Above photo: Mélie De Champlain, Director, Powell River, VCH Coastal (left) and Rod Tisdale, the last patient seen in the previous Powell River General Hospital.
Right around the time that Beanie Babies became wildly popular with kids (and parents) across the world and the Montreal Canadiens became the last Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup, the building we now call Powell River General Hospital (PRGH) opened its doors for the first time in 1993.
Since that time 25 years ago, there have been hundreds of thousands of Powell River residents treated in the Emergency Department and thousands of babies born safely thanks to the skill and compassion of the care teams and physicians at PRGH.
With this silver anniversary milestone upon them, the Powell River team decided to celebrate the occasion in style, holding a community celebration that saw a host of local talents performing including the Tla'amin Drummers and Dancers and local jazz ensemble, The Jazzmen.
Also on hand were members of the Powell River Health-Care Auxiliary, the community organization that has supported Powell River's hospitals since 1945 with donations that amount to many millions of dollars of equipment, much of which is still in use today.
VCH Coastal Director for Powell River, Melie Dechamplain, served as the MC, taking time to recognize the staff and physicians who have made contributions to the facility over the last quarter century as well as a few notable patients such as Rod Tisdale, the last patient seen in the old Powell River General Hospital and currently a member of the Powell River Hospital Foundation.
As an acute care facility that serves about 20,000 people in Powell River and the surrounding communities, PRGH has made a big impact on the region, not only as an employer but also as a key care point for local residents. Statistics from 2017 bear this out, with PRGH recording the following results from last year:
- 16,980 emergency department visits
- 126 births and babies supported
- 1,055 surgeries
Interestingly, Powell River is a town known for firsts in the province, reflecting the forward-thinking nature of the community. Not only is it home to the Patricia Theatre, the oldest operating movie theatre in the province but Powell River was also the first BC community to have dial phones and the first to have a Sick Benefit Society. It's this long-term vision that has the Powell River VCH team where it is today and will keep it moving ahead as well.