Printer-friendly version   

The Best Place on Earth       UBC_FoM_colour_eps.eps          IH_vert_colour.eps



For Immediate Release

Jan. 25, 2010

Office of the Premier
UBC Faculty of Medicine
Interior Health





KELOWNA – The Interior’s new clinical teaching building at Kelowna General Hospital – the home of the Southern Medical Program – is complete and ready to begin training doctors in the Southern Interior for the first time ever, announced Premier Gordon Campbell today.


            “Since 2001 we have worked to expand doctor training across the province, from Vancouver Island to the North and now to the Interior with the opening of the new clinical academic campus at Kelowna General Hospital,” said Premier Campbell. “Since 2001 we’ve doubled the number of medical training spaces in B.C. from 128 to 256. When the Southern Medical Program officially opens in 2011, the number will rise to 288 and future doctors will be able to study for the first time here in the Southern Interior, in a new, world-class learning facility.”


            The new building is located on the grounds at KGH, and is a 34,000-square-foot stand-alone facility (including a multi-level parkade), which includes a 180-seat lecture theatre, and a library created for both hospital and academic use, plus videoconferencing suites and clinical skills and resource rooms for medical undergraduates and post-graduate residents. Up to 40 medical students are expected to begin using the campus immediately, including residents in family medicine and specialty training as well as postgraduate rural family medicine students.


              “This state-of-the-art training facility will attract top medical students who want access to the best education resources while they study, and this influx of new talent will be a great benefit to our community,” said Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson.


            “We are investing in education and ensuring we provide top quality health care by being able to train this many doctors here at home in the Okanagan,” said Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick.


            “Kelowna is well on its way to becoming a destination for top-quality medical training and care with the expansions to KGH and this new clinical teaching building,” said Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart.


            Construction on the building began in November 2008, and was completed on time and on budget in December 2009.



The KGH library is now open and postgraduate residents in the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Family Practice Residency Program, as well as UBC faculty and staff, are already using the building. Undergraduate students in the Southern Medical Program will begin training in the Clinical Academic Campus in January 2012, one semester after they begin their studies. 


            “We’re thrilled to have this new medical program campus here at KGH,” said Interior Health board chair Norman Embree. “The Southern Interior is growing rapidly, and by bringing medical training to the region we will be able to attract even more high quality medical professionals to Kelowna and the Interior.”


When it opens to students in 2011, the Southern Medical Program will be the fourth academic campus of the UBC Faculty of Medicine. The others are the Point Grey UBC campus in Vancouver, the Island Medical Program at the University of Victoria and the Northern Medical Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.


“After a term at the Vancouver UBC campus, starting in January 2012 medical students in the Southern Medical Program will begin their classes at UBC’s Okanagan campus and then  will have access to a working teaching hospital to round out their studies here,” said Dr. Gavin Stuart, dean of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and vice-provost, health. “This new building at KGH will be a major asset to our provincewide curriculum.”


            The new building is part of the overall expansion of health care facilities in Kelowna and Vernon. The $432.9-million Kelowna-Vernon Hospitals Project includes new patient-care towers at both KGH and Vernon Jubilee Hospital (VJH) and this stand-alone clinical teaching facility. The hospital expansion project is a public-private partnership. Building the Kelowna and Vernon Hospitals Project as a public-private partnership is expected to save taxpayers $25.4 million compared to traditional project procurement.


            Funding for the KGH medical facility was provided by the Province and Interior Health, with contributions from the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District and the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, who are contributing to the parkade and lecture theatre, respectively. The total cost of the building is $37.6 million, with the CORHD contributing about $4 million, and the KGH Foundation contributing $1.7 million.


“The Regional Hospital District was pleased to support KGH by contributing funding to accommodate this much-needed facility,” said Robert Hobson, chair of the CORHD. “Training doctors in the Interior will benefit the residents of the Interior tremendously.”


“KGH Foundation is a proud partner in building better health care in Kelowna,” said Sarah Nelems, Hospital Foundation executive director. “The donations speak to the outstanding generosity of our community.”


Infusion Health is responsible for the construction of the new facilities, along with building maintenance and project financing over the life of the contract. All clinical, housekeeping and food services will be retained by Interior Health.




Media contact:


Bridgitte Anderson

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 307-7177


Cam McAlpine

Communications Officer

Interior Health

250 870-4662

250 801-1741 (cell)



Bernadette Murphy

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health Services

250 952-1887 (media line)

250 213-9590 (cell)



For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at