he Markdale Standard
The Flesherton Advance
The Dundalk Herald
RE: Centre Grey Hospital
I have been asked by several members of the community to provide an update on the new Centre Grey hospital project.
Recent media coverage of the project has raised concerns about the timing of approval for this important project.
I don’t know when the project will get the green light to move forward to the next step in planning.
I do know that Grey Bruce Health Services has received a $3M planning and design grant from the Ontario government to undertake the complex planning work for a new hospital. In that regard Markdale and broader Centre Grey community is way ahead of other Ontario cities and towns who have a need for renovation or rebuilding of their health care facilities.
Our planning process has involved nearly all of our hospital staff in Markdale, our physicians and our community health partners. Together they have given us great ideas as to how we can care for our patients looking many years forward to the future. Their efforts have resulted in our ability to submit what we believe are really good plans for the new hospital to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
I also know that the community has been unbelievably generous in its donations to the campaign for the new hospital. It is completely understandable that donors both large and small are anxious to see the project move forward. I am a donor too and I am impatient for the project to move forward because I know the challenges our staff face in providing care in our current hospital.
The fact that the community has raised $13M in donations and pledges is one of the biggest strengths of this project. Many other communities further along in their planning for their major building projects have not been as successful in securing the local share of their projects and that will limit their ability to move forward.
We are working very closely with the South West Local Health Integration Network with respect to this planning process. Their responsibility is to look at all of the health needs of the community which include hospital care, primary care and the broad range of services provided through a community health centre. Rural communities have unique challenges in providing a wide range of health care services to a small population base. We have key leaders in our organization like our Program Director Susie Furlong and our Vice President of Clinical Services Sue McCutcheon working hand and hand with the LHIN to ensure that those health care needs are met.
The approval process for a new hospital is a long one. It is a difficult economic environment we find ourselves in today.
While I am impatient to move forward, I am also hopeful that because the need for the new hospital and closely related community health care services is compelling and the community has signaled its support for the project through such a strong financial commitment, that approval will be received to proceed.
Maureen Solecki, Interim President and CEO
Grey Bruce Health Services