CKHA out­lines hos­pi­tal rede­vel­op­ment plans

Re­al­is­tic staged ex­pan­sions so­lid­i­fies vi­sion for two-site hos­pi­tal sys­tem


The Chatham-Kent Health Al­liance has put to­gether a com­pre­hen­sive rede­vel­op­ment plan for its Chatham and Sy­den­ham cam­puses.

This is not the first time the CKHA has gone down this road and made plans for a new hos­pi­tal fa­cil­ity for Wal­lace­burg. How­ever, un­like other rede­vel­op­ment at­tempts, the CKHA is clear the Wal­lace­burg hos­pi­tal will in­clude an emer­gency depart­ment as part of the new fa­cil­ity.

They out­lined some of their plans in a me­dia re­lease on Fri­day. The plan is look­ing at the re­newal of the ag­ing hos­pi­tal build­ings lo­cated in Chatham and Wal­lace­burg im­ple­mented in a re­al­is­tic staged process spanned over 15 to 20 years.

Jerome Quen­neville, CKHA vice-pres­i­dent and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, said the rede­vel­op­ment plan so­lid­i­fies CKHA’s vi­sion for a two-site hos­pi­tal sys­tem for Chatham-Kent.

The rede­vel­op­ment plan will oc­cur in stages. The plans are the de­sired next steps, Quen­neville said, not­ing that im­ple­ment­ing them in stages will en­sure the CKHA will reach their long-term vi­sion of sus­tain­able health-care de­liv­ery for the com­mu­nity.

Quen­neville said there is not a to­tal price tag set yet for the rede­vel­op­ment of the two sites.

“With that, we’re still work­ing on some of the de­tail of what will go in what stage,” Quen­neville said.

Each stage will be less than $10 mil­lion, so it won’t need as much pro­vin­cial ap­proval as a big project and it can move for­ward quickly.

Build­ing in stages also makes it more af­ford­able to man­age, Quen­neville said.

Health care also changes a lot. By build­ing in stages, there is a pos­si­bil­ity the CKHA can adapt quicker to those changes on the fly. The Min­istry of Health and Long-Term Care will need a long-term plan, but they also need to see that a hos­pi­tal is able to serve the com­mu­nity.

“A lot of think­ing that has gone into this plan­ning to date is that each state of in­vest­ment — ev­ery $10 mil­lion project — needs to be able to serve the com­mu­nity well; and if we do have to re­visit, it’s a build­ing block to our fu­ture, but our fu­ture may shift over time,” Quen­neville said.

Sy­den­ham District Hos­pi­tal is more than 60 years old and is in ur­gent need to either be ren­o­vated or have a new build­ing built, with an up­dated and mod­ern­ized en­vi­ron­ment. Both the Chatham and Wal­lace­burg hos­pi­tals are near the end of their lives as out­lined by the min­istry’s fa­cil­ity con­di­tion as­sess­ments. The ag­ing fa­cil­i­ties pre­vent op­ti­miza­tion of high-ef­fi­ciency me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal sys­tems, and the out­dated fa­cil­ity lay­outs do not sup­port ac­ces­si­bil­ity needs.

The CKHA said rede­vel­op­ment of both sites will mod­ern­ize health-care de­liv­ery, en­sure safety and im­prove the over­all pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence.

Quen­neville said there will be pub­lic en­gage­ment to en­sure this is the de­sired di­rec­tion the com­mu­nity wants to in­vest, re­new and de­velop the fa­cil­i­ties.

Plans need to be re­spon­sive to com­mu­nity needs, said Lori Mar­shall, CKHA pres­i­dent and CEO.

“As we grow the site and make the changes, it is im­por­tant for us that no mat­ter what, our two sites are grounded in the emer­gency de­part­ments and beds and am­bu­la­tory ser­vices at each of the cam­puses,” Mar­shall said.

“So while there could be change over the course of the years, we be­lieve that those are really the an­chors for the sites go­ing for­ward.”

CKHA’s Sy­den­ham Cam­pus will as­sume a role more fo­cused on the com­mu­nity’s emerg­ing needs through the fol­low­ing ser­vices: A 24-hour emer­gency depart­ment with five in-pa­tient beds as part of the emer­gency depart­ment; am­bu­la­tory care in­clud­ing spe­cialty clin­ics, with the po­ten­tial for dial­y­sis and part­ner co-lo­ca­tion; di­ag­nos­tic imag­ing in­clud­ing ra­di­ol­ogy and ul­tra­sound; res­pi­ra­tory ther­apy; and phys­io­ther­apy and lab­o­ra­tory ser­vices.

Sup­port from the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s board of di­rec­tors, Erie St. Clair Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Net­work and the min­istry is re­quired to im­ple­ment rede­vel­op­ment projects.

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