Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre’s recently announced $3.1 million expansion recently kicked off with members of the Lacombe Health Trust taking down the walls of the old emergency department.

The expansion provides much-needed improvements to emergency department, which had long since outgrown its capacity.

Jim Dixon, chair of the Lacombe Health Trust, said the beginning of this renovation is the culmination of five-year journey.

We are here today to kick off the renovation of the Lacombe Hospital Emergency Department.

The start of this project is very exciting for us because we have been on a five-year journey to get to this spot.

“Five years ago, some doctors and emergency nurses approaches us with some concerns about our emergency department, so we started on a journey of building this change,” he said. “We are very happy to partner with AHS and we have had some very generous donations over the last couple years that have put us in a spot to make this project a reality.”

To fund the project, the Trust donated $1.3 million, to pair along with $1.8 from Alberta Health Services (AHS)

Dixon said the money will go a long way to addressing the concerns identified in the feasibility study five years ago.

“There was security concerns; there was patient-flow concerns; there was concerns with the treatment stations, nursing areas and areas for doctors to do their work — so a lot of change was required,” he said. “We started five years ago with a feasibility study and now we are making a total change to this department that meets the needs of staff and the patients that come through here.”

Dixon said that disruption at the hospital in the maximum of nine months the renovation will take will be minimal

“The staff here has been wonderful,” he said. “They have been through other renovations we have supported, for instance some work we did in the lab a few years ago.

“They have used under-utilized portions of the hospital for emergency, so people will have to go to a different spot but will receive the same quality treatment they always have.”

In addition, the improvements to the Lacombe Hospital could help alleviate some of the over-capacity concerns at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

“We would hope so. This hospital gets very well used and after people see what comes with this renovation, they will want to come here,” Dixon said.


todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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