Whistler residents and visitors who have mishaps on the mountain will now receive treatment in a modernized, larger trauma unit at the Whistler Health Care Centre. Increased size and enhanced functionality of the space allows staff and medical staff improved access to life-saving tools to better serve patients.
“The impact of this upgrade is far reaching, allowing our team to provide world-class critical care to those in need, whether they're living in Whistler or visiting from our region, our province or beyond," said Sean Parr, Interim Vice President, Coastal. “We are so grateful to the Whistler Health Care Foundation and all of the donors who contributed to their fundraising campaign, making this upgrade possible."
Whistler Health Care Centre provides care for more than 22,000 patients and clients each year, with approximately 1,500 people needing critical care.
Construction on the trauma unit began last spring. The renovation focused on increasing the usable space, improving the functionality and updating electrical, mechanical and mechanical gas systems. Originally two smaller, separate trauma rooms and an administration area, the unit has been transformed into two larger trauma rooms and an ante-room with folding glass walls which allow the space to be converted to one large trauma room if the need arises.
The rooms are capable of having negative or positive air pressure – a function essential for infection prevention and control. State-of-the-art equipment and technology, including two booms, which ergonomically centralize all surgical equipment and utility services, were added as well.
“The upgrades to our trauma rooms have made a huge difference to how our team uses this space and cares for patients," said Dr. Fern von der Porten, emergency physician and Medical Director for Whistler. “We are able to have 360-degree access to our patients, enhancing our ability to respond and treat critical cases. These upgrades align our trauma unit with current best practices and health-care standards."
Upgrades to the trauma unit were funded by the Whistler Health Care Foundation. The $1.5 million fundraising campaign – the largest single campaign in the Foundation's history – was made successful with substantial contributions from Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District, GFL Environmental, Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Rockowitz Family, Squamish Hospital Foundation, Katz Amsterdam Foundation and many other generous donors.
“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response we received in support of the trauma unit upgrades," said Sandra Cameron, past Chair of the Whistler Health Care Foundation. “We would like to extend our gratitude to all of our dedicated donors and volunteers who made this project possible. Thanks to Vancouver Coastal Health for ensuring the project came to fruition and to the community for so strongly supporting health care. We are honoured to assist our amazing medical staff so they can continue to provide the highest quality of care at the Whistler Health Care Centre."