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.