Leaders from the region’s medical education and research community met Tuesday to explore the future of healthcare education and research in Windsor-Essex.

At a visioning session hosted by the Programing and Services Steering Committee – which oversees planning for the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System – they mapped out the current state of research in the region and discussed ways they can use the opportunity created by the new hospitals system, to build on these strengths.

“Today, everything is possible,” said Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj at the opening of the session.   “The way to achieve what our region desperately needs and deserves is to start planning now.”


Musyj, who Co-Chairs the Steering Committee along with Dave Cooke says we are not working from a clean slate.  “We have a lot of progress in the region and the goal of these discussions is to build on the pockets of research we have in the community and look for opportunities to move forward together.”

Participants included representatives from a variety of groups including the University of Windsor (Nursing, Biology, Social Work, HK, Leddy Library, the Cross Border Institute, EPICentre, etc)  Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, St. Clair College (Biomedical Engineering, School of Health Sciences), Windsor Regional Hospital, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, WE-tech Alliance, the Windsor Cancer Research Group, the Essex County Medical Society, Wayne State University and more.  The group discussed ways to break down silos and collaborate on projects now, while working toward a more integrated research network in the new hospitals system.

WATCH: Vision Session, December 13, 2016

“What I liked so much about this is that every institution that came together had the same vision.  That this is the time to move forward with research in Windsor and I think that was so exiting,” said Dr. Caroline Hamm, Co-Director, Windsor Cancer Research Group.   “Lots of stuff has happened.  All the pieces are there; we just have to put the pieces together.”

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.

This is the first of several sessions planned. The results will help shape the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System during the next planning stages.

People are very hopeful that we are going to create something great together and I fully agree with them,” said Dr. Michael Siu, VP Research and Innovation at the University of Windsor

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Why does the Downtown Mission support the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System?  In a recent letter to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, CEO/Executive Director, Ron Dunn explains the vulnerable citizens served at the Downtown Mission need this SYSTEM.

“If the plan consisted of just one element, the new hospital to replace both acute care sites (Windsor Regional Hospital’s current Metropolitan and Ouellette campuses), I would question whether it would meet the needs of citizens throughout Windsor, in particular those we see at The Downtown Mission each and every day, who represent some of our community’s most vulnerable and marginalized individuals.

I was delighted to learn that the project entails so much more than just a fancy new acute care site. According to the extensive materials posted at windsorhospitals.ca, the project identifies some $300 million in investment to the city’s core, which represents much needed new health care infrastructure.”

Click here to see the full letter to Minister of Health, Dr. Eric Hoskins.

Thank you Ron Dunn and the Downtown Mission your support.  #WEareready to make this vision a reality for members of the Downtown Mission and the entire region.

Are there fewer beds in the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System than there are in the current system?  No.  The new system will have the same number of beds as the current system, with room to expand.

For more FACTS about the proposed system, please click here for a full view of the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System Fact Sheet.


Another group is officially getting behind the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System.  Thank you to the Alzheimer Society of Windsor-Essex County for recognizing the benefits of this plan and for your support.

Click here to view the Alzheimer Society, Windsor-Essex County’s letter to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

Click here for a growing list of organizations saying #WEareready to move forward with this proposal.


What does it mean to be a world-class hospital?  Before designing the Fort Belvoir Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the team there asked former patients that same question.  Their suggestions are incorporated into this new military treatment facility for the US Department of Defense.

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Fort Belvoir is a cutting-edge, community hospital that is setting a new standard for hospital design.


Community Centre Meeting2-01 (3)

From inside the new Ronald McDonald House, you would never guess you are in a hospital.


Grand opening of the first Ronald McDonald House-within-a-hospital. The facility officially opens to families on Monday, May 9, 2016.

This new home away from home, is a comfortable place for families to come and stay, or just take a break and get refreshed when they have a child in the hospital.

The Ronald McDonald House Windsor contains:


7 Bedrooms


5 of the rooms have an ensuite bathroom


2 smaller rooms for naps or short-term stays


A full kitchen stocked with free nourishment, where the coffee is always on. In addition, there’s a dining room where families can sit and enjoy a home cooked meal with other parents who are dealing with similar health journeys


A laundry space to make sure clothes – or a child’s favourite blanket – stay fresh and clean!


Public lounge spaces with a computer station so families can stay connected.  


A gorgeous sunroom to bring in some sunlight and fresh air!

You might ask why now? Why not just build the house-within-a-hospital when the new hospital is constructed?

The answer, according to Windsor Regional Hospital Board Chair, Bob Renaud, is simple. The hospital may not be built for another 10 years.

“We could put thousands of families through Ronald McDonald House in the meantime.  I will tell you, every one of those families deserves that. They don’t deserve to be told to wait for the new hospital. Their children are sick right now.”  Bob Renaud

WATCH: Bob Renaud, Chair, Windsor Regional Hospital Board of Directors, addresses crowd at the opening of the new Ronald McDonald House.  

Every year about 430 babies who are born at WRH have to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit due to complications.  They are there for an average of 13 days, though many have to stay more than a month.

In addition, about 540 children who receive paediatric care at WRH every year, live more than 50 miles away from the hospital.

We look forward to offering the families of these children a comfortable place to stay in this home away from home. A huge thanks goes out to the Ronald McDonald House for making this possible.

The house officially opens to families on Monday.  Members of the public are invited to come and check it our this weekend. Public tours are scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, May 7 from 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday, May 8, from 12 pm -4 pm.  The home is located on the 3rd floor of the Windsor Regional Hospital, Met Campus.


After receiving overwhelming approval from both city and county councils, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Essex County Warden Tom Bain have sent the following letter to the Minister of Health & Long-Term Care, outlining the region’s commitment to a cost-sharing plan for the local share and letting him know ‪#‎WEareready‬ to move to the next stage of planning.

Letter to Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins April 26, 2016

Drew Dilkens described last nights council meeting as a truly momentous night for the City of Windsor.  Council voted in favour of supporting a 1% levy to cover the local share of the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System.

This, in addition to support from Essex County Council last week, gives the region “skin in the game” as we wait for provincial approval to move to the next stage in the planning process.

Highlights from Windsor City Council, April 25, 2016

Dr. Lisa Porter, Windsor Cancer Research Groups, tells council a new hospitals system, with a focus on research and education, will provide more training opportunities for students and attract top professionals to the area.

Larry Duffield, Windsor/Essex CARP, tells council support for the project represents support for future generations.

Karen Demers endorsed the city’s planned contribution on behalf of the Senior Advisory Committee.

Councillor Fred Francis, Ward 1, supports the the levy saying that it will benefit the community for “decade after decade, generation after generation.”

Councillor John Elliott, Ward 2, says he supports the levy because it is “good vision for Windsor and Essex County, and it’s time.”

Councillor Irek Kusmierczyk, Ward 7, supports the plan and says “We need to move forward and we need to move forward together.”

Councillor Hilary Payne, Ward 9 supports the levy and says “local physicians will have a truly modern facility which will impact the quality of care.”

Councillor Ed Sleiman, Ward 5, supports the levy and notes, “The Old Grace site will come to life again with Urgent Care to serve the core.”

Councillor Paul Borrelli, Ward 10, supports the hospital saying, “This will be a stimulus to usher the region into a new era of regionalism.”

Councillor Rino Bortolin, Ward 3, supports the levy. “In the end, I do believe this investment is vitally important to the area,” he says.

Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac, Ward 6, supports the levy. “We’re going to make a strong statement to the province of Ontario that we’re prepared to put skin in the game.”

Mayor Drew Dilkens, says “This is a transformation of the delivery of healthcare for our entire region.”

With both Essex County Council and Windsor City Council on board, David Musyj, Co-Chair of the Planning and Services Steering Committee & Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO, explains what happens next.


Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara called it the biggest decision Essex County Council will make this term.  Council members voted unanimously to cover 46% – $91.5 million – of the local share for a new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System.

Click here for more on the cost sharing allocation for the Windsor-Essex Hospitals System.

Highlights from Essex County Council, April 20, 2016

Former Windsor Regional Hospital patient, Diane Marley of Kingsville, shares her story with Essex County Council and encourages support for the project.


Windsor Construction Association and Heavy Construction Association of Windsor representative Charlie Hotham tells council it is time the we stop throwing good money at old facilities.


Lasalle Mayor Ken Antaya says support for the levy shows Windsor-Essex is unified, committed and intends to see the project through.


Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara says it is our duty to make sure the government makes the right decision.


Kingsville’s Deputy Mayor, Gord Queen, makes a motion to support the recommendation.


“We have seen the city and the county rally around an issue,”  Windsor Regional Hospital’s President and CEO, David Musyj, told reporters after the vote.

“We’ve talked a lot about that in our community since I’ve been born here, about how few the issues may be that they rally around.  This is one of them.  This is the biggest one and it shows true leadership here tonight.”

For more from David Musyj on the significance of the vote, please click here and check out the Windsor Star’s video from the discussion.

Next Monday, April 25, Windsor City Council will vote on its portion of the funding at a special meeting scheduled for 6:30 pm.

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