On September 23, the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation hosted a celebration at VJH to announce the completion of the Building a Tower of Care Campaign, Phase II.
“Due to the generosity of the North Okanagan community and beyond, Tower of Care, Phase II has been a great success, surpassing its goal of $2.5 million in less than two years,” said Elise Allan, VJH Foundation President.
The Campaign was launched in November 2013, to raise funds to equip and furnish the top two floors of Polson Tower to alleviate capacity issues at VJH.
“We anticipated this to be a three-year fundraising initiative,” said Campaign Co-Chair Richard Finn. “Finishing a year early is a testament to the generosity and determination of North Okanagan residents, businesses and organizations. These past two years has been an incredible experience, seeing our community joining together and making positive advancements for our families, our friends and our neighbours.”
The campaign was bolstered by major gifts from the Kiwanis Club of Vernon – Four Seasons, whose $250,000 donation resulted in an opportunity to name the 6th Floor of the Tower. The Armstrong/Spallumcheen Health Care Auxiliary donated $110,000 from proceeds of sales at the Bargain Bin thrift store in Armstrong. The 4th, 5th and 6th annual VJH Foundation Charity Classic events sponsored by TELUS and Predator Ridge Resort raised $528,780.62 net for the Campaign, while the Foundation’s Light a Bulb 2013 and 2014 campaigns raised a combined $504,108.
“It is also important to acknowledge that a significant number of campaign contributions were less than $500,” said Campaign Co-Chair Chris Cunningham. “Every donation made an impact in helping us achieve our mission to support health care in the North Okanagan.”
Allan thanked the Campaign Leadership volunteers including Co-Chairs Dr. Chris Cunningham and Richard Finn, Myrika Godard, Peter Hill, Gurjit Jhajj, Darryl O’Brian, On Ouchs and Rob Tedham.
The Foundation also unveiled a new logo that focuses on the ‘Foundation,’ highlighting the support provided to much-needed areas of health care in addition to Vernon Jubilee Hospital. VJH Foundation funds the most crucial health care needs; specialized equipment, staff education and residential care facilities and community based programs in Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby, which include seniors’ day programs, health-related support groups, and patient comforts. Examples are the Lions Vision Centre in Armstrong, Granville Getaway Adult Day Program in Enderby, Public Health programs in Lumby and Cherryville, as well as staff training in the Emergency Department at VJH.
Construction was completed in October 2015. Equipment was installed from November to January, while staff received training on new procedures and equipment usage. Inpatients on the 2 and 3 floors were moved onto the new floors at the end of January, with direct admissions to the 6th and 7th floors scheduled taking place at the beginning of February 2016.
Additional funds raised will be directed to refurbishing the vacated space on 2nd and 3rd floors of the Jubilee Building at VJH.
The four semi-private and 22 single-bed rooms per floor will help promote improved patient experience by providing access to light and views, decreased noise levels, a family and nursing zone in every room, and improved infection prevention and control features. Every bed includes a patient lift to decrease incidents of falls and staff injuries.
Each floor features a Quiet Room, Nourishment Centre, Tub & Shower Room, as well as an Airborne Isolation Room designed to reduce airborne transmitted infections.
In September 2011, five floors of the Polson Tower opened at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. This brought state of the art facilities to many departments of the hospital. As part of the construction, two additional floors were shelled-in for future use as inpatient wards.
Once the new hospital was in use, it quickly became apparent that VJH required improved capacity. That capacity would need to come from the completion of the top two floors of Polson Tower.
On February 7, 2013, then-Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmed announced a $29.6 million project to convert two shelled-in floors into acute care wards. There will be a total of 60 beds on these two floors that will not only improve capacity, but also increase patient comfort, privacy and safety.