Staff and volunteers celebrated the golden anniversary of Cowichan District Hospital on the facility’s front lawn on Sept. 22.
The hospital on Gibbins Road first opened its doors in September 1967, and the anniversary was celebrated with a barbecue lunch and speeches by invited guests.
The replacement of the hospital is Island Health’s number one capital project priority, and a concept plan to replace CDH is being developed and is expected to be submitted to government by the end of the year.
CDH currently has 126 beds, serving approximately 83,000 residents of the Cowichan Valley.
Island Health’s Dr. David Robertson said much has changed since the hospital opened.
He said thousands of babies have born there since 1967, and hundreds of thousands of people have been cared for, but a new and more modern one is now needed.
On behalf of Health Minister Adrian Dix, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley said that for 50 years, CDH’s medical professionals, support staff and community volunteers have dedicated themselves to providing quality public health care for those in the Cowichan Valley.
“I grew up in Duncan and am still proud to call the Cowichan Valley home,” he said.
“This hospital is important to me and my family as I know it is for residents throughout the region.”
Jon Lefebure, chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Regional Hospital District, said the hospital has proudly served generations of families in the Cowichan Valley.
“We have been pleased to support CDH and its staff and we look forward to working with Island Health on the concept plan and building our future hospital that will serve generations to come,” he said.