Foundation notes: Site prep underway at Penticton hospital

John Moorhouse is the development and communications officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.

The South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation had booked the Shatford Centre for a June 8 public symposium into chronic pain.  We were amazed by the overflow crowd of more than 250 people who turned out.

Part of the Foundation’s mandate is to help fund medical research studies, such as a recently completed Penticton-based study into fibromyalgia pain. The medical team found their study’s results can also pertain to other types of chronic pain.

The five members of the symposium panel, headed by Penticton rheumatologist Dr. Michelle Teo, outlined their findings to the forum. The panel provided the audience with three take-home points:

1 — Chronic pain is a complex and multi-faceted condition, yet there is hope and we have many resources available in the Penticton area.

2 —A multi-disciplinary approach is the best answer for people with complex pain conditions.

3 — Patient involvement in pain self care, is as important as the expertise of health care professionals.

Public comments during a question-and-answer period indicated resources are lacking to support those who live with chronic pain. People often don’t know where to go for pain education and are not aware of local self-help programs.  Even discussing pain and its impact on lives is difficult.

However, judging by the results of a post-meeting survey, the forum was definitely worthwhile.  A list of local resources for those suffering from chronic pain is posted at

Hospital update

Site preparations are underway for the start of construction of the $312.5-million PRH expansion.

A new concrete pad for the Mobile MRI van has been poured in part of the doctors’ lower parking area off Carmi Avenue. Although businessman David Kampe generously donated $3 million for a permanent MRI at PRH, it won’t be installed and operational until the new patient care tower opens in 2019.

The hospital’s social work trailer next to the South Pavilion entrance has been relocated to near the hospital’s Psychiatric Unit off Industrial Avenue. As well, site preparation work is continuing on the vacant property (also donated by David Kampe) at Industrial and Camrose which will be a temporary staff parking lot during the construction period. Details on patient parking are expected to be announced soon by Interior Health.

Despite the upheaval that comes with a major construction project such as this, all hospital services and departments will remain in operation during this time.

Donations keep rolling in

We’ve had all kinds of positive comments about our recent donors.  This includes the incredible women involved in the Survivorship Dragon Boat team — all breast cancer survivors — who have pledged to donate $30,000 to the SOS Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to supply the medical equipment for the PRH expansion.

Kudos as well to the Penticton Lions Club which has come forward with another generous donation to our campaign.

Personal donations also keep coming in.  Our sincere thanks to June Erlendson who made a heart-felt donation in memory of her late husband Arnie, who passed away in 2012, and son Richard Jones, who died of heart disease in 1995 at age 42.  June and Arnie once owned the former Golden Dawn Cafe on Highway 3 east of Princeton.

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