Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary is Alberta's Largest Hospital, and Western Canada's busiest... Oh, and always under construction.
The Foothills Medical Centre is a tertiary care referral centre for southern Alberta, southeastern British Columbia, southwestern Saskatchewan, and areas south of the Canada/USA border. Located at 1403 29 St. N.W., the medical centre has a unique partnership with the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, all sharing the same site. This effective collaboration integrates clinical service, research and education to provide Albertans with specialized programs that respond to their health care needs. The Centre features both the North and South Tower, Grace Women's Health Centre, the HSAA building, along with two new healthcare towers as part of the HSAA, and a specialized Cancer Centre, which has lately been renovated to serve palliative patients.
More than half a million patients visit the Foothills Hospital each year. With a bed count of over 1,200 and staff numbering over 7,500, the Foothills offers a wide range of services that include a trauma centre for its catchment area, high risk maternity and neonatal intensive care unit, renal dialysis, multiple transplantation (kidney, pancreas, tissue and corneal), specialty programs like cardiology, clinical neurosciences and bone marrow transplantation, as well as PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service), the HOPE (Human Organ Procurement and Exchange) Program, and the PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth) Program. In addition to these on-of-a-kind programs, the Foothills Hospital houses 22 operating theatres including a specially designated trauma O.R., a 24-hour Emergency Department, a 22-bed Intensive Care Unit and a 24-bed Cardiac Care Unit. The Foothills Medical Centre also boasts an Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance System, the only one of its kind in the world. Currently, the Emergency department at Foothills Medical Centre is undergoing renovations to accommodate more emergency patients by providing 25 more beds, which essentially reduces emergency wait times for patients.
A 1966 informational pamphlet gives the following description:
"Foothills Hospital overlooks the north bank of the Bow River at 13 Avenue and 29 Street N.W.
Largest completely new hospital of its kind constructed in North America; 765,000 square feet of floor space; 2,000 rooms. Patient capacity: 766 beds, 116 bassinettes, 15 day care beds. Staff when the hospital is in full operation: 1,200-1,500. Cost: $21,000,000 for construction of hospital, School of Nursing and Power Plant — $5,000,000 for initial equipment. T-shaped hospital building, 12 storeys plus basement. The cross-piece of the T includes all nursing units. The back wing or stem of the T includes all clinical and other service departments and is 10 storeys high. A 100 bed auxiliary hospital is planned for later construction on site; also a 370 bed psychiatric hospital which will be operated under separate administration. Capital financing for construction was by the usual Federal Provincial grants plus a $17 million debenture issue to be retired by the Provincial Government over a 20 year period. Operation costs will be met by the standard per diem payments made under Alberta Hospitalization benefits. Complete hospital control is vested in the board of Management."
"Pathology labs have advanced equipment to provide a complete pathology service.
The Mc Caig Tower Located on the Foothills Medical Centre complex in Calgary, Alberta, this new facility is the first phase of a $1 billion major ‘redevelopment’ plan for the existing hospital.
All aspects of design and planning embrace flexibility, efficiency, functionality and future growth considerations. At completion, this phase will house new operating suites, an ‘all new’ intensive care unit, new medical laboratories, as well as inpatient units having views of the Bow River Valley.
Although constructed at the ‘back’ of the existing hospital, a new road system and interchange over Calgary’s 16th Avenue will provide a new west entrance to the hospital complex.
A new 615 underground parkade will be developed as part of this phase of the project.
New Construction: Intensive Care Unit (36 bed expansion) & Diagnostic Imaging Satellite; Inpatient Units (3 x 30 beds); Eight (8) new Operating Suites; Shell space for 16 addition OR’s in future; Surgical Processing Dept.; MSK Clinic with Diagnostic Imaging; Administration Spaces for Clinical Depts.; Lobby and Retail Spaces; Connecting Corridors & Links
Renovation & Additions: Emergency Department Renovation & Expansion (70 stations); Admissions – Main Floor; Blood Gas Lab – Main Floor; Rehabilitation Department – Third Floor; New Waste Handling & Loading Docks; Power Plant & Pump House Additions; New Grounds Maintenance Building
The Future of Foothills
2004 Phase 1
Infrastructure Improprement (Renovation)
This phase involves major upgrades to the Special Services Building to convert the inpatient units from continuing care to acute care. Infrastructure will be upgraded throughout the building to accommodate this conversion. It also includes the development of additional parking facilities on site. These are needed to address the current shortage of parking at peak times, and to add parking that will be needed for future developments such as the University of Calgary’s Health Research Innovation Centre (HRIC). A number of stalls will be lost when the 37th Street interchange is built over 16th Avenue, and they need to be replaced prior to the beginning of construction.
2006 Phase 2a
This phase includes the addition of a five-storey podium behind the current Main Building, to accommodate a larger Intensive Care Unit, with 14 additional beds. Lab facilities will be consolidated and replaced, operating rooms will be added and replaced and Diagnostic Imaging (DI) will be expanded in a more convenient location. This phase also anticipates the completion of the 37th Street interchange at the west corner of the site, and a new ring road around the Foothills Medical Centre
2010 Phase 2b
Addition of New Hospital
This phase incorporates the first major building addition to replace old and aging facilities. It will be comprised of a five-storey podium, containing such things as additional surgical suite, DI, lab, cardiac services and other clinical supports. This podium connecting to the phase 2A addition would provide the majority of specialty beds for the site. A six-storey tower on top of the podium will provide two 32-bed inpatient units per floor (total around 384 inpatient beds). At this point, the Foothills Medical Centre would be comprised of approximately 200 beds in the Special Services Building, 400+ in Phases 2A and B of new buildings and the required remainder for the site within the existing main building
2016 Phase 3
Completion of New Hospital
This phase of development would mirror Phase 2, with an additional five-storey podium, housing a new emergency department and additional clinical supports and ambulatory services, with a six-story tower housing further inpatient units. This addition will replace any remaining services located within the Main Building, South tower, Grace Women's Health Centre and North Tower.
2020 Phase 4
Remove Main Building
Completion of phase three will allow removal of the Main Building with replacement to allow connections between the new facilities, the SSB Cancer Centre and the University facilities.
2022 Phase 5
Phase anticipates the removal of the South Tower, North Tower and Grace Women's Health Centre and the potential addition of some small buildings on-site that would be the maximum development that the site could accommodate. These additional buildings might provide additional space for the Cancer Centre, University or private partnerships, but are not required as a part of the program of services to be provided by the Region as described in the Master Program for the Foothills Master Plan.