Local dignitaries from Alberta Health Services, the City of Lacombe and the Lacombe Health Trust cut the ribbon the new enhanced emergency room department at the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre. (Todd Colin Vaughan/LACOMBE EXPRESS)

WATCH: Enhanced Emergency Department opens at Lacombe Hospital

$3.1 million facility jointly funded by AHS, Lacombe Health Trust

The Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre is now home to a radically improved emergency department after Alberta Health Services (AHS) held an official grand opening for the facility.

The facility, which will open to the public on Sept. 3, features a completely revamped set-up that improves patient care and also the workflow of emergency room staff.

The $3.1 million facility was jointly funded between AHS ($1.8 million) and the Lacombe Health Trust, which raised $1.3 million through local donations and charity events such as their annual golf tournament

Jim Dixon, chair of the Lacombe Health Trust, said this project has been in the works for 10 years, with serious negations beginning in the last five. The need for improvements was first brought up by AHS leadership in 2013 and Dixon said the work of many in the Lacombe community helped AHS and the Trust address that need.

“We have very generous people here. We have had some estates that have settled into our trust and we have had a lot of local community members step up. They are all visible on our new donor wall which is down the hall. We wanted to celebrate their generosity in order to make change at the hospital of this nature,” he said.

Currently, the Lacombe Hospital serves over 25,000 people in the Lacombe region — with 25,000 patients coming into the hospital each year. Dixon said this new emergency department will greatly benefit delivery of care for those patients

Dixon believes the collaborative model the Trust established with AHS and their other partners is a model for other communities that are making changes at their local health facilities and the Trust intends to continue that model with projects in Lacombe.

“We had the ceromony in the ambulance bay this morning and I was looking around thinking there are some opporunties in here. My team is getting together in October to have another planning session because we still have a vision to make this faciltiy even better. I am not sure what’s next but we will fund something,” he said.

Kimberly Sommerville, AHS area manager for Lacombe and Bentley and site lead for the Lacombe Hospital, said the enhancements at the hospital — which were made in collaboration with her staff will improve patients care and safety for both patients and saff.

Specifically, Sommerville was impressed that the project managed to keep the same footprint of the previous emergency room.

The enhancments included betterf low and safety for patients and staff, while, at the same time, adding a triage area within the department, an admitting area, locked doors for better flow and safety, a locked medication room, procedure chairs which increase the capacity of the department and a nurses station with better sightlines to the entire department.

Sommerville was thankful to her staff for helping collaborate on these additions.

“They were integral to the design of this space,” she said. Our staff is excited to be in the new space. We have been providing continued emergency room support for the community in a temporary location. The staff and physicians have done an amazing job of maintaining that service in a less-than-ideal.

“Being able to give them this optimal space is exciting.”



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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