The long-awaited $1.2 million upgrade to Squamish General Hospital’s (SGH) pharmacy was officially opened this week.
Patients at SGH, the Hilltop House residential care facility and outpatient chemotherapy clinics will benefit from the facility, officials said in a statement issued on Tuesday (Oct. 8) to coincide with the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the pharmacy.
The expansion will improve the safety of pharmacy staff who prepare cancer chemotherapy, which often involves the handling of hazardous drugs. The new facility features a reverse pressure room with a mixing hood so pharmacy staff can prepare sterile medications while harmful chemicals are vented away, officials said. It also has a counselling room where patients can consult privately with a pharmacist.
“This pharmacy expansion has resulted in a number of improvements to better ensure the safety of patients and working conditions for staff,” said Jordan Sturdy, West Vancouver/Sea to Sky MLA. “These upgrades are welcome additions to the range of excellent health care services provided to Sea to Sky families.”
The project was funded by Vancouver Coastal Health in partnership with the Sea to Sky Regional Hospital District ($413,000) and the Squamish Rotary Club ($188,000).
“Moving the chemotherapy mixing facility has enabled us to create a dedicated space that meets national safety and WorkSafe B.C. standards,” said Jane McQuinn, SGH pharmacy manager. “This new pharmacy also means we’re fully equipped to accommodate out-patient chemotherapy treatments and any additional demand that comes from Hilltop House as more beds are opened.”