Column: Excitement building as construction winds down

Penticton Regional Hospital expansion to expected to be substantially completed Dec. 15

The excitement is definitely building as construction of Penticton Regional Hospital’s new David E. Kampe Tower winds down. Work is scheduled to be substantially completed by Dec. 15, when Interior Health will officially take possession of the new building from EllisDon Infrastructure, the government’s private sector partner which has handled construction of the $312-million project.

The SOS Medical Foundation still has $1.9 million left to raise in our $20-million fundraising drive to provide the medical equipment for the PRH expansion. This is the final year our annual Tree of Dreams campaign will be solely focused on the project. Although $1.9 million is still a lot of money, we’re 90 percent of the way towards reaching our goal. Please consider a donation.

The new hospital tower will open for patients on April 29, 2019. Construction then begins on Phase 2, including a major expansion of the Emergency Department.

As the opening date for the PRH tower approaches, the SOS Medical Foundation has been making some big payments for the equipment included in the facility.

To date, we have already spent $6 million with the majority of equipment invoices yet to come. In recent weeks, we wrote cheques totalling $929,461 for angiography (cardio) equipment, anesthesia equipment, exam tables and more.

A big thank you to the owners of the Peach concession stand on Lakeshore Drive. They’ve launched a “Light Up the Peach” campaign in support of PRH, inviting residents to donate $25 to sign their name on a Christmas ornament to be hung on the Penticton landmark. Everyone is invited to a special Light Up celebration at the Peach on Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. with hot chocolate, kids’ dances, carolling and more. Donations can be made online at sosmedicalfoundation.com or in person at the SOS Medical Foundation office at PRH, Castanet on Main Street, or Total Restoration on Commercial Way.

Every September, metal detector enthusiasts search for buried treasure at Sudbury Beach on Skaha Lake. It’s the annual “Treasures in the Sand” competition hosted by the Okanagan Treasure Hunters Club. Over the past four years, the Treasure Hunters have donated more than $15,000 in proceeds from this event to help provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion.

Our thanks to all the Treasure Hunters for their support, including a $4,500 donation this year. Fantastic!

We just can’t say enough about Pat Wand. Over the years, she has been a huge supporter of local health care, having donated more than $75,000 in cash and in-kind donations. Pat, who operates bottle depots every Saturday at the IGA parking lots in Penticton and Summerland, purchases teddy bears and other plush toys for children after they have undergone surgery at PRH or the Summerland Health Centre. She has also donated more than $24,000 in cash to the SOS Medical Foundation’s tower campaign. Thanks Pat – and a big hug on behalf of all the youngsters your stuffies help comfort.

Thanks as well to the South Okanagan branch of the Vintage Car Club of Canada which has made a sizeable donation to PRH. As an added treat, club governor Morley McDonald brought along his 1950 Ford pick-up truck.

The truck cost $1,278 when brand new. Last year, the Vintage Car Club also donated towards a new treatment chair for the cardio unit at PRH. Greatly appreciated!

John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. For information on donating, please call or visit their website. 250-492-9027 sosmedicalfoundation.com

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