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Developing Delta: Hospital the heart of Delta
A community is only as healthy as its hospital, and at the Delta Hospital in the heart of Ladner, the future as never looked brighter.
Thanks to recent generous donations by private donors, as well as a $2.2 million gift from the Delta Hospital Auxiliary, the hospital is now only a $1 million shy of its goal to build a brand new two-storey diagnostic and medical imaging centre, less than a year into the Delta Hospital Foundation's fundraising campaign.
The new $12.5 million facility will be funded in part by Fraser Health, who is contributing $5 million to the project.
"It really speaks to the generosity of this community that we were able to raise more than $6 million so quickly," says Delta Hospital Foundation executive director Veronica Carroll. "It also speaks to what this hospital means to the community."
Carroll said 80 per cent of treatment decisions made at the hospital require test results from the hospital's lab.
"The new facility will make for more efficient, faster testing, faster turnaround, and faster treatment," says Carroll.
The current lab was built 20 years ago and is ill-suited for today's modern technology.
"The space doesn't make sense anymore," she says.
While the future has never been brighter for the Delta Hospital, it was not so long ago that that future was in jeopardy
In 2002, the province downgraded Delta Hospital to a sub-acute facility and tried to centralize services in Richmond and Surrey. Residents quickly organized to create the Save Delta Hospital Society and collected 31,000 names for a petition that pressured levels of government like Delta municipal council to take action.
Not only was the ER saved, but subsequent community donations to the Delta Hospital Foundation helped provide a new state-of-the-art ER and surgical day care in 2006.
Having a state-of-the-art medical centre at the heart of the community is a big selling feature for potential homeowners considering relocating to Delta.
"If you want to move to a community, it's absolutely essential to have a vibrant hospital," says Carroll. "If you have an acute situation, your life depends on it. Those minutes matter."
While the facility was opened in 1980, planning for the hospital began much earlier in a grassroots way.
Back in 1967 the Delta Centennial Hospital Fact Finding Committee was established. Over the years the group lobbied various levels of government, and in 1974 Delta and the government purchased the land where the hospital is located today.
A 75-bed extended care unit was opened in 1977, and an emergency room, operating room, x-ray, laboratory, and support services opened three years later on September 5, 1980.
With growth in the community, and a subsequent rise in hospital visits, the facility expanded and plans were made to address the Emergency Department and Surgical Daycare.
Today, the hospital employs close to 600 people—and handles more than 30,000 visits to the ER annually. Ten to 15 per cent of those visits came from patients based outside South Delta.
Delta Hospital Site Director Annette Garm said the facility prides itself on providing a human touch. Much of that comes from the roles the Delta Hospital Auxiliary and Delta Hospital Foundation play.
Garm said the auxiliary provides more than 11,000 volunteer hours annually, while the foundation is constantly fundraising for much needed equipment.
To learn more about the fundraising efforts of the Delta Hospital Foundation, visit www.dhfoundation.com
To learn more about volunteering with the Delta Hospital Auxiliary, visit www.deltahospitalauxiliary.org/