Having been raised in the Kootenays, Dennis Senft wasn’t completely surprised when his career in nursing found him coming back to the area where he grew up.
Dennis, who moved to Trail with his wife over a year ago, joined the health care team at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH), working as an emergency department nurse. When he was looking for a new nursing post, it was the small-town feel he was after. That’s what attracted him to KBRH.
“My wife and I both grew up in small towns and there is a feel about small towns and the close-knit community,” says Dennis. “You know a lot of people in the community and you might see them come into the emergency room needing care.”
Upon starting his new job, Dennis found a department similar in feel to what he knew of the community: It was a tight-knit team doing great work.
Now Dennis and his colleagues have a place to work that matches their skill set with the opening of a new emergency department (ED) at KBRH. The new ED will help to modernize the department, bringing in state-of-the-art equipment to a care environment that has nearly tripled in size.
Enhanced patient privacy is one of the key benefits of the renovation, a $19.08-million project funded by Interior Health, the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Health District, and the KBRH Health Foundation. It’s part of a larger redevelopment of KBRH that also includes a $23.3-million project to build a new ambulatory care clinic and renovate the hospital’s pharmacy.
Private exam rooms feature walls and sliding glass doors instead of curtains. Patients will present themselves at a dedicated emergency department entrance, and will be seen by a nurse immediately.
The new ED opened to patients on Sept. 1, 2020.
“There is a lot more privacy,” says Dennis. “This helps staff and patients. If I’m asking patients a personal question, I can slide the door closed and now the patient can answer without fear of that information getting out.”
Cathy McAlpine certainly knows something about close-knit communities. Born and raised in Trail and having raised two kids with her late husband in the city, Cathy not only worked at the hospital as a lab technologist, she also leaned on the skilled health care professionals and her former colleagues when her husband fell ill, and they needed the services of KBRH.
She says the care she received was wonderful and that the treatment and care her husband received was second to none. Given how much she cares about the hospital and its staff and physicians, she was happy to be able to get a sneak peak of the new ED before it opened.
“It was pretty impressive. I was a little overwhelmed at how beautiful the new ED is and the capabilities it is going to have. I just love the new set up. The privacy will be appreciated by many who come into emergency and are experiencing what you will have to when you are having those personal procedures,” says Cathy.
The community played a huge part in the project, through a $1-million campaign run by the KBRH Health Foundation. The money went toward purchasing state-of-the-art equipment for the ED.
“The facility, the town, the region, everyone has worked so hard to support the hospital,” says Cathy. “I’ve always been proud of what the foundation has done and what the community has done. It’s pretty neat they are going to have this awesome facility.”
“Raising $1million over the past two years is a significant accomplishment and we want to thank all our donors for their extraordinary level of support for our community,” says Lisa Pasin, Director of Development for the KBRH Health Foundation.
For nurse Dennis, the enhancements at KBRH come back to his patients and providing the best care you can to residents throughout the region.
“There is a lot more infectious disease control, there is more privacy and the rooms all have sinks,” says Dennis. “It’s going to be brighter with more natural light. It’s bigger and there is space for families. All of this goes toward enhancing the care people will receive.