Great news for patients in Windsor and Essex County.  Yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care announced plans to add a positron-emission tomography (PET) machine to the WRH nuclear medicine department.

WATCH: March 1, 2018 – PET Scan Announcement

In the past, some patients had to travel out of town to for the scan.  The new machine – pictured below – means those patients can get diagnosed faster and closer to home.

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The PET will be located at the Met campus and is expected to be fully operational in late 2018.  This will be the first provincial funded PET/CT scanner in Ontario, with a price tag of about $3.5 million.

David Musyj, President and CEO of Windsor  Regional Hospital, says, “It’s an exciting time for Windsor Regional Hospital.”

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Healthcare in Windsor Essex has come a long way in the last 10 years.  This Windsor Star article is a great summary of the impact the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry – Windsor Campus has had in this region since it opened in 2008.

The Right Medicine: Med school is changing health-care in Windsor

Looking forward to the next 10 years and more game-changing transformations!

“What’s medical education going to look like in Windsor embedded in the new hospital? That new physical plant is a game-changer. How are we going to grow international partnerships? I see growth on a multitude of fronts.”  Dr. Michael Strong, the current dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Looking back, 2017 can be remembered as the year the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System became a reality, instead of just a vision. At the beginning of the year, the discussion was about “IF” the project would move forward, now it’s just a matter of “WHEN”.

Below are some highlights from the past year and a look at what’s next, in 2018.

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2017 HIGHLIGHTS

1) Financial Commitment

As part of the 2017 Ontario Budget, the government approved construction of a new acute care hospital. Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj described the announcement as “Christmas in April for healthcare in Windsor-Essex.”

WATCH: Post budget town hall meeting-April 28, 2017

2) Health Minister says, “Let’s get it built!”

In a visit to Windsor in Dec. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, cemented the move forward by announcing the project was moving to stage 2 of the 5-stage planning process.  “Let’s get it built!” he said to an eager crowed at the Ouellette Campus.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Hoskins described the community engagement process for the project as “exemplary” and expressed his confidence in the site selection process used in the selection of the new hospital site.

LISTEN: Hoskins speaks to reporters at the WRH Ouellette Campus

FROM THE ARCHIVES: WE are Moving Forward

3) Infrastructure Ontario on board

In November, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) was appointed to lead the procurement process for construction of the new hospital. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is scheduled to be issued in 2021, subject to changes.  This will be followed by a Request for Proposal (RFP).

There is still plenty of work ahead, but this gives some deadlines to work toward, and a team of experienced experts to make it happen.

4) Exploring new partnerships

Earlier this year, Windsor Regional Hospital and the Windsor Public Library announced plans to explore the possibility of combining their services to offer a unique library experience for community members, hospital staff, patients and families, at the new acute care hospital site when it opens.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: WRH & WPL announce innovative partnership 

5) Sharing our story

Throughout the process, the Program and Services Steering Committee has strived to be as open, accountable and transparent as possible and include the community at every step.

This year, members of the Steering Committee have been invited to share their planning experiences on several occasions, with other Ontario hospitals that are working on major redevelopment projects.

Co-Chairs of the Program and Services Steering Committee speaking about community engagement at the Canadian Institute – Healthcare Infrastructure Conference, in Toronto, ON.

cheers to 2018

WHAT’S NEXT? 

1) Getting ready to build!

Windsor Regional Hospital is working with planning consultants to make sure that site of the new acute care hospital is properly zoned, when it’s time to build.  After months of studying the area and consulting with stakeholders, a request for an amendment to the city’s Official Plan and Zoning By-laws is expected to be made to the City of Windsor, early in the new year.

WATCH: Planning Consultants from MHBC Planning provide an overview of the process, a history of the area and an early draft of the plan at a public consultation on July 25, 2017

2) Developing a phased in approach

The complete plan is impossible to undertake all at once will require a sequenced approach. As part of the planning, the Steering Committee has agreed with MOHLTC to examine the use existing infrastructure on an interim basis. (Read more)

3) Stage 2 

Planning the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System is a 5-stage process.  We have completed stage 1 and are moving forward.

Timeline chart

Stages 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.

Stage 2: THE FUNCTIONAL PROGRAM

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.

GET INVOLVED!

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.

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:

RE: ANNOUNCEMENT
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.

THE LOCAL SHARE / LEVY
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.

STAGE 2
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.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
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.

SITE SELECTION
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.

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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.

WATCH: THE WINDSOR-ESSEX HOSPITALS SYSTEM IS MOVING FORWARD 

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

  • MEDIA RELEASE
  • BACKGROUND AND Q&A  

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    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.

WATCH: EMERGENCY READINESS AT PEEL MEMORIAL 

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.

CARDBOARD CITY – USING MOCK ROOMS AND FLOORS AT DMC

STAY INFORMED & GET INVOLVED 

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:

Stage 2: THE FUNCTIONAL PROGRAM

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.

Stage 3: PRELIMINARY DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

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.

GET INVOLVED!

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

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