St. Paul’s Foundation and Teck Resources Limited today announced that Teck has made a $10 million donation to help build the emergency department at the new St. Paul’s Hospital at the Jim Pattison Medical Centre. Named the Teck Emergency Department, it will be a transformative and innovative model of care to support improved health outcomes for British Columbians.
The new facility will address the most pressing issues facing emergency departments, including wait times for access to treatment; non-emergent illnesses and injuries; and the increasing trend of patients with complex mental health and substance use needs, while also including improved protection from harmful bacteria and viruses through the innovative use of copper.
“Teck and our employees are proud to support the talented team at St. Paul’s Hospital in delivering an exceptional level of health care to British Columbians in a new state-of-the-art facility,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck. “We commend the team at St. Paul’s for recognizing this opportunity to make the emergency department even safer by incorporating antimicrobial copper into the emergency department of the new hospital.”
This donation builds on Teck’s long history of support for St. Paul’s. Today, the Teck Emergency Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital on Burrard Street is the first point of contact for a high volume and variety of people, including patients that face numerous challenges, from poverty to homelessness. It is one of the busiest emergency departments in British Columbia—at present, reaching 85,000 visits a year up from 65,000 in 2010.
“Teck’s deep-rooted support of St. Paul’s Hospital has enabled our frontline medical team to provide expert patient care, research and medical advancements that impact people throughout British Columbia,” said Dick Vollet, President and CEO, St. Paul’s Foundation. “With this gift, Teck is ensuring the clinical, teaching and research expertise will continue to be recognized as among the best in Canada.”
Through Teck’s support, the Emergency Department at the new St. Paul’s Hospital will be outfitted with antimicrobial copper surfaces to protect the health of patients, health workers and all those who visit the facility. Copper has unique antimicrobial properties and is proven to continuously eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria and viruses. Research has shown that every year 220,000 patients in Canada contract infections in a health care setting and copper’s antimicrobial properties are a proven tool in reducing the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses.
“We have a great opportunity with our new infrastructure to better understand how copper surfacing, with its antimicrobial properties, can prevent hospital-acquired infections,” said Dr. Victor Leung, Infection Prevention and Control, Providence Health Care. “Further, antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global threat. As a non-pharmacologic intervention, the more applications we can find for copper surfacing, the better off we will be combatting both anti-microbial resistance and hospital acquired infections.”
Through its Copper & Health program, Teck is working with healthcare professionals, academia and others to help make communities safer with copper, most recently through TransLink’s successful industry-leading pilot of copper products on buses and SkyTrains as well as the Cross-Canada Hospital Durability Study, which proved the longer-term efficacy of copper products in four Canadian hospitals.