People in Kamloops and throughout the Thompson, Cariboo and Shuswap regions are closer to improved access to health-care services as the construction phase completes for the Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Tower at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH).

“Our government is a proud supporter of this major project,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “When this new tower opens to patients in July 2022, residents in this region will have access to quality public health care in a modern, state-of-the-art facility.”

“Today marks a new era at Royal Inland Hospital as Interior Health takes possession of the new Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Tower,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO, Interior Health. “Patients throughout the region will receive the highest standard of care in one of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced hospitals in B.C., and I would like to congratulate all of our partners on the successful completion of this beautiful, modern building.”

Designed with direct input from local health-care workers, the nine-storey tower will help streamline the way people access services in the hospital. There will be one main entrance and a spacious facility that will allow staff to provide world-class care in a space designed to modern standards. The tower includes single-patient rooms with their own washrooms, large spaces for families to gather and the ability for Indigenous smudging practices to occur in patient rooms.

There will be a new operating room and surgical services suite, more beds, medical surgical inpatient units, respiratory therapy services and a new rooftop helipad that will eliminate the need for an ambulance as patients can be brought directly to the trauma rooms in the tower.

“We are proud to be a part of the development of the Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Tower,” said Heidi Coleman, chief executive officer, Royal Inland Hospital Foundation. “With our community’s support, we are able to be a strong funding partner, giving us the ability to help our health-care staff and physicians provide exceptional care each day at Royal Inland Hospital.”

As well, the tower will have a mental-health and substance-use inpatient unit, child and adolescent mental-health services, obstetrical services, labour, delivery and a neo-natal intensive-care unit as well as a first-floor atrium and patient registration area.

Each floor will feature a spirit animal motif as selected by Secwépemc Elders and supported by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief and Council. The first floor will also feature a cultural wall, which will be an artistic representation of the Indigenous communities that make up Secwepemcúlecw.

Once the tower opens, Phase 2 will begin to include renovation and expansion to the emergency department at the hospital as well as enhancements to pediatrics and post-anesthetic recovery.

The cost of the project is approximately $417 million. The provincial government contributed $203.5 million, the Thompson Regional Hospital District contributed $172 million, Interior Health contributed $21.6 million and the RIH Foundation provided $20 million, which will go toward the purchase of equipment.

EllisDon was selected by Interior Health in 2018 to design, build, partially finance and maintain the tower. Facilities maintenance at RIH has transitioned to EllisDon Facilities Services Inc., which will provide maintenance services at RIH for 30 years.

“Together, through fires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams successfully completed the first phase of construction at Royal Inland Hospital,” said Ben Deeley, vice-president, EllisDon Capital. “Now, we look forward to the continuation of a partnership that will span the next 30 years and see the residents of Kamloops and the Thompson, Cariboo and Shuswap receive care in a state-of-the-art, well-maintained facility.”

Featured image: (B.C. Ministry of Health)

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