By Marcia Love
Staff training has begun at the new Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility.
Last week maintenance staff received training on the facility’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems, fire systems, closed-circuit television and uninterrupted power supply to provide power to the building in the event of a power outage.
Health care providers are expected to be in the building for training in three weeks.
Some furniture has been moved into the long-term care facility, and outside equipment is being set up.
The majority of furnishings have been moved into universal and acute care, with construction wrapping up in the long-term care wings. Flooring, ceiling tiles and painting are being completed, with cleaning crews closely following.
Construction crews and electricians have been working 11 hours a day, seven days a week.
The final truckload of equipment from Regina is arriving this week, and 10-15 pieces are still being stored off-site. The bunkhouses will begin to be furnished this week as well. Computers will be set up the final week of April.
Cypress Health Region expects to have possession of the entire facility on May 1. The remainder of furnishings and equipment will then be moved in.
“By Monday, May 5, we’ll be in the position to start bringing staff in so they can actually see the building, see what it’s going to look like fully furnished, and then we can start that training,” explained Trent Regier, Cypress Health Region’s director of rural health.
The new hospital is expected to be open and operational on June 1.
Services will be moved over from their temporary locations at the TransGas building, former Royal Bank building and Cypress Lodge May 30-31. Emergency out-patient services, therapies and universal care will then begin operating at the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility on June 1. The facility will be open to in-patients on June 2. Long-term care residents will be moved over the course of the following three days into each new care home – Prairie Meadows, Prairie Oasis and Paradise Pines. Sixteen residents will live in each home.
“By five o’clock on June 5, we anticipate having everybody in this building,” Regier stated.
The health region will be finalizing which residents will be living in each home next week. Staff in long-term care have all been assigned a home where they will be based.
“They’ve been able to pick their house and who they want to work with,” Regier said.
He added staff are “nervously excited” about the transition.
“They’re excited because it’s a brand new building and all the enhancements that are here. Then they’re nervous because it’s a brand new building and all the new stuff they have to learn, and then of course we’re changing how we operate, and that’s a bit of an unknown for all of us,” Regier said. “We know we have a rock-solid plan on how we’re going to operate, it’s just kind of the little things that come up when you move into a new building.”
Plans are being made to hold public tours in the near future. Regier said six days have been reserved for this, with about 12 tours per day to groups of 12 people. Dates and pre-registration information will be provided soon.