Jan. 19 marks 100 days until the David E. Kampe Tower will officially open at the Penticton Regional Hospital.
Dignitaries, media and members of the public gathered in the tower’s main entrance to witness the unveiling of the tower’s countdown clock. The long-awaited expansion features 5 operating rooms, rooftop helipad, 84 medical/surgical inpatient beds and much more.
“It’s very exciting to be at this milestone in the David E. Kampe Tower project today marks 100 days until the doors open,” said Carl Meadows with Interior Health. “This I can say is one of B.C.’s, if not Canada’s, most stunning new towers.
Residents of Penticton and the South Okanagan will soon have a state-of-the-art facility where they receive care, a facility that will match the expertise of our staff and physicians and will enhance the care that the patients will receive.”
David E. Kampe, whom the tower is named after, was in attendance as an honoured guest at the countdown event. Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki personally thanked Kampe for his continued generosity throughout his lifetime and went as far as to give him a hug to express his gratitude.
“What I’m going to say next comes straight from the heart and not from paper. There’s no one anywhere in the Valley, or anywhere in British Columbia or Canada, that I respect more than David Kampe. He is one of the greatest philanthropist that I’ve seen in our region,” said Vassilaki. “Philanthropist is a Greek word that means friend of the people – so if he would allow me, I’d love to give him a hug. Because that’s how Greeks show their emotion, their appreciation and love for people that they care about.”
Penticton Indian Band (PIB) Chief Chad Eneas said that he was honoured to be in attendance on behalf of the band and noted that while “Canada has a lot of work to do in terms of providing fair and equitable access to health services” for Indigenous, he is pleased with the connection the PIB has with Interior Health.
“We really appreciate the relationship we have with the hospital. Carl, you bring a really clear outlook in terms of what our community needs to do to address discrimination and racism,” said Eneas.
Vassilaki said this expansion is critical in “building a livable community” as the hospital will be better equipped to service Penticton’s growing population.
“When we talk about building a liveable community, the quality of two important amenities immediately come to mind – education and health care. The completion of Penticton’s hospital expansion project dramatically raises the bar for what our residents can expect of our community’s trusted health professionals,” said Vassilaki. “Regardless of where we fall in life’s spectrum of age, the funding and operation of a properly-sized hospital forms a critical safety net, day after day, month after month, and year after year.”
According to SOS Medical Foundation executive director Carey Bornn, the next portion of this project involves updating the hospital’s existing emergency room. He noted that construction for that project will commence in the next couple months.
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