This past year, Providence Health Care was able to expand the Community Dialysis Unit (CDU) in Powell River, BC with the support of the BC Renal and Vancouver Coastal Health.

The CDU is located within the hospital in Powell River, which is a small community located on the traditional ancestral homelands of the Tla’amin First Nation, which is part of the North Sunshine Coast.

The hospital was recently re-named “qathet General Hospital” in a move towards Indigenous reconciliation and acknowledgment of the lands the hospital and community reside upon. In alignment with this change, the CDU was re-named “qathet Community Dialysis Unit”.

“The name qathet (kah-thet) was gifted to our Regional District by the Elders of the Tla’amin First Nation,” says Adrian David, RN, qathet CDU. “I learned that qathet in the Indigenous language means “working together.”

It cannot be more fitting as Sandy, my colleague, and I both feel that it is by working together with our patients, that is, respecting their thoughts, feelings, and goals of treatment, is the only way we can provide effective care.”

The Powell River area is considerably remote as it is attached to the Lower Mainland, but is only accessibly by ferry or plane. As a result, it is challenging to staff the unit more than three days per week.

With a growing number of Powell River kidney patients needing facility-based treatment, and limited ability for these individuals to access dialysis in other communities, it became clear that there was a need to increase the number of chairs in the unit versus increasing the number of days that the unit was open.

Previously the CDU had three chairs allowing for six patients. The qathet CDU has now been expanded to six chairs to allow for 12 patients to receive care in the facility, three times per week.

Additionally, the CDU was relocated within the hospital (from Room 3004 to Room 2670) to a larger and brighter space where patients in the area will be able to receive services close to home for years to come.

“Our new space is bright, airy and full of sunshine.  For me personally, our new unit has made a fun place to work even more pleasant,” says Adrian.

​Renovated space within the qathet CDU.