The organizing committee behind the new Lakes District healthcare history kiosk meets in the Lakes District Hospital on Jan. 30. (Blair McBride photo)

New kiosk to present Lakes District healthcare history

Planning is underway to set up a kiosk in the hospital in Burns Lake presenting the history of healthcare in the Lakes District.

The content of the kiosk will present that history from before the 1930s, including the several hospitals that have served the Lakes District until the present, and prominent members of the local medical community.

Bernice Magee, director of a new committee that grew from the Burns Lake and District Seniors Society, said the finished project will resemble the kiosk set up inside the Key-Oh Lodge presenting the history and culture of the Burns Lake First Nation.

“[The idea] started when the Burns Lake and District Seniors Society wanted a commemorative wall on our healthcare history. Then we decided to update the idea to more recent technology,” including digital electronic technology, committee member Ron Miller told Lakes District News in a meeting on Jan. 30.

The kiosk idea was suggested by the Lakes Health Services Administrator, Magee said.

The group is currently deciding on what data to include in the project, which will be gathered from historical records and the committee’s own research.

“Who was the first baby born at the old hospital?” asked Ron Miller about possible data to include about the old Lakes District Hospital that was built in 1960.

That hospital sat on what became the parking lot of the current Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre, which was constructed in 2014 and officially opened in 2015.

LOOK BACK: Good-bye to the old Burns Lake hospital

The kiosk will be built on the hospital’s lower floor in the corner near the painting of horses.

The history of traditional Indigenous healthcare in the Lakes District won’t be included in the kiosk, as local First Nations groups plan to build their own on the upper floor of the hospital, Magee said.

The cost for the physical kiosk is estimated to come to $15,000.

Most of that sum has already been contributed from the Burns Lake Community Forest and Burns Lake and District Health-Care Auxiliary, with the rest coming from the estate of Dr. Bruce and Evelyn MacEwen (which was willed to the Village of Burns Lake) and from the Stuart Nechako Regional Hospital District building fund.

Shipping for its materials is expected to cost $500 and a labourer from Vancouver will install the kiosk.

The committee hopes it will be completed later in the year or early next year.

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