British Columbia

New children's health centre opens in Vancouver

The Teck Acute Care Centre has a larger children's emergency department and an expanded neonatal unit.

The Teck Acute Care Centre has a larger children's emergency department and an expanded neonatal unit

The Teck Acute Care Centre, which officially opened Friday, features a larger children's emergency department and an expanded neonatal intensive care unit. (CBC)

The new Teck Acute Care Centre, located on the campus of B.C. Children's Hospital and B.C. Women's Hospital officially opened Friday.

The eight-floor centre will help newborns, children and expectant mothers. It includes a larger children's emergency department, an expanded pediatric intensive care unit, a high-risk labour and delivery suite, procedural suites and 231 private patients rooms.

Premier John Horgan, who was on hand to officially open the centre, said it means better care for patients from across the province.

"This is a facility for children all across British Columbia ... That's the real upside here," Horgan said. "Parents who are leaving their homes and leaving everything behind are finding a place they can call home."

The building was crafted with children and families in mind, according to juvenile cancer survivor Aiden Chin. Chin was part of a team that helped advise the developers on what the new hospital should look like.

"[We wanted] room to move your IV, fridges in each room, space to put your stuff," Chin explained. "This place has been a vision for so long … It's surreal when I walk through these hallways. There's so much room compared to the old hospital."

Aiden Chin, a cancer survivor, was part of a group who advised developers on what the new space should look like. One of their recommendations was more artwork. Here he stands in front of a mural. (CBC)

In the new space, patients and families will have access to laundry facilities, lounges, dining rooms, play areas and storage space. 

Chin's group was also instrumental in developing the look of the centre, which is filled with bright colours, natural light, and other details. For example, one medical procedure room will have a ceiling lit with small LED lights, meant to recreate the night sky.

"You feel like this is a place for children, for families, for healing," he said. "It's so beautiful."

The centre is filled with natural light and bright colours. (CBC)

Patients will be able to use the centre on Oct. 29, 2017.

With files from Brenna Rose