Although the Government takes the lead in providing health care and education, there is room for entrepreneurial initiatives in these industries in BC’s Lower Columbia. The presence of a major regional health care facility and college are springboards for other ventures, as follows.
The Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital serves 80,000 residents. The hospital is an excellent working environment, thanks to an ongoing program of investment in the space and equipment.
Many practitioners and specialists with hospital privileges operate private practices as well. Often they chose to locate their office in the Trail Medical Building; it also features a pharmacy and laboratory services.
The cluster of health care professionals, together with the presence of a major hospital, makes the region attractive to new residents who value accessible health services.
Thanks to the volunteer leadership of the Lower Columbia Community Development Team Society there is a Transport-Canada-approved medivac heliport just across from Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital. The heliport provides incredible ease of access for patients coming to and leaving the region for critical treatment.
The other clear opportunity the region presents to entrepreneurs with an interest in health care is assisted living. The quality of life in BC’s Lower Columbia is outstanding, particularly in the Villages and rural electoral districts. Companies like Golden Life Management have found success offering a mix of independent and assisted living options for seniors in Fruitvale.
Selkirk College has 8 campuses and learning centres in the Kootenays, including one in Trail. The College ensures a source of fresh skilled labour, as well as apprentices and coop students. Some of the College’s programs directly reflect the needs of local industry: for example, Ski Resort Operations and Management and Process Operator, delivered in conjunction with Teck.