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Stevenson Memorial Hospital prepares redevelopment proposal


Stevenson Memorial Hospital CEO, Annette Jones, today announced that Stevenson is preparing a proposal to the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care for the redevelopment of the Emergency Department and adjacent operating rooms.

The submission will ask the Ontario government to approve the proposal and provide a financial grant for planning the hospital redevelopment. This pre-capital planning proposal, being prepared by a newly-formed hospital board committee, is expected to be submitted by the end of 2012. It seeks a grant to plan the redevelopment and expansion of the Stevenson Emergency Department and Operating Rooms. The planning will likely also include the redevelopment of Diagnostic Imaging and the Laboratories which are integrally linked to both Emergency and the operating rooms.

The Hospital’s Board of Directors established the new committee this summer to identify and plan how Stevenson can be redeveloped to meet both current and future health needs in one of Ontario’s fastest growing areas. The committee, named theFuture Health Care Centre Committee, is comprised of Hospital Board Directors, Stevenson Foundation members, hospital management, medical professionals and community citizens at large.

"We are focusing our efforts on developing a plan that will provide the residents of this area with a new emergency department with accompanying operating rooms and state of the art diagnostic imaging and laboratory services. Our goal is to provide this community with first class health care services," said Scott Anderson, chair of the new committee. "Emergency is our priority from a community needs perspective. The growth in emergency visits and the complexity of the cases now being seen in the Emergency Department combined with the existing physical state of the facility means we must act sooner rather than later. This community has no alternative."

The planning, which is a long-term process with many stages, will be for both new construction and renovation at the existing Fletcher Crescent site, with the focus on new facilities and equipment for the Emergency Department and operating rooms.

Stevenson Memorial Hospital was built almost 50 years ago and although it contains some of the most modern diagnostic equipment, the building is small and cramped for handling increasing numbers of emergency and operating room visits. For example; having one common hospital entrance serving as the main lobby and entrance to the hospital as well as the entrance and waiting area for the Emergency Department is not an acceptable hospital standard. Quality health care provides patient privacy and optimizes infection prevention and control.

This entrance does neither. The inefficiencies of running an older health care facility are expected to become more of an issue as the community’s population being served ages and doubles over the next 25 years.

CEO Annette Jones, notes: "A feature of early redevelopment discussions is the principle of leaving the current hospital buildings intact and adding new modern expansion space on the current location, and redeveloping space within the existing infrastructure. This approach eliminates the need for demolition without losing the services of the existing facilities that currently serve the community. It also ensures the required health care technology (such as the CT scanner and digital mammography) that has been funded by the community will continue to be operated without interruption as the Emergency Department and operating room space is planned and built."

Stevenson Memorial is the community’s hospital and is owned and operated by the community under the oversight of the hospital board of directors. Directors are comprised 100 per cent community citizens. However, provincial government protocols dictate that any proposal for hospital infrastructure redevelopment must be approved by the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and Ontario Ministry of Health. Getting government approvals and funding needed for redeveloping and expanding hospital infrastructure is a long term process over several years and includes several stages of government approval and oversight.