KELOWNA – Pioneer physician Dr. Walter Anderson was honoured posthumously this week with the dedication of a new building at Kelowna General Hospital. The clinical support building will now be known as the Dr. Walter Anderson Building, in recognition of his significant contributions to the community, as both a physician and a philanthropist.
Dr. Anderson arrived in Kelowna and opened a practice with Dr. Underhill in 1938. He would eventually deliver 3,477 babies, including Kelowna’s only triplets.
“As he was for so many Kelowna area families, Dr. Anderson was there from the beginning; he delivered me and my siblings here at KGH over 50 years ago. Despite retiring in 1980, Dr. Anderson is still extremely well-respected and known in the Kelowna area,” said Ben Stewart, MLA for Westside-Kelowna.
“Dr. Anderson was a true pillar of our community, and was dedicated to serving our city and its residents – I hope that this building serves as a daily reminder to people of the difference they too can make,” said Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission.
A leader in local medical affairs, Dr. Anderson served as president of the Kelowna Medical Society and the Southern Interior Medical Association, and was a 10-year member of the British Columbia Medical Association Board of Directors.
“Dr. Anderson demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the citizens of Kelowna, through his tireless work as a doctor, and as a champion of arts and heritage in the community,” said Norman Embree, Interior Health board chair. “It’s extremely fitting that this building, which will serve such a vital role in health care for the community, be named after a man whose role was equally vital.”
Also a leader in local cultural affairs, he helped raise funds for the Kelowna Memorial Arena and the Kelowna Community Theatre, single-handedly established the Community Music Series and was instrumental in the preservation of Guisachan House and Benvoulin Church during his tenure with the Central Okanagan Heritage Society, which he founded. The City eventually named February 26, 1981 “Dr. Walter Anderson Day.”
“Dr. Anderson’s willingness to donate his time and expertise to so many important causes in the community is an inspiration,” said Dr. Jan McIntosh, KGH Chief of Staff. “It will be an honour to work in a building bearing his name.”
Located on the east side of Pandosy Street, the new building is connected to the main KGH campus by an enclosed pedestrian bridge. It will provide critical support services to the hospital, including a new lab and clinical spaces and opens May 27, 2012, in conjunction with the opening of the Centennial Building.