Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher and Sparwood Mayor David Wilks have been elected Chair and Acting Chair of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board. Photo courtesy of RDEK

Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher and Sparwood Mayor David Wilks have been elected Chair and Acting Chair of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board. Photo courtesy of RDEK

New Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board elected

Redeveloping East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook a priority for new hospital district board

Two Elk Valley mayors will help shape healthcare across the East Kootenays after being elected to the hospital district board.

Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher will serve his fifth term as Chair of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board (KERHD), while Sparwood Mayor David Wilks has been elected Acting Chair.

“We have been very successful over the past year in our operations and in developing our facilities, and I look to continuing to develop those facilites,” said McKerracher.

“We are proud of our relationship with Interior Health and I look forward to continuing to build on that strong foundation.”

KERHD provides up to 40 per cent capital funding for equipment, facility construction and renovation at acute care facilities in the hospital district, which extends beyond the Regional District of East Kootenay boundaries to Golden and Creston, and the portions of the Regional Districts of Central Kootenay and Columbia Shuswap surrounding those municipalities.

One of the projects KERHD has been advocating for is the redevelopment of the oncology, pharmacy, renal and lab areas at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook.

In November 2017, the board passed a motion to contribute 40 per cent funding to the project.

“We are looking forward to seeing the oncology and pharmacy pieces move forward in 2019, and to seeing a master plan completed for the facility that will include a long term plans for the lab and renal services,” said McKerracher.

Wilks is pleased to be back on the hospital district board.

“I am grateful to my fellow directors for their confidence in me and I look forward to the opportunity to serve as Acting Chair in the coming year,” he said.