CAMPBELL RIVER – Campbell River Hospital users, volunteers and staff now have a shuttle service to help access new hospital parking spaces.
The service operates between the hospital’s main entrance and the new hospital parking lots on 2nd Avenue, thanks to teamwork involving the Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary, volunteers, the North Island Hospitals Project, Island Health and Wheels for Wellness.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to see this shuttle service up and running,” says Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary President Mary Lazarski. “This is for the community. They donate so much, so that we can give back to the hospital.”
Because the new 95-bed Campbell River Hospital will be built on the parking lot south of the existing hospital, two new parking lots containing almost 150 stalls were built west of Yucalta Lodge off of 2nd Avenue as part of site preparation work in 2013. The shuttle service was proposed to help those needing a ride to and from the parking lots and the main hospital entrance.
Turning the proposal into a reality involved a number of groups. Wheels for Wellness offered a deal on one of their vans. The Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary purchased the van. The Campbell River Hospital provided space to store the shuttle van. Island Health Fleet Services took care of vehicle registration and insurance. The North Island Hospitals Project provided signage for the hospital entrance and in the parking lots as well as signage for the shuttle van.
Island Health Volunteer Resources supplied trained volunteer shuttle drivers and coordinated the service.
“Campbell River Hospital is very proud and appreciative of the volunteers who support the patients, families and staff of our community facility,” says Carmen Christiansen, Island Health Manager of Volunteer Resources for the Campbell River Hospital and Yucalta Lodge. “They are incredibly generous with their warm-hearted contributions and their time. This volunteer program really supports Island Health’s commitment to excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.
“I’m hoping that more interested volunteer drivers will come forward from the community and help us to build and sustain this important program at the hospital.”
The service launched on the morning of June 9th. It currently runs from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays. The service will sometimes run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursdays. Look for the shuttle service sandwich board signs at the hospital’s main entrance and in the new parking lots. While in operation, the shuttle will make a circuit every 10 to 15 minutes. The service will be extended into the afternoon hours as more drivers volunteer.
“This shuttle service is yet another example of the way in which the Campbell River Hospital team creatively tackles issues,” says Christina Rozema, Campbell River Hospital site director.
“Early on, a broad group got together to see how we could make it work. The result is the shuttle service, the only one of its kind in our Health Authority. I am very grateful for the commitment to the hospital shown by the shuttle working group and want to especially thank the Hospital Auxiliary for their efforts to improve patient services at CRH.”
Wheels for Wellness executive director Don Buchner offered the van to the Campbell River Hospital Auxiliary at a reduced cost.
“Wheels for Wellness is proud to be part of another charity’s endeavours,” says Buchner. “When we heard that a van was required, we offered one of our vans at our trade-in value. This puts it to better use than being sold on the open market. It gives them a good van at a reasonable price, and it’s still helping people, which is what we do. Any time you can do that, it’s always good.”
The new temporary parking lots are expected to see much more traffic when construction of the new Campbell River Hospital starts in July. Site preparation work last year also saw the number of handicapped parking stalls at the main hospital entrance more than doubled, from three to seven.
“This shuttle service is another example of the wonderful commitment and team spirit at the Campbell River Hospital, finding solutions to health care challenges of all kinds,” said Tom Sparrow, Chief Project Officer of the North Island Hospitals Project. “It feels great to have played a small part in launching this service. Our thanks go out to everyone involved.”
For more information about the Campbell River Hospital Volunteer Shuttle Service and how to volunteer, see NIHP Shuttle backgrounder
For more information about the North Island Hospitals Project, visit www.nihp.viha.ca
Island Health Communications