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Stevenson lands Stage 1 approval for redevelopment

July 23, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Stevenson Memorial Hospital is one step closer to redevelopment.

It received formal approval from the Ministry of Health for its Stage 1: Proposal Submission for the “Because of You, we can” redevelopment project late last week, following six years of planning.

Stevenson CEO, Jody Levac said it is the first official announcement from the government regarding their revitalization plans being approved and moving forward.

“For hospitals who go through this type of capital planning, this type of announcement is a monumental milestone in the journey to have a revitalized and redeveloped hospital,” he said.

The plans for redevelopment entail a massive expansion, doubling Stevenson’s footprint from roughly 85,000 sq. ft. to 170,000, using up an extra 12 acres of land, improving traffic flow and increasing parking space threefold.

“This hospital hasn’t been developed since 1964 and, in this pandemic, along with the current need to modernize how we provide medicine, we really need to meet the growing needs of our community by having a redeveloped hospital,” Levac explained.

When everything is said and done, it is estimated it will cost $167 million to design and redevelop Stevenson, of which the community needs to raise $30 million.

To date, fundraising efforts are halfway there, but another $15 million is needed from the community to secure the remainder of funding from the Ministry of Health and get shovels in the ground.

“I think local hospitals like this are critical fabrics to the community and if you really want to keep a hospital here, you’re going to have to get involved in one way or another,” said Levac.

“By donating to our capital campaign, you can contribute your portion of keeping an acute care facility here for New Tecumseth and for many years to come.”

In addition to providing acute care, inpatient services, treatment services, diagnostics and an emergency department, Stevenson was also seeing over 100 people a day at its COVID-19 assessment centre in the lower part of its parking lot.

That foot traffic has slowed down drastically since New Tecumseth’s rates of infections have flatlined over the past couple weeks, although it has shown how little space the hospital has.

“What we’ve learned is this building is woefully inadequate to be able to deliver care, so we struggle with being able to do things; we don’t have a building we can run an assessment centre out of,” Levac noted.

“We are full at the hospital, in our emerg we have six to eight stretchers in the hallway. The Premier has talked about ending hallway medicine – well, it’s really hard in a building where you have no space.”

These challenges are amplified by the fact that the population Stevenson serves is increasing, along with its demands.

“The new infrastructure will allow residents to have the high quality, safe, reliable care that they’ve come to count on here at Stevenson,” said Levac.

He noted that with half of the funds for the local share of redevelopment already raised, it is essential keep up with that positive momentum.

“What’s most important is we really got to keep the gas pedal on this government to continue to approve the stages,” Levac stressed.

Stage 2 of redevelopment plan is geared towards its design, which maps out where the hospital needs to be over the next 25 years to meet the growing demand for healthcare services.

“You’ll see that the primary focus is building a new emergency department and all the ancillary supports that go with a high functioning emerge,” Levac explained.

“We are the second-fastest in the province for emergency wait times out of 74 medium hospitals, we want to continue that trend but in order to do that we need modern, up-to-date infrastructure.”

To donate or learn more about the redevelopment project visit transformingstevenson.ca.

“We’ve learned from COVID, if nothing else, your health is your most important commodity,” Levac said.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



         


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