To say Anne Morgenstern has a strong connection to health care in Penticton might be putting it lightly.
Morgenstern, the clinical operations manager in Penticton Regional Hospital’s emergency department, comes from a family of health care professionals.
Her late mother enjoyed a 30-year nursing career, which included a stint working together with her daughter at PRH when Morgenstern was a student nurse.
And there was that time when she was six and ended up at PRH after a scuffle with her brother resulted in a severed finger and a trip to the emergency department.
“I remember quite clearly as a six-year-old being in the ED which was three stretchers at the time,” said Morgenstern. “Where we have come since then is quite remarkable. We have slowly expanded, but this particular expansion is going to be amazing. So many things are going to improve, especially when you are talking about patient safety and patient confidentiality.”
The current expansion is part of a major renovation in the PRH emergency department that is Phase 2 of the David E. Kampe Tower project. Renovations are ongoing in the PRH emergency department, along with the pharmacy and the material stores area at PRH.
Emergency is Tripling in Size
The emergency department is getting the most significant upgrade, and will nearly triple in size upon completion. There is also an completely new exam room.
“It’s a big increase in the amount of space we will have and that affects all spaces of the ED,” she said. “There will be more room for waiting when patients enter the lobby. We’ve worked really hard to gain some efficiencies for patients so they aren’t moving from spot to spot.
“Each treatment area is a room with a door which improves privacy and enhances infection prevention and control. We’ve added some more comfortable chairs in areas for minor treatment and some recliners which will add to patient comfort.”
The emergency department renovation is complex and is taking place in phases to allow for the department to remain open. Another new area is opening at the end of April. However, patients may find longer wait times than expected as certain areas need to close to allow renovations to take place.
The complexity of the project has meant staff have had to be nimble, keeping patient care front and centre while work has gone on.
“I can’t say enough about my team,” said Morgenstern. “When we got into the meat and potatoes of the renovation, we were squeezed with construction all around us. On top of that, we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. There isn’t a day that goes by that staff don’t have to face new challenges. I’m so proud of the patience and resilience of everyone involved. And in the end, patient care is going to be enhanced so we have our eyes on the prize.”
While the renovation is underway, people who need emergency care should still go to the hospital.
Clinics still Open for Urgent Care
However, if you need to see a physician within 24 to 48 hours for urgent care, contact your family physician or nurse practitioner. If you do not have a primary care provider, or your regular care provider is unavailable, consider visiting the Penticton Urgent and Primary Care Centre, located at 101-437 Martin St., or call 250-770-3696 for an appointment.
Other options for care include local walk-in clinics:
• Apple Plaza Walk-In – 1848 Main St. – 250-493-5228
• Peach City Medical – 2111 Main St. – 250-276-5050
• Summerland After Hours Clinic – 200-13009 Rosedale Ave. – 250-404-4242
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