WLMH rebuild is priority for new director of redevelopment projects
Bart DeVries and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) go way back.
It all started 17 years ago, when he first joined the Capital Development team. After a few role changes and opportunities outside of HHS, he found himself managing the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre project (2012-2016).
He’s now back after some time in the private sector as our Director of Redevelopment Projects.
While his tenure with HHS is long, his relationship with our West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) site dates back even further. Bart was born at the site. His children were as well. Bart’s father, and now brother, have managed the exterior grounds maintenance of the site since the 1980s.
With his considerable experience and connection to both HHS and WLMH, Bart is perfectly positioned to take the lead planning and building the new WLMH site, among many other duties in his new role.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
BD: I grew up in Beamsville and live in Grimsby. I was born at WLMH, as were my seven children. I’ve been in the redevelopment and project management field for the last 17 years, working both locally and nationally.
What does a Director of Redevelopment Projects do?
BD: In this role, I will be focused on leading the large-scale redevelopment initiatives set out in HHS’ Our Healthy Future vision, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Health a few years ago. All of the projects in that vision will now be approved individually and each will follow its own schedule. My first priority is focusing on rebuilding our WLMH site. That project is moving quickly through approvals and the Ministry’s five stage planning process. We’re currently working on Stages 2 and 3 simultaneously, so that is taking up a lot of my time. Once we get a bit further along in the process, I will remain involved on this project but also shift more of my attention to the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre (JHCC) site redevelopment plans.
What hospital development projects have you worked on previously?
BD: I’ve had the opportunity to work on a range of development projects, both at HHS and as a consultant. From 2007-2010 I worked on the JHCC redevelopment project, and from 2012 and 2016 I led the development of the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre in Hamilton. I’m proud to say it was delivered ahead of schedule and on budget. In the last 3 years I was at Colliers managing teams of equipment and operational readiness consultants on projects across Canada.
What is your role in these individual projects, for example, building the new WLMH?
BD: I’m responsible for the overall management and execution of the project. This means managing internal and consulting teams throughout planning, design, construction, and occupancy, while being a main point of contact for our partners at the Ministry of Health and Infrastructure Ontario. Myself and our team of internal staff will be responsible for making sure this project is successful and I know we’re up to the challenge. I’m very familiar with HHS and P3 (public-private partnership) methodology, so this project is a natural fit. The existing redevelopment team has and continues to do a great job moving things forward.
You have a personal connection to the WLMH site. What does building a new WLMH mean to you?
BD: The new WLMH will be the largest single piece of infrastructure ever delivered in this community. The scale of the project is exciting and so is being part of the process of bringing it to life. Also, the community has been behind the project for a long time and has been very patient waiting for this to happen. This motivates me to get it right and I’m excited to be able to execute this project on behalf of the community. When I get involved in a project, I put everything into it and I get very passionate about my work. I’m glad to be part of this next chapter of WLMH’s story.
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