/ Stories

Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa Celebrate 10 Years


a woman with blonde hair stands at a podium with an arch of blue balloons behind her
NH NE COO - Angela De Smit addresses the crowd.

The Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa (FSJH and PV) recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary!

Opened in 2012, the 55-bed hospital and 124-bed long-term care home have provided indispensable health care services for Fort St. John and the surrounding area for over a decade now.

The facilities’ construction, which was announced in 2008, took four years to complete, with the hospital moving their patients to the new facility on June 21, 2012, and residents being moved to Peace Villa on June 24, 2012. Since then, the hospital has performed over 5,970 deliveries in the maternity ward, has had over 259,539 total emergency visits, and over 1,010,308 total patient encounters.

“I am proud that I was able to be part of the Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa build that created both a hospital and long-term care home to serve the residents of Fort St. John and area,” says Angela De Smit, Northern Health’s Northeast Chief Operating Officer.

“The design of the facility has enabled enhanced comfort, privacy, and an overall improved patient experience. Additionally, the facilities have enabled staff and physicians to be able to work in an environment that is conducive to the provision of high-quality care and a positive work environment for them.”

Viva Swanson, a registered nurse who has worked in Fort St. John for over 20 years and was the FSJH and PV Facility Clinical Lead, Acute Care from April 2009 to August 2012, contributes her thoughts as well:

“It was by lucky happenstance that I found myself enveloped in the initial planning for the Fort St. John Hospital and Residential Care Project.”

“I remember a particular planning session,” she says, “and I realized that I could very well be part of the planning for the future hospital where my grandchildren would be born. It was an incredible thought that came to fruition on December 21, 2019, when my grandson entered this world in one of the LDRP [labour, delivery, recovery and postpartum] suites that I helped design. Wow!”

Tracey Vipond, who has been a clinical instructor for Northern Lights College (NLC) students in Peace Villa, as well as instructional faculty in Dawson Creek, and one of the Health Science Chairs with NLC, reflects on the facility’s relationship with their health care assistant program:

“I can honestly say, as my roles changed at Northern Lights College, I have had, and continue to have, a wonderful working relationship with the management and staff of Peace Villa. Management and staff have collaboratively supported faculty and students, accommodating schedule changes to facilitate the best possible outcome and experience.”

Joanne Cozac, formerly the North Peace Health Services Administrator and currently Project Manager, also shares her experience at FSJH:

“While we knew our amazing health care team worked in a beautiful hospital, over the years we always got a kick out of hearing from health care professionals from tertiary and quaternary hospitals that our hospital was the most beautiful, best equipped and cleanest hospital they had ever seen!”

Congratulations to the Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa for 10 years! 

a group of people stand in a line waiting to receive a gift from the NH booth
NH Staff picking up recognition gifts. 
a man wearing a grey suit addresses the crowd
NH Board Member, John Kurjata.
a man in a light blue dress shirt stands at a podium
MLA, Dan Davies. 
a man in a black suit stands at the podium
Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Mike Wright
a woman with brown hair and wearing dark clothes stands at a podium
Fort St. John Hospital Foundation Board Member, Twila Soule
an older woman with white hair stands at the podium
Fort St John Hospital Auxiliary President, Rosemary Landry
a woman with a blonde bob stands at the podium
Fort St John Mayor, Lori Ackerman 
a table with commemorative items from the last 90 years of FSJohn Hospital Auxiliary
Fort St John Hospital Auxiliary - 90 years of service!