WRH Health Minister Visit-18Following last week’s announcement that planning for the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System is moving forward, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, spoke to members of the media and answered questions about the future of the project.  He called the community engagement process for the project exemplary and commented on the passion, commitment and enthusiasm in Windsor-Essex.

LISTEN: Minister Hoskins answers questions at the WRH Ouellette Campus, Dec. 1, 2017

Here are some highlights from the Minister’s comments:

I’m so proud that we’ve reached this point today, where we, as a province, the government, has, absolutely committed to the investment necessary for creating a new hospital that will serve the population of both Windsor and Essex … There are a lot of layers to this announcement. But two things are sure; Windsor-Essex is getting a new hospital and the government has committed to investing in it to make that happen.

Pretty well the moment I became health minister three and a half years ago, I became aware of just how committed the residents and the leadership of Windsor-Essex are to this project, to this new hospital . That commitment, and that passion, and determination makes a big difference, and certainly, the financial commitment that has been made through councils to contribute the local component, that is critically important. It’s also a very clear demonstration of their commitment. For me, it was, never a matter of if, it was a matter of when to be able to reach this announcement today. I was compelled by the evidence in terms of the need for a new hospital and I was certainly compelled by the commitment of the local communities.

So now it’s official. We’ve committed to funding it. We’ve set aside the funding necessary, so it’s in our fiscal plan, is how we refer to it as a government and I also announced today as well that the process has moved one big step forward into Stage 2, which is important.

And I have to say, the community process that has been undertaken throughout this over the years with regards to the new hospital has been exemplary. I don’t know if I’ve seen a stronger community process in the province, quite frankly. So that community engagement needs to continue. The leadership that had been involved at every level on the conversation thus far needs to continue that conversation and discussion when it comes to services for downtown core. So I’m not going to predict, or preempt, or suggest what that might look like because it’s– obviously, these are recommendations and proposals, so they’re best suited by those who are closest and have the expertise to determine what they might be.

You know, Windsor, you need to be proud. I’m sure you are. It’s a very unique part of the province. There’s a passion, and commitment, and enthusiasm that exists here. And I’ve felt it every time I’ve been here, but that was certainly present today. So to see such a large group of people coming out, and diverse group, and to actually, you know, have David and others identify specific individuals who have been involved, some of them a long, long time ago, right? And the beginnings of this, and– but throughout the whole process most of them pure volunteers. I think that, it was really exciting to once again, be part of that, and feel it and sense it. And that’s something that Windsor and Essex should be really proud of, is that. Not only on the science side like having done collectively such a good job at stating the case– making the case for a new hospital and all of the programs and services required. But you’ve done an exemplary job with regards the community engagement process. And then you have a wealth of talent, and expertise, and good will, some of it paid, most of it voluntary, that have just come to this challenge with such vigor. And here we are today, really as a result of you know, I just said a few words at a podium, but all the hard work was done over many years by local citizens that just believe in contributing and in giving back, and providing the best, making, creating the best possible health care for Windsor-Essex.

Typically at the, the Ministry, we look to the LHIN and the local hospital to make decisions with regards to siting of new hospitals. There’s an expectation, however, you know, that there is a strong community process that underpins that recommendation. I’m confident that that process was undertaken here in Windsor. But, the Ministry and the government we’re not in the business of site selection. We really look to local leadership and local experts to make what they believe is the best decision, and to do that through community consultation. But I think it’s also important, what I referred to as well is, you know, there’s still a lot of discussion ongoing, right, in terms of whether that’s looking at maintaining, health services in the downtown core, the mental health services that I spoke to. There’s there are many opportunities in Windsor and in Essex and it’s our job, I think, collectively in all of us, to make sure that we avail ourselves of those.”

The Windsor-Essex Hospitals System is a step closer to becoming a reality.


Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Ouellette Campus to announce plans to move forward with plans for the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System.


The links below have more information about the announcement and next steps in planning for the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System:  



    This project is not just about bricks and mortar.  It is about working together as a region to improve the system for patients in Windsor-Essex. 

There is still plenty of work ahead.  Sign up to the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System email list to receive information about future opportunities to get involved.


If you really want to understand the difference between a Walk-in Clinic, an Urgent Care Centre and an Emergency Department, the new Peel Memorial is a good place to start.

Health professionals here say the new Urgent Care Centre offers much more than a walk-in clinic. In fact, if necessary, it can easily be converted into a full emergency department, without inpatient beds.


Speaking to a great group at  the Unifor Local 444 Retiree luncheon yesterday, Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj had the opportunity to address some myths about the new Windsor-Essex Hospital System.  Have a listen.

When building a new hospital, there are no do-overs.  It is important to get it right the first time and include hospital users in the design process.

Before breaking ground at the new DMC’s Children’s Hospital of Michigan, the design team built the entire hospital out of cardboard and invited patients, families and staff members to test it out. The following video shows how user feedback affected the final build.



For more information on the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System, visit www.windsorhospitals.ca and sign up to the email list for future opportunities to get directly involved in the planning.



Planning the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System is a 5-stage process.  We have completed stage 1 and have the green light to move forward.

Timeline chartStages 2 and 3 will take about 3 years to complete and this is really where the “rubber hits the road” and plans start to take shape. This will cost about 10 times what the project has cost so far, and require about 10 times the amount of work.

Here are some highlights of next steps:


This is a very detailed description of how the new system will operate. It is essentially designing the hospital with words.  This document will be in next steps to develop the building design.

The Functional Program will:

  • Include a detailed description of how programs and services will function;
  • Look at staffing, space and equipment requirements;
  • Focus on workflow planning for patients, staff and materials; and
  • Require considerable input from users.


This builds on the work done in the first two stages to create preliminary designs. MOHLTC approval of this stage is required before final design and construction can begin in Stage 4 of the project.

The Preliminary Design will:

  • Result in a two-dimensional design format, informed by the functional program;
  • Include a detailed description of the design concepts, a site plan, the location of building components, the location and relationship of major departments, entrances and exits, etc.;
  • Describe the proposed structural systems, electrical systems, energy sources and energy budget, heating, ventilation and cooling systems, plumbing, drainage, gases and other mechanical and life safety systems;
  • Outline the proposed layout plans including the location of all major equipment; and
  • Use mock rooms to test designs and make sure they are patient/user friendly.


Community engagement and involvement will continue be at the heart of this project going forward and everyone is encouraged to add a voice to the discussion. Sign up to the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System email list for updates on the project and future opportunities to get involved.

The Ontario Government and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has given the green light for the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System proposal to move forward in the planning process, a key historic milestone that ensures it’s now just a matter of “when”, not “if” we are getting a new Windsor/Essex hospital system for our region. This is now a reality!

Thanks Windsor/Essex, you made this happen!

TOWN HALL – WRH & HDGH – April 28th, 2017

Members of the The Essex & Kent Building Trades highlight some of the reasons why they support the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System this video.

Nice work all!  Thanks for your continued support.


What do Windsor Regional Hospital and Windsor Public Library have in common?  For one thing, both are looking to offer library services in the south part of Windsor in about 10 years.

The hospital is planning to include a library as part of the new state-of-the-art acute care hospital at County Rd 42 and the 9th Concession and the Windsor Public Library System is looking to expand services in South Windsor to meet the needs of residents in that part of the City.

Today, they announced a plan to explore the possibility of combining the services and offering a unique library experience for community members, hospital staff, patients and families.

For more details, please click here to view media release. 

library pic

“Right now, we are waiting for approval to move to stage two in the planning process. Once that happens, we can take this vision and explore the countless ways this partnership can benefit our patients, staff, visitors, partners in medical research and education and the larger community. It is an innovative partnership and it highlights the unique opportunities the new regional hospital will create.”

David Musyj, President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, Co-Chair of the Program and Services Steering Committee.

WATCH: WRH & WPL Announce Innovative Partnership



In 2016, the team working on the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System – which is much more than just a new state-of-the-art acute care hospital – completed stage 1 of a 5-stage planning process.   The Co-chairs overseeing the project are eager to move forward with the planning in 2017 and the region is well positioned to hit the ground running as soon as the province commits to funding the next stages of planning, thanks to a productive and united 2016.

Here are some highlights:

  • Region unites to tell province #WEareready for a new system of hospital care 

    January 2016

    This year, recognizing the importance of a new system that includes a new state-of-the-art acute care hospital, integrated and seamless mental health care with a Centre of Excellence at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s Prince Road Campus and outpatient mental health services in the city’s core, and an Urgent Care Centre in at the former Grace Hospital site, elected leaders in Windsor-Essex put politics aside and declared in a united voice: #WEareready.

    In January, area MPPs, along with the Warden of Essex County and Mayor of Windsor, issued a letter to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care outlining a regional commitment to seeing this much needed capital investment approved for the nearly 400,000 residents of the City and County.

    “I was born and raised in this region and have never seen people of all backgrounds and political stripes come together to support an initiative like they have for the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System,” said David Musyj, Co-Chair of the Program and Services Steering Committee.

    FROM THE ARCHIVE: #WEareready

    It’s not only elected officials that have endorsed the project.  There is also a growing list of community groups calling for the province to move the project forward.

  • Region commits to $200 million local shareThere are several other communities in Ontario working on similar-sized new hospital system projects. Windsor-Essex is the only one that has already committed to paying its share. In April, Essex County Council and Windsor City Council each committed to covering a portion of the $200 million local share.  This generous contribution from residents in Windsor-Essex demonstrates to the province a strong desire to make the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System a reality.

    FROM THE ARCHIVE: A monumental vote at Essex County Council

    FROM THE ARCHIVE: A momentous night at City Council

  • Many more voices added to the discussion

    Community engagement is an essential part of this planning process.  This year alone, project leaders have attended 20+ information session/town hall events and participated in several radio phone-in programs.  At a town hall event in January, Lucy Brun, a healthcare and facility planner who has worked on hundreds of hospitals worldwide stated the community engagement process in Windsor-Essex is unprecedented and far exceeds anything she has ever seen before.

    WATCH: Community engagement in Windsor–Essex. Lucy Brun, Agnew Peckham

    For a complete list of community events or to inquire about hosting a discussion with your group/agency/workplace or club, please CLICK HERE.

  • Start of rezoning process

    In order to continue with the planning for a new state-of-the-art, acute care hospital at County Rd. 42 and the 9th Concession, Windsor Regional Hospital has submitted an application to the City of Windsor, requesting an amendment to the city’s Official Plan and Zoning By-laws.

    This is the natural next step to ensure we can proceed with the planning process when the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care gives approval to move to the next stage

    For more information, please CLICK HERE.

  • Creating a vision for education and research

    December 2016

    From the beginning of this project, education and research have been among the main drivers. An expanded focus on clinical research strengthens the research and scholarship culture and puts Windsor-Essex in a better position to recruit and retain top physicians, professional healthcare staff and medical leaders.

    The current hospital infrastructure has limited space for clinical research and education. The opportunity to redesign the way hospital care is delivered opens the door for us to tap into the pockets of research we have and build collaboration right into the system.

    At a visioning session in early December, leaders in the field started work on a shared vision for the future in this area.

    FROM THE ARCHIVE:  Creating a vision for education and research in Erie St. Clair


    The project requires approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in order to move forward to the next planning stage.

    Stage 2 is where the rubber hits the road for a project of this size.  It includes detailed planning of how programs and services will function.  It also looks at what staffing, space and equipment will be required and will require considerable input from users.

    Approval to move to stage 2 means additional funding for planning and signals a commitment from the province to move the project forward.

    While the Co-chairs overseeing planning for the new hospital are hopeful that the province will approve the hospital in the new year, they warn it is not a given.

    “In 2016 Windsor-Essex demonstrated a true commitment to this project,” said David Musyj. “Everything we are hearing from the Ministry is positive, but we cannot become apathetic.  We must continue to press it and make it become a reality.”

    How can you help move the project forward?  Please CLICK HERE for some suggestions.

    For more information about the project, please visit www.windsorhospitals.ca, or click on the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System Fact Sheet below.fact-sheet

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