Stakeholders are taking the Squamish General Hospital’s pulse, as officials work toward a 10-year growth plan.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority has struck a steering committee to oversee the development of a master plan — a policy that will govern the hospital’s capital and programming needs over the next decade.
“Stakeholders will be invited,” health authority spokesperson Anna Marie D’Angelo said, noting a first meeting was recently scheduled.
The Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District will be a big part of discussions, hospital district chair Patricia Heintzman said, noting the facility is backed by a funding formula involving the province and the hospital district.
The regional hospital district foots the bills for some of the hospital’s and area’s capital work — such as the hospital’s new pharmacy, Whistler helipad and upgrades to Pemberton’s clinic. Although the hospital is located in Squamish, its use is regional, Heintzman noted.
“We get people beyond Pemberton at this hospital,” she said.
The master plan comes with tight timelines, Heintzman said, as the health authority tentatively scheduled rolling it out next June. The project involves examining the facility, its programs and projecting developing needs that accompany population growth, she said.
“In the last couple of years, we have been really reactive and we are not planning very well,” Heintzman said of the regional hospital district.
The master plan will help the organization prepare for future projects, rather than dousing fires, she said. The hole left by retiring orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Patrick McConkey is one example of situation that could be improved upon, Heintzman said.
“I think it really pointed out the need for… succession planning,” she said.
Heintzman looks forward to discussions and hopes stakeholders will join the health authority and regional hospital district at the table.
“Master plans are only as good as the people participating,” she said.