New St. Paul's Hospital to include $12-million hearing loss treatment centre

Jun 19 2019, 2:07 am

A joint partnership between the Rotary Club of Vancouver Hearing Foundation and the St. Paul’s Foundation will establish a new hearing and balance centre at the new St. Paul’s Hospital in the False Creek Flats.

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Both foundations announced today their intention to each raise $6 million to fund the cost of the new $12-million hearing loss treatment and research facility in the new state-of-the-art hospital.

The hearing and balance centre facilities include exam rooms, surgical suites, research clinics and laboratories, clinical support, and vital equipment used to locate, diagnose, and treat ear conditions. Specific programs will be established for certain hearing disorders, research and clinical work, tinnitus management, hearing rehabilitation, and geriatric and elder care.

The new centre will bring multiple disciplines and health services dealing with hearing and balance under one roof.

“Patients will have fewer hospital visits, shorter wait times, easier navigation, and a reduced need to move to different areas of the hospital,” said Fiona Dalton, president and CEO of Providence Health Care, in a statement.

“This vital funding will allow our dedicated team at the BC Rotary Hearing and Balance Centre to continue to provide excellent care as the needs of our patients evolve and grow.”

According to the hospital foundation, the existing BC Rotary Hearing and Balance Centre at the current St. Paul’s Hospital location on Burrard Street is the referral centre for patients in the province with complex ear and hearing related issues. The hospital performed the first cochlear implant in Canada in 1982, which improves or restores hearing for those whose hearing loss cannot be improved by regular hearing aids.

By 2026, St. Paul’s Hospital will shutter its existing location at the 6.5-acre property on 1081 Burrard Street, and relocate to the significantly larger $1.9-billion facility at 1002 Station Street — just north of Pacific Central Station and SkyTrain’s Main Street-Science World Station, and south of Chinatown.

There will be a total of 548 patient beds, which is a net gain of 115 beds over the existing location. It will be the new home for several major provincial programs and referral centres, including heart and lung care, renal, eating disorders, and specialty surgeries and transplants.

Other specialized care units entail HIV/AIDS, chronic disease management services, emergency and critical care, mental health and addictions beds and programs, ambulatory services and outpatient clinics, end-of-life care, Indigenous health, maternity, colorectal and gastrointestinal services, and community care and outreach programs.

The existing Burrard Street location will be sold for its redevelopment potential, with proceeds — estimated to be well north of $1 billion — going towards covering the hospital’s construction costs.

Major private donations towards the cost of building the new hospital have to date included Scotiabank’s $2 million, London Drugs’ $6.5 million, and Jim Pattison Foundation’s $75 million, which is being acknowledged through the naming of the new facility — St. Paul’s at the Jim Pattison Medical Centre.

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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