If you want to get a sneak peek at what the expanded emergency department at Eagle Ridge Hospital will look like in two years, grab a ticket to the foundation’s upcoming gala.
The 29th annual fundraiser, sponsored in part by The Tri-City News and to be held Sept. 28 at the Executive Plaza Hotel, will feature a 3D video “walk-through” of what’s to come.
“It’s a new design and it will be welcoming, quieter and calmer,” said Dr. Ali Abdalvand, head of the hospital’s emergency department. “It will be something that will surprise the public.”
Opened in 1988 — four years after the Port Moody hospital went up — the ER was meant to accommodate up to 20,000 a patients at year; now, because of the region’s growth, it sees about three times that number annually, a spokesperson said.
Many of the patients are either very young or elderly, Abdalvand told The Tri-City News.
And the design team, which includes Dr. Michael Mostrenko, an ER physician, has tried to ensure their special needs — as well as residents with multicultural backgrounds — are met when they arrive in search of immediate care for themselves, family or friends.
Abdalvand said the design team also includes a patient advocate who has brought forward ideas so all the community is represented in the renovated space. “She made sure we weren’t overlooking the important things as we are only on one side of the gurney,” he said last Friday.
In January, ground officially broke to begin the phased, $27.6-million modernization that is expected to conclude in the spring of 2021; the first space to open — scheduled for December — will be for health information services and its former unit will be converted for cardiology.
Abdalvand said while the construction is a challenge, his goal is to ensure there’s no disruption to care. Of the transition, he said: “We think the people who live in this area deserve better. We are trying to give them what they deserve as this department is our front door.”
The Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation's executive director, Charlene Giovannetti-King, said the foundation is now at 72% of its $5-million target and she hopes the gala will top it up to 80% (the province is paying the balance of $22.6 million). Another fundraising push is set to launch after the Christmas break.
For tickets to the Evening of Caring gala Sept. 28 or to donate, email email@example.com.