New PGRN Maternity and Nonatal Intensive Care Unit officially opened

New PGRH Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit officially opened

Families and newborns in Northern British Columbia will receive better care in brand new, specially-designed health facilities. Prince George Regional Hospital?s new Maternity Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) have officially opened, ushering in an exciting future of family-centered care.

Deputy Premier and Prince George Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond, Prince George North MLA Pat Bell, Fraser-Fort George Regional Hospital District chair Don Zurowski, Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation president Del Laverdure, health professionals and guests were on hand today to officially open the new units.

The celebration marked the completion of the $13.8 million Maternal-Child Centre of Excellence, which includes the revitalized Paediatric Unit that Premier Gordon Campbell officially opened in January.

?We are expanding and modernizing Prince George Regional Hospital to meet the growing health care needs of northern families ? including our youngest residents,? said Bond. ?The Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will provide the highest standard of care available to mothers and newborns.?

The new Maternity Unit and NICU replace vastly outdated facilities at PGRH. The new Maternity Unit is 45 per cent larger than previous facilities, while the new NICU is nearly three times as large as the hospital?s old Special Care Nursery. Both units have moved to the main floor of PGRH?s west wing, right next to each other and in close proximity to the hospital?s operating rooms.

?For the 1,000 babies born every year in Prince George ? and their moms and dads – the new Maternity and Neonatal intensive Care Unit offers the latest in care and keeps the family together throughout the birthing process,? said Bell.

?All across British Columbia, we are building bigger and better health facilities like the new Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Prince George Regional Hospital,? said Prince George-Omineca MLA John Rustad. ?The capital investments benefit both patients and health professionals.?

The Maternity Unit features 14 private rooms for all stages of childbirth/recovery. When fully operational, mothers will labour, give birth and recover in their own private rooms rather than moving to other areas of the hospital. The new NICU has 12 private rooms available for newborns. Staff will provide high level care for newborns, while the new private rooms will allow families to be closer to their babies and become more involved in their care.

?Our organization is pleased to have played an active part in the redevelopment of PGRH, not just through the Maternal Child Centre of Excellence, but also through investing in the Patient Care Addition and related renovations that have revitalized one of our region?s key health facilities,? said Zurowski.

Funding partners for the entire $13.8 million PGRH Maternal-Child Centre of Excellence include:

– Government of British Columbia through Northern Health: $7 million;

– Fraser-Fort George Regional Hospital District: $4.8 million from local tax dollars; and

– Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation: $2 million through donations from individuals and businesses in the Prince George area.

In February 2007, the Ministry of Health approved a $1.3 million increase over the original project cost of $12.5 million. The increase was necessary to address construction cost escalation and originally unforeseen renovation work, such as extensive asbestos abatement and building structure improvement.

?The contributions of area businesses, groups, and individuals have helped to provide some absolutely exceptional health care facilities for mothers, newborns, and children. We want to thank our donors for the commitment they?ve shown to improving health facilities, not just for residents of Prince George, but for all Northern British Columbians,? said Laverdure.

Health professionals have been actively involved in the design of and transition planning for the new units. Final preparations are now underway to bring patients in to the new units, which will take place this month.

?Care staff at PGRH are very excited about treating patients in these new facilities. We are confident that the design of these new units will serve patients and health professionals for many years to come,? said Dr. Bill Kingston, chair of the PGRH Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

?The development of new health facilities is a partnership, made possible through the support of government and community funding partners and the dedication of health professionals. On behalf of the Northern Health Board, I want to thank all of the partners whose hard work has made the entire Maternal Child Centre of Excellence a reality,? said Alice Downing, a director on the Northern Health Board.

British Columbia?s health system will benefit from investments such as new medical equipment over the next three years as part of government?s $2.3-billion health sector capital plan.

Attachment: Backgrounder – PGRH Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit facts


PGRH Maternity and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit facts

Cost for the Maternal Child Centre of Excellence (Paeds, Maternity, NICU): $13.8 million

— $7 million through funding from Government of British Columbia

— Fraser Fort George Regional Hospital District: $4.8 million from local tax dollars

— Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation: $2 million through donations from individuals and businesses in the Prince George area

Maternity and NICU cost as a percentage of the total project budget: approximately 60 per cent of the budget.

Total space for the new units:

— The new Maternity is 1,600 square meters in size, an increase of 45 per cent from the former unit (1,100 square meters).

— The new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is 600 square meters in size, nearly triple the 215 square meters in the previous unit.

Unit specifications:

— Maternity and NICU have moved into a completed redeveloped section at the south end of the PGRH West Wing (main floor).The area used to house classrooms which have moved to other parts of the facility.

— 14 private maternity rooms are available for all stages of childbirth/recovery, providing a strengthened focus on family-centered care.

O Four private assessment rooms are also included.

— A 12 bed Neonatal Intensive Care unit meets international NICU standards for space for the newborn and includes more room for parents who may stay with their child.

O The unit is the first of its kind in BC and the only Level 2 single room care NICU in Canada.

ยง A Level 2 NICU cares for babies born in PGRH?s catchment area at 30 weeks gestation and beyond, addressing respiratory, feeding, and other health needs for premature infants.

Details on improvements:

After a transition process over the next year, the new private maternity rooms will lead to reduced separation between a mother and newborn, along with better education on care for newborns.

— In the past, mothers would be admitted and assessed, move to another part of the hospital for labour and delivery, and move back to their patient rooms after birth.

— Each room features a shower, a family area, and all of the necessary instruments and medical gases

— All of the rooms feature a jetted tub for laboring mothers, with one room featuring a specific tub for water births.

— In NICU, the single room concept of care provides more privacy for families with their newborn baby. It provides the newborn with a quiet and supportive environment for further growth and development. This is the first unit of its kind in BC.

O The single room NICU rooms have space for the parents to stay with their little one. Each room has a wardrobe and fridge as well as a bed for the parents.

— A family area outside of Maternity and NICU. In the past, many families would wait in the hallway outside of the old Labour and Delivery Room.

Number of patients expected to be cared for in the new units

— Births at PGRH in 2006/2007: 1,074

— NICU patients at PGRH in 2006/2007: 363