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Fundraising campaign launched to pay for extra features at new Misericordia emergency room

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A new, state-of-the-art emergency room at the Misericordia Hospital is nearly complete, but a new fundraising initiative for the project is just beginning.

The Covenant Foundation kicked off the $2.6 million fundraising campaign on Wednesday, but organizers say $1.6 million of the money has already been raised through donations..

The money will go toward specialized equipment and training for staff to assist patients and their loved ones during an emergency.

“Extensive work is happening behind the scenes to create new processes and workflows that will benefit patient flow and efficiencies,” said Jo Ann Malloy, senior operating officer at the Misericordia. “So not only will the new Misericordia emergency department provide more space to work, it will allow us to be more innovative in how we work. We know that Albertans need more timely access to emergency care and we are committed to being a significant part of the solution.”

Covenant Health says the existing ER, which was built along with the rest of the hospital in 1969, has been seeing an average of 50,000 patients annually in a space designed for only 25,000.

The new facility is designed to accommodate 60,000 patients per year.

“This space is three times the physical footprint of our existing department,” said Malloy. 

The new emergency room at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

The new ER room has more available treatment space, ambulance bays and radiology rooms.

It also has purpose-built mental health spaces, and offers more private isolation rooms for infection control — two initiatives that will be supported by the fundraising campaign.

The money will also be used for play spaces for children and resting areas. 

The new emergency room at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton. (Amanda Anderson/CTV News Edmonton)

“We have more private space here than we would even know what to do with so we’re looking at that uniquely of how can we give them the best experience at triage and what does that look like?” said Jessica Fryk, Misericordia ER program manager.

She said having the extra space will allow patients to be moved out of exam rooms into other comfortable locations, freeing up the exam room for the next patient.

“You could go out into one of our comfortable recliners, get your labs drawn, get your tests ordered and wait there for the results.”

“I don’t want to over promise. I know that’s a hard thing to promise but the design is intended for that, yes. We really want to keep patients moving, keep patients understanding where they are in their care, that communication is really important.” 

You can donate to the fundraising campaign online.

The Alberta government has spent $85 million building the new ER.

The new facility is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall 2023. 

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