Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen

Campaign funds critical-care equipment for Greater Trail

KBRH's new campaign aims for higher quality care to critically ill patients in hopes of reducing the need for transport to larger centres.

Anyone who has sent a critically-ill loved one out of the region for treatment, knows first-hand the heartbreak and stress it can bring to a family.

The Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) foundation has launched its new project, the “Critical Care Campaign,” with a goal to provide a higher quality of sustainable care to critically-ill patients in hopes of reducing the need for transport outside the region.

The $500,000 campaign is expected to span two years, with a goal to expand and upgrade equipment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Emergency Room (ER), and for the High Acuity Response Team (HART) at KBRH.

“KBRH plays a critical role in the network of acute care services and is the receiving hospital for patients requiring a higher level of care,” explained Lisa Pasin, KBRH foundation director.

“The upgraded equipment purchased through the Critical Care Campaign will be used to deliver complex care to our sickest, most critically-ill patients,” she said. “And we will be supporting our sickest patients and their families by providing a higher level of complex care right here in our communities.”

For Ben Olsen, a one-year member of HART, upgraded equipment means providing top-of-the-line care for patients and improved support to doctors and nurses spread thin in rural communities.

HART, an Interior Health program, works both in-hospital and in partnership with BC Ambulance Services to attend to acute patients in rural and remote health sites. The team of RNs and respiratory therapists look to stabilize patients, and avoid hospital transfer, or act as inter-facility transporters to a higher level of care.

“Providing care to patients through HART in the hospital ER is rewarding,” said Olsen. “And we also travel to remote facilities that may be staffed by only one doctor or nurse.

“We help to stabilize the patient and provide support to the medical staff and alleviate doctor and nurse fatigue.”

Dr. Scot Mountain, ICU medical director at KBRH, said that maintaining a high level of critical care in the Kootenay Boundary saves family members the stress and expense of travelling to Kelowna or Vancouver.

“We have the knowledge and ability to provide critical care at the same level that patients in Kelowna or Vancouver receive,” he said. “What we now need is the equipment and facilities to support our team.”

Equipment upgrades for the ER include a trauma stretcher, overhead lights for the trauma bay and a glide-scope to assist intubating patient airways.

HART equipment needs include a transport stretcher, life-pack monitor/defibrillator, and adult and child ventilators.

To improve technology to the ICU, a sonosite ultrasound machine, cardiac monitors, specialty beds, and a bariatric ceiling lift are included in equipment upgrades.

The Critical Care Campaign swung into gear at the KBRH Golf Classic in July, when $29,000 in donations were received.

For more information and to donate, call the foundation at 364-3424 or email

Formerly called the Trail Regional Hospital Foundation, the KBRH foundation is in its 25th year of raising money to advance health care in the Kootenay Boundary.

The Foundation revenue, over $12 million to date,  is generated through donations from private and corporate donors.

Funding priorities include raising endowed gifts and annual funds to support health care equipment needs, staff education, and special initiative to enhance health care through the Trail hospital and other Kootenay Boundary health care facilities.

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