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Name change costs for Powell River General Hospital expected to be negligible: Vancouver Coastal Health

Facility is now known as qathet General Hospital
Changing the name of Powell River General Hospital to qathet General Hospital has associated costs, but in a written request for information, Vancouver Coastal Health has indicated that costs are expected to be negligible and funds will not be redirected from patient care to make the change.

With the changing of the name from Powell River General Hospital to qathet General Hospital, there are associated costs with the process.

After a written request was made by the Peak to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) about the cost of the process, the regional health authority provided the following response:

“As part of our journey towards truth and reconciliation, the decision to rename this hospital site was carefully considered by our board of directors and senior executive team, with valued input from Tla’amin Nation.

“Indigenous peoples continue to experience barriers and challenges accessing equitable care. Renaming this hospital was an important step in providing culturally safe care for Indigenous peoples. 

“Vancouver Coastal Health will complete the transition of Powell River General Hospital to qathet General Hospital in a fiscally responsible manner, exploring cost efficiencies where appropriate. Costs are expected to be negligible and will be managed within administrative budgets. VCH will not be redirecting any funds away from patient care to make these changes.”

A similar request was made by the Peak of qathet Regional District last October regarding its name change from Powell River Regional District. At that time, chief administrative officer Al Radke provided a detailed response.

“The approach qathet Regional District took was to roll out the transition and rebranding over three to five years. We officially received our name change through order in council of the lieutenant-governor on July 5, 2018,” stated Radke. “What was at the top of mind were things like: domain names; website; email addresses; email address signature blocks; voice mail messages; print ready logo(s) for using in regard to our computers; report templates; supplier announcements; media release and/or ads in local media; internal software/programming that had an outward public facing exposure, for example, iCompass, TV That’s Powell River, Envisio, et cetera; office building door signage; business cards. Many of these would have little or no cost consequence to them other than staff time invested.

“The more publicly seen items such as office(s) sign(s), vehicle decals, park signage and beach access signs could wait until such time that it was truly warranted. When we purchase something like a vehicle which requires identification, we apply the new name and logo.

“Unfortunately, rightly or wrongly, we did not track costs in a separate account. All costs flowed through our general ledger under whatever service was appropriate: repairs and maintenance, supplies, salaries, et cetera. We estimated for rebranding all at once, rather than waiting until the lifespan of an item was rescheduled, to be between $50,000 to $75,000. We took the long approach and those figures are being spread out over at least five years and possibly more in some cases.

“Although we do not have any quantitative data to share, we believe the costs as a whole have been minimal. Many of the costs would be expected to be realized over time anyway.”

City of Powell River is also considering the possibility of a name change. Through the discernment process, possible costs have not been articulated.