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January 31, 2017

BLOG: “Our Healthy Future” vision deserves time and scrutiny

By Kelly Campbell, Vice President, Corporate Services and Capital Development

Kelly Campbell is vice president of corporate services and capital planning at Hamilton Health Sciences.

The size and scope of Hamilton Health Sciences means our capital redevelopment planning process is both complex and lengthy.

We’re following the five-step capital process required by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) for any hospital seeking major redevelopment funding. As a multi-site operation, we must plan as a system of hospitals and demonstrate how our programs and services across all sites are well-integrated for the best patient care. This makes perfect sense – but it makes our planning process a logistical feat involving countless people both within and outside our organization.

At HHS the planning initiative we call “Our Healthy Future” has involved more than 2,000 people to date and together, we have created an exciting vision for the future. We propose focusing our acute care services at the Hamilton General and the Juravinski. The Hamilton General site would include a rebuilt Children’s and Women’s hospital.  Purpose-built space for the programs currently located at St. Peter’s Hospital would be developed at the Juravinski or the General, or both. We want to rebuild West Lincoln Memorial Hospital. And we see more HHS outpatient services being provided in community settings, often enabled by partnerships with other health and social service organizations.

This vision – the formation of which was the very first step in our planning process – was tabled last June with the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN and the MOHLTC for review. We anticipate the LHIN board approval sometime in 2017. LHIN approval would give the green light to HHS to continue planning in this direction – it does not indicate  approval for a specific project within our vision.

Our vision is big and bold and it deserves all the time, scrutiny, participation and effort that we can collectively bring to it.

Coming up to our second anniversary in this planning process, we are now on part two of the first stage, which will take us until approximately the end of 2017 to complete. Most hospitals in Ontario do the first and second part of stage one at the same time, but HHS is so big that we needed to separate them out.

Charting our course for the future – with the programs we’ll provide and the facilities we’ll need – is indeed a lengthy undertaking. But when you think of the fact that we serve a population base of 2.5 million people, have 700,000-plus ambulatory visits and admit 52,000 people annually– it’s hard to imagine doing our long-range planning any other way. Our vision is big and bold and it deserves all the time, scrutiny, participation and effort that we can collectively bring to it.

To learn more about Hamilton Health Sciences’ long-term vision, visit ourhealthyfuture.ca.