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VJH emergency room now a pharmacy

Construction has begun to transform Vernon Jubilee’s old Emergency Department into a new and expanded Pharmacy Department.

“Our hospital’s pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants play a vital role in providing quality patient care,” says Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster. “We need to ensure their work space continues to allow them to safely and effectively prepare and distribute much needed medications.”

Currently the pharmacy that serves the hospital is located in the basement of the original building, and has not been renovated since 1982.

The new space will be approximately double the size of the current pharmacy – from 200 to 398 square metres – and will feature: upgraded equipment; enhanced work space; a sterile compounding area for the preparation of medications; and a new chemotherapy preparation area.

“The VJH pharmacy has 28 staff providing hundreds of medications per day, plus clinical pharmacist services to patients at their bedside,” says Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree. 

“It’s great to see these improvements underway for such an integral department.”

Funding consisting of $1.7 million will be shared between the Province and the North Okanagan Columbia Shuswap Regional Hospital District (NOCSRDH).

“These are exciting times in our region. We recently saw the completion of the new Polson Tower at VJH, where construction on floors six and seven is also due to begin soon,” saiys NOCSRDH Chair Rhona Martin. 

“The redevelopment of the hospital’s pharmacy is one more example of major investments in health care to better serve residents of the area.”

Demolition of the old Emergency Department will be wrapping up in this month and contractors will then begin construction. The project is expected to be complete by early 2015.

The pharmacy department provides a number of additional services including: teaching patients about medication; providing clinical advice to physicians about drug therapy; offering drug information to nurses and other health professionals; training pharmacy students and residents; preparing medications for the Cancer Clinic; and counselling patients about chemotherapy.

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