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Hospital in Trail opens newly transformed ‘Sacred Space’

Aaron Banfield was the catalyst for remodeling the former KBRH chapel

Family and friends recently gathered in the newly transformed Sacred Space at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH), alongside the KBRH foundation and hospital staff, to honour former palliative patient Aaron Banfield.

Banfield, the catalyst for re-imagining the former hospital chapel into a tranquil room for all, passed away from colon cancer on March 24, 2023.

The space formally re-opened on April 12 with a small ceremony to recognize Banfield’s vision to create an oasis for people; a place where patients, visitors, and staff could retreat for a moment of peace or observe religious/spiritual practices.

The KBRH Sacred Space is a faith-neutral room and is an important step in hospital diversity, equity, and inclusion, Interior Health adds.

“This room is open to patients, families, staff, and visitors of KBRH as a place of peace and tranquility — it is always accessible to offer a moment of respite and reflection.”

The serene atmosphere, created by warm and soft lighting, comfortable seating, and nature-themed artwork, helps elicit a sense of calm and beauty not easily found in an acute care setting.

“Thanks to the KBRH Health Foundation’s generous donors and support from Interior Health, the KBRH Sacred Space transformation is complete,” the health authority announced Friday.

“For those who include spirituality and religion in their lives, thoughtfully curated resources are available within the room including smudging supplies, prayer mats and beads, head coverings, and religious texts.”

The KBRH Sacred Space is located on the third floor, in the wellness wing.

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Sheri Regnier

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