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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.



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


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.


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.


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.

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 share There 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 processIn 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.”

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

With change on the horizon for our local healthcare, it is natural for people to wonder what it all means for them.

Many of the people we speak to strongly support the new acute care hospital project, but want to make sure that whatever change is coming won’t negatively affect their ability to access local healthcare.

February 10, 2015 - Gary Switzer, CEO, ESC LHIN, presents the CPP to a group of residents in Kingsville.

February 10, 2015 – Gary Switzer, CEO, ESC LHIN, presents the CCP to a group of residents in Kingsville.

As the future of healthcare is redefined, the goal is to provide everyone with the right service, in the right place, at the right time.  The New Single-Site Acute Care Hospital is a core component, but only part of this vision!

Right now, as part of that plan, the Erie St. Clair LHIN is working with a separate Steering Committee on a Community Capacity Plan (CCP) which includes a vision of future service delivery.  The CCP Steering Committee is co-chaired by the CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County, Sally Bennett Olczak and the CEO of the Erie St. Clair CCAC, Lori Marshall.

MORE:  Community Capacity Plan

“The aim is to complement the existing Windsor hospital acute services planning by continuing to consider and define which services and functions may be delivered safely in a community setting.”  Gary Switzer, CEO, Erie St. Clair LHIN.

The plan will identify any current gaps in healthcare services, any gaps that will be created when the site for a new hospital is chosen and develop new programs, approaches, and services throughout the community to close those gaps.

For more on the Community Capacity Plan, check out the LHIN’s slide presentation that Gary Switzer, CEO of the Erie St. Clair LHIN, presented to residents in Kingsville earlier this month.

WATCH: Community Capacity Plan – Slide Show

Very few people go to the hospital if they don’t have to, but if you lived near Henry Ford West Bloomfield, you might.   This hospital is a community hub, and a foodie’s delight.

About 15% of the hospital's produce and 100% of its fresh herbs are grown onsite, in an organic greenhouse.

About 15% of the hospital’s produce and 100% of its fresh herbs are grown onsite, in an organic greenhouse.







“When this place was built, the CEO was very passionate about the food that would be served to patients, guests and employees.  Having a greenhouse seemed like a natural fit.”

Michelle Lutz, Resident Farmer

Delicious and nutritious lunch - no fries on the menu here!

Delicious and nutritious lunch – no fries on the menu here!















The new $1.75 billion dollar, 656 bed,  Humber River Hospital, is scheduled to open in 2015.

The new $1.75 billion, 656 bed, Humber River Hospital, is scheduled to open in 2015.

“We have the opportunity to build new.  We wanted to make sure we were able to use as much of what’s going to happen in the future in our plans and that’s how we came about with looking at technology, but also, trying to set a benchmark for what other people can use in their current facilities and what other people should think about if they are building a new facility.”  HRH President & CEO, Rueben Devlin

It doesn’t open until next year, but apparently Humber River is already stopping traffic!

It doesn’t open until next year, but apparently Humber River is already stopping traffic!



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