The Arrow Lakes Hospital in the small West Kootenay town of Nakusp, B.C., is set to undergo major improvements with a multi-million dollar funding announcement from the province.

On Friday, Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy joined healthcare officials to celebrate the approval of $2.1 million in upgrades to the 40-year-old hospital's acute care and emergency department.

"Arrow Lakes Hospital supports thousands of patient visits every year and our government recognized the need for these major improvements, especially to the local emergency department," said Conroy. 

"Local and regional representatives were passionate in their commitment to this project ... this will support quality care for local patients for years to come."

Among the expected upgrades, the local hospital will receive a dedicated triage area, two new trauma bays, renovated patient exam bays, new utility rooms and an enclosed multi-purpose meeting room for family consultations.

"The emergency department redesign will improve patient privacy, flow, and the overall quality care our staff and physicians are providing," said Dr. Doug Cochrane, board chair with Interior Health. 

"I am absolutely ecstatic," said Nakusp mayor Karen Hamling.

Interior Health plans to begin the project design in April once the funding is finalized.

Construction will take place in three phases so residents have continued care at the facility.