Mineral Springs Hospital still a top medical centre
The Banff Mineral Springs Hospital Community Board updated Town council this week on the hospital’s programs, which have provided continuing service in the community since 1930. Renowned in North America, Banff surgeons perform the most ACL knee surgeries in Alberta, and local surgeons and physicians are official health care providers for the National Ski Team, the Calgary Flames and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.
Today, as one of 26 health centres operated by Covenant Health, the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital serves a regional population of 13,000 residents and some of the 4 million visitors who come to Banff each year. The only Covenant facility with its own EMS team, the hospital has a stable employment level with 268 doctors, clinical staff and support staff, and 50 volunteers.
The board reports emergency room visits have remained stable over the past several years (11,032 emergency room visits last year). Top surgeries in Banff include: knee repairs and reconstruction, breast reductions, carpel tunnel release, shoulder repairs, ankle fractures, collarbone repair and hand contractures. The hospital continues to have 12 in-patient acute care beds as well as 10 designated day-surgery beds also classified as acute care services. In addition, there are 25 continuing care beds, 17 emergency beds and one palliative bed.
New at the hospital:
- A new ambulance with enhancements, such as a zero-lift load system to help get patients safely inside the ambulance.
- A new, modernized acute-care nursing station
- Four portable telemetry monitoring systems for cardiac patients
- A new research program is coming next year to provide interactive stimulating environments for patients with dementia.
Banff to introduce urban crampon rebate program
The Town will establish a snow and ice walking aid program to foster greater awareness about urban crampons – known by the brand name Yaktrax – and provide rebates to help more Banff residents purchase ice traction devices.
The program to help improve pedestrian mobility in winter will rebate up to $20 to residents who buy the traction devices, with about 100 pairs supported. Rebates will come from Banff’s Environmental Reserve, which is funded by franchise fees from utility companies. This fund also supports the studded tire rebate program, which still has revenue available, but has seen fewer applications in 2020.
The walking aid rebate program and the studded tire rebate program will close on April 30, 2020. Rebate information will be available at https://banff.ca/rebates
Food Charter proposed for Bow Valley
A food charter being developed by the Bow Valley Food Alliance would help regional communities from Morley to Lake Louise address food insecurity issues, including the high cost of food, lack of variety and cultural appropriateness, and lack of appropriate cooking facilities in some accommodations.
Banff Town Council was presented the draft food charter, which was developed after 18 months of consultation with food producers, health practitioners, non-profit organizations, cultural groups, community-based organizers, business owners, and concerned individuals from Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, the MD of Bighorn, and the Stoney Nakoda Nations.
While Banff has many short-term relief strategies, a food charter will create the groundwork for longer-term strategic systems change planning.
Although not a binding policy, the food charter will be an aspirational document to help unify and guide long-term planning across the Bow Valley region. The draft document is being shared with community leaders throughout the Bow Valley, who will be asked for feedback for revisions before communities become signatories to the charter.