Recent History – 2000
Nov. 15, 2000, By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Following a two-month, $600,000 renovation, the operating rooms at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital were re-opened with a ribbon cutting Wednesday morning.
The number of operating rooms (ORs) will remain the same at two, but doctors and nurses will have more room to work said South Peace Health Council chief executive officer Rick Robinson.
“One of the ORs is substantially bigger than it was before,” he said. “We actually moved it within the space so that we can more easily do orthopedic procedures.”
The next step will be to attract enough qualified doctors and nurses to keep the operating rooms running. Robinson said the hospital currently has enough staff for three days of surgery per week.
At one point, five days of surgery was being performed, including a day of orthopedic surgery paid for by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) for people who suffered work-related injuries.
“We still have problems recruiting OR nurses,” Robinson said, adding that an in-hospital surgical nurse training program may be launched soon.
Meanwhile, a new orthopedic surgeon has arrived. Dr. Tari Aganaba, who hails from England and has been in Dawson Creek for a week. He’s replacing Dr. Kelly Ackerman who is in Seattle for a year on a fellowship, and may or may not return.
Dr. Ken Graham continues as the obstetrician-gynecologist and Dr. Saleeme Nagra remains as the general surgeon.
Sixty per cent of the cost was covered by the Ministry of Health, and 40 per cent by the regional hospital board.
“It looks like it’s well worth it and will serve the town admirably,” said Dr. Bob Newman, a general practitioner and chief of anesthesia, who cut the ribbon while dignitaries looked on.
Powell said he hopes the improved facilities will help attract more doctors and nurses. “If it manages to get doctors and nurses for our city, then it’s very worthwhile.”
The old operating room facility dated back about 40 years, Robinson said.