95 YEARS OF SUCCESS
ST VINCENT’S CELEBRATES 95TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2017
Change is the word on everyone’s lips in the year St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba proudly celebrates 95 years of service to the communities living in Toowoomba and across the Darling Downs and south west Queensland.
While the original main hospital building, which dates back to 1922, is still in use, progress on construction of the latest addition to the campus is surging ahead with the $30 million Clive Berghofer Operating Theatre Suite project now past the half-way point.
This major project will add six new state-of-the-art operating theatres, including a special hybrid theatre for interventional cardiology and a new day surgery unit, and is due for completion early in 2018.
The hospital chief executive officer Kathryn Mckeefry says the project has been an outstanding success to date.
“More than 48,000 man hours have gone into the project so far and there have been no reportable incidents — this is an outstanding achievement and testament to, not only the good management of Hutchinson’s Builders, our project builders, but also to the tradespeople who are employed on the project, many of whom are locals,” Kathryn says.
“Our new kitchen is now complete — a month ahead of schedule — and while the journey so far has involved change and periods of noise and vibration, the worst is over and the project is still on track for an early completion.”
Kathryn says the theatre build isn’t the only major project happening within the walls of St Vincent’s at the moment.
“Extensive renovation and refurbishment projects have been occurring concurrently with the build,” she says.
“Tenders are out for work on the new 22 bed rehabilitation unit, which will be called St Michael’s, and once this ward is complete work will begin on creating a new cardiac ward in St Luke’s.
“The cardiac ward will support a new 24 hour interventional cardiology service, which in turn, will utilise our new hybrid theatre being built as part of the theatre suites.”
Kathryn says even more exciting is the news that St Vincent’s Health Australia has approved funding for a feasibility study to scope out a proposed stage two expansion that will add new imaging and emergency centres as well as medical suites, undercover car parking and a new hospital entrance off Herries Street.
To mark the 95th anniversary, the hospital is celebrating with a gala event to be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral Centre on Saturday, December 9, 2017.
The hospital invites everyone to join in the celebration.
Kathryn said it would be a fun night, with a great special guest — Samuel Johnson, Australian actor, radio presenter, voiceover artist and philanthropist, and also the fabulous Lisa Hunt and the Forever Soul Band for guests to dance the night away.
St Vincent’s retired nurses are also organising a big reunion in September to celebrate and reminisce 95 years of service.
More than 150 nurses have registered including some who began training in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Their memories are of fun and sometimes not-so-fun times, when all nurses lived in strictly-curfewed quarters, were required to pay for any equipment breakages such as glass syringes and thermometers, and performed domestic and health care duties as part of their work shift — all for 15 shillings per week… that’s… $1.50,” Kathryn says.
“As we celebrate 95 years, their experiences are a wonderful reflection on how much has changed but also how much remains the same at St Vincent’s.”