Planning for a new hospital on a different site, in addition to a re-purposed Community Tower at the current hospital location, is receiving strong support as community engagement activity on the Future Hospital project continues.
The positive community support was evident at a community town hall meeting Wednesday night where OSMH President and CEO Carmine Stumpo told an inquisitive and enthusiastic crowd he’s received “overwhelmingly positive feedback over the past two months while presenting the vision to nearly 500 people”.
The recommendation to plan towards that concept follows two years of extensive research and engagement and is supported by consultants with specific expertise in the planning and designing of Ontario hospitals who evaluated five options on a wide range of over 70 design criteria.
“The new site option, from the ground up was a clear winner in nearly every category,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO. “We can build a new hospital faster, cheaper and better, and further our Vision of Excellent, Compassionate Care…Everyday.”
Two main factors against redevelopment of the existing site include prolonged disruption to service delivery that would result from multiple phases of demolition and construction over decades, and its restrictive size at approximately 9 acres. A new site would require 20 or more acres.
The OSMH Board of Directors has directed the hospital to focus its planning efforts on the ‘new hospital, different site’ as work continues toward development of a Stage One capital planning submission to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN in 2019.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make substantial change to benefit generations of residents of Orillia and surrounding communities, and it’s a change that they rightly deserve,” said OSMH Board Chair Dan Germain. “Strong community support is critical and that’s why we’ll continue circling back with our community, including internal and external stakeholders, to validate our direction.”
At the community open forum meeting, the hospital released a concept drawing of what a new hospital in Orillia could look like, along with a concept drawing of the existing site following redevelopment. The image can be seen online at www.orilliafuturehospital.ca , a new website launched last night to keep the community up-to-date as the project evolves.