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Sundre lab a roughly $200,000 investment

Project part of Sundre Hospital Futures Committee’s goal to establish campus
MVA eSIM lab room renos
Renovations to prepare for the eventual installation of a fully dedicated eSIM training simulation lab at the former town office, which shares a wall and access with the Sundre Fire Department's hall, are underway. Once complete, the space will be available to both students pursuing a path in health care as well as community-based groups whose volunteers require for example first aid training. Carpenters Matt Neaves, left in the background, and Ted Leischner, both from Olds, who work for Dale Erickson Carpentry based out of Sundre, were on the job last Wednesday, April 28. Simon Ducatel/MVP Staff

SUNDRE — A proposed dedicated health care training lab will, once complete, represent a roughly $200,000 investment in the community, said the chair of the Sundre Hospital Futures Committee.

Space for the lab, which will not only create opportunities to locally train students pursuing a path in rural health care but also be available at no cost to community-based groups interested in providing volunteers with for example first aid training, has been secured at the municipality’s former office in the building that shares a wall with access to the Sundre Fire Department’s hall.   

“The town is providing the space, and so they’re looking after that,” said Gerald Ingeveld. 

“They’re already paying utilities on the building,” Ingeveld said on April 27 during a phone interview when asked how much the project was expected to cost and where the funds were being allocated from. 

“As far as getting the space prepared, we figure that — if we were to have the best eSIM lab in the country — we would spend about $200,000,” he said.

Of that, he said roughly $50,000 would be required to get the space completely renovated and brought up to code to be compliant with Alberta Health Services requirements to use certain materials that ensure surfaces can easily be washed down and sanitized, he said. 

The remaining $150,000 would then go toward obtaining equipment, he said.

“We also could start up and start running for quite a bit less than that, which is probably what we’ll do.”

The committee is in the process of searching for funds, including applying for a substantial Community Facility Enhancement Program grant as well as soliciting financial support from companies.

Additionally, the University of Calgary previously donated $30,000 toward purchasing equipment that has already been bought and is just waiting to be installed. Dr. Vincent Grant, who is the medical director for the eSIM program with Alberta Health Services and also a professor in the departments of pediatrics and emergency medicine at the University of Calgary, helped facilitate that effort, said Ingeveld.

“The eSIM program, they’re going to lend us the more expensive equipment to get us started, and then we can start buying our own equipment to replace that” down the road, he said.

“Right off the get-go, as soon as the renovations are done, we’ll have a pretty darn good lab. It’s just a matter of raising enough money,” he said.

Although renovations have recently been underway, a concrete timeline for an official ribbon cutting remains elusive for the time being as there remain some uncertainties. The committee won’t know until July whether its grant application was approved, he said.

“But we’re already in there working and banking volunteer hours,” he said about the lab space.

Ingeveld expressed optimism about the possibility of the lab being up and running in one capacity or another by either August or September.

Ultimately, he said the committee also hopes to eventually include additional high tech bells and whistles such as a quality audio-visual system for distance learning.

Meanwhile, he said the focus will be on raising funds.

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Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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