Patients and staff will benefit tremendously from a newly-completed and larger, upgraded emergency department at the Stettler Hospital and Care Centre.
Renovations run the gamut from a new, larger space for improved patient flow, a more secure and safe department for patients and staff, a two-stretcher trauma room and a new entrance to the ER to an upgraded cardiac monitoring system, upgraded patient lifts, improved lighting, a private physician consultation area plus more stretcher and treatment chairs.
“It really is a special day. The enhancements that have been made through the collaborative efforts of AHS, the provincial government, and the (Stettler) Health Foundation are truly something to be celebrated,” said Nate Horner, MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, adding that the upgraded ER area will officially open on June 28th.
“The Stettler hospital serves a large geographic area – one that also experiences population growth as visitors flock to the shores of Buffalo Lake not far from here,” added Horner. “More than 16,000 visits are made to the emergency department annually.
“I am grateful for the work that’s been achieved, appreciative for the Foundation and the community for their generous support of this project, and to staff, physicians and volunteers for the care they provide to Stettler and area residents,” said Horner.
The renovations are part of a multi-year, $9.3 million project which will wrap up by early next year.
“This has been a long journey,” said Sean Nolls, mayor of Stettler. “Everyone has done a lot of work. And to be here today, knowing that we only have one more phase, is really amazing.
“To have this upgraded facility means a lot to us and to the residents of the Town and the County. I’m proud to be part of a community that has a place like this – and just one more phase to go which I’m also really excited about. I’m happy to be here.”
Larry Clarke, Reeve of Stettler County, said it was an honour to be at the renovation unveiling and to thank those involved with bringing the project to fruition.
“I know that I speak for a lot of people when I say that we are grateful to have this facility and especially the emergency room service in our community,” he said. “I would also be remiss not to mention how thankful we are for medical teams who work tirelessly to keep our community safe.
“We value you, we appreciate you and we are grateful for you.”
The first phase included the building of a new pharmacy and gift shop and modified the cafeteria, laying the groundwork for subsequent phases, according to a release.
The next phase included a labour and delivery reconfiguration. And the final piece of the project is a new nutrition and food services area. The ground work is complete, construction will start up again in two weeks and the expected completion date is February 2022.
“The Stettler Health Services Foundation including the Festival of Lights committee are delighted that this day has finally arrived,” said Leona Thorogood, Stettler Health Services Foundation chair. “The seed for advocating for upgrades to our hospital started with all of the parties here today many years ago,” she said.
“For the Foundation, it stemmed from a vision that our families and friends and neighbours could receive the basic care that they needed close to home,” she said, adding that the Foundation has raised a total of $650,000 to support all phases of the renovation project.
“Our Foundation is very committed to our hospital, and we are extremely grateful it holds the same priority amongst our community,” she said. “Through a number of events such as the Festival of Lights, and through the generosity of community members, we have raised funds to purchase a variety of equipment for the ER and to support healthcare delivery in our region.
“This opening today makes me proud to be part of a community that steps up and delivers – through donations, memorials, legacy gifts and special events like the Festival of Lights, this community works hard, digs deep into their pockets and invests in Stettler health care.”