What’s Up @ WLMH: August 2020

WLMH ORs Reopening September 14

Critical safety upgrades required in the WLMH operating rooms (ORs) are now complete. Activity in the ORs will gradually resume, starting the week of September 14.

Patients will soon be able to receive high-quality procedures closer to home, in an environment that meets standards for safety and infection control.

Which services will be provided?

Services resuming in the coming weeks include:
• Endoscopy procedures
• Gynecology and general surgery cases, addressing the backlog created by the province-wide COVID-19 surgical shutdown
• Elements of obstetrics services, such as scheduled cesarean births

We continue to focus on building up OR nursing staff levels to increase on-call capabilities at WLMH and support more surgical services over time.

What does this mean for patients?

Patients will be contacted by their health-care provider about scheduling their procedures.

Additional information for obstetrical patients is available here.

We appreciate everyone’s ongoing patience and resilience while these necessary safety upgrades were taking place.


What’s coming up this fall?

Work is progressing on a number of priorities at the site. Here’s a look ahead to what’s happening in the coming months:

September

  • Surgical activity gradually resuming in WLMH ORs
  • Construction starts on CT scanner suite

October

  • Building a New WLMH – Stage 2 submission on track to share with Ministry of Health for review and approval

November

  • Two-Year infrastructure project wrapping up – three months ahead of schedule!

What’s Up @ WLMH: July 2020

Local leader to head up rebuild project team

Hamilton Health Sciences recently made a big hire for the #newWLMH team. Grimsby-resident Bart DeVries is coming on board as our Director of Redevelopment Projects and is taking the lead on the rebuild.

Meet Bart.

Mental health clinic staffer earns elite clinical certification

Congratulations to Aprile Titterson – a social worker at the West Niagara Mental Health clinic at WLMH – on recently completing the Prolonged Exposure (PE) certification for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a huge accomplishment as Aprile now finds herself in an elite group of only 25 PE Certified Therapists across Canada. With this certification, Aprile’s expertise will expand treatment offered to the West Niagara community for those dealing with PTSD, adding to the considerable clinical supports and services currently provided at the clinic.

“I feel very grateful to work with such a caring and driven team of professionals that prioritize evidence-based practices to best support the community of West Niagara.  Prolonged Exposure is one of the many therapies we utilize to help individuals move forward in their lives. Clinically, it is a very rewarding experience to see how this therapy can help transform a person’s life in such meaningful ways.  Also, a special mention to Christopher Conley who has been such an important driver in bringing so many learning opportunities to the staff at our clinic and often extending the learning to other clinics throughout Niagara region,” says Aprile.

Conley, a Senior Clinical Specialist at the clinic, was Aprile’s certification supervisor and also continues to serve the community as a PE Certified Therapist.

Planning, design and conformance team selected for WLMH project

In case you missed it, we’ve brought B+H Architects / mcCallumSather on as the planning, design and conformance (PDC) team for the rebuild. Read the full announcement here.

Ongoing Infrastructure Updates

Work Completed
– Commissioning of Diesel Generator #1
– Parking Lot Lighting Replacement

Upcoming Work
– ED and BWard – lighting, plumbing fixture replacement, window sills – Fall

What’s Up @ WLMH: June 2020

Welcoming visitors back to our hospitals

We know that patients in hospital have been missing you – their caregivers, family, friends and support persons – during the pandemic. We’re pleased to be able to welcome visitors back to our sites.

We’re taking a staged approach and following COVID-19 safety guidelines, including masking, physical distancing and appropriate hand washing.

This change has been made on the best advice of our patient and family advisors, staff, physicians and partners. Here’s more information about these visiting changes.

#NewWLMH: Hospital experts coming together

Planning for the WLMH rebuild is picking up steam as hospital experts are meeting virtually to discuss patient and process flow in the new facility.

So far, _ user group sessions have been held, covering all areas of the hospital including obstetrics, emergency department, diagnostic imaging, administration and public spaces. There are 19 user groups in total bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the design from WLMH and across HHS.

This work will continue throughout the summer.

Project Updates

Work Underway

  • Operating Room and Endoscopy Reprocessing area renovations started June 15
  • Parking lot lighting replacements

Work Completed

  • Parking lot resurfacing
  • Laboratory area upgrades

HHS Community Report: Stronger, Together

Over the past 12 months, staff, physicians and communities across Hamilton Health Sciences came together and accomplished many exceptional things. Read some of these stories in our Community Report to find out how we’re moving forward stronger, together.

Thank you to our donors for your ongoing support and generosity!

What’s Up @ WLMH: May 2020

Hospital services starting to gradually resume in Ontario

Earlier this week, Hamilton Health Sciences’ (HHS) plan to gradually resume clinical services was approved by Ontario Health. Many services, including surgeries and other procedures, were paused during the initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s the message we shared with our staff.

This approval means we will now start gradually booking appointments for some procedures, prioritizing care for patients based on the severity and urgency of their medical needs. Patients will be contacted directly by the hospital or their doctor about the timing of their care, when an appointment for them is available.

West Niagara residents will continue to receive procedures at other HHS sites. The operating rooms at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital are undergoing critical safety upgrades and are scheduled to re-open this fall.

We will provide further updates as this process moves forward, but you can also stay up-to-date here.

Progress on important safety upgrades at WLMH

Completed:

  • Laboratory upgrades, like electrical, lighting and millwork
  • Parking lot resurfacing completed; lighting is being installed

Upcoming:

  • Work on Endoscopy Reprocessing starting June 1
  • Operating Room/Intensive Care Unit work starting June 15

West Niagara municipal Councils show continued support for the new WLMH

This month, local municipalities (Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln) each passed a motion of commitment to the local share financing required for the construction of a new hospital. This commitment is a critical part of the hospital planning process. We thank each of the Councils and Mayors for their continued support of this important project.

During the coming weeks, staff and physicians at WLMH will help develop detailed plans for the new hospital. Their input will help to ensure that that future health care service delivery needs are translated into the design and construction of the new hospital by providing clinical, technical, operational, programmatic, and equipment information.

Check out our newly released feature sheets to help keep you informed about the road ahead. Find out how new hospitals are financed in Ontario and the government’s process for building new infrastructure.

What’s Up @ WLMH: April 2020

Projects continue during COVID-19 response

Teams across Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) have worked hard to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following provincial direction, this includes decreasing outpatient care, diagnostic services and non-emergency surgery, combined with moving as many non-acute patients as possible to community settings to free up hospital beds.

WLMH has played an important role in this COVID-19 capacity planning and preparations while maintaining important acute services for patients and the community. Staff and physicians have demonstrated flexibility, resilience and professionalism during this evolving situation. 

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, progress continues to be made on infrastructure projects and new hospital planning. 

Designing a new WLMH

While staff, physicians and hospital leaders continue to focus on the response to COVID-19, plans remain on track to meet government submission timelines.

HHS’ Capital Planning team continues to work with Infrastructure Ontario, Ministry of Health, consultants, and other partners, to advance plans for the new hospital.  As soon as it is safe and practical to do so, staff and physician user groups will come together to provide input on key components of the stage 2 submission. The ongoing leadership provided by provincial and local government partners to support this work is appreciated.

Contractors hitting milestones

Visitor restrictions in the hospital have impacted some internal work associated with infrastructure projects. However, outside the building, contractors are reaching project milestones, including:

•    Commissioning the cooling tower 
•    Completing the wiring needed for the second generator
•    Planning for lab upgrades
•    Laying the concrete pad for the operating room(OR)/endoscopy area air handling unit, to be delivered on May 1, 2020. 

Work also continues with the contractor to review and adapt plans for renovations, including OR and endoscopy.

CT scanner selected 

The clinical team has completed the review process to select the type of CT scanner that will best serve the community. A consultant has been hired to design the space for the machine and work continues to move forward. Once plans are approved by the Ministry, and other infrastructure and OR renovations are complete, construction for the CT scanner suite will begin.

Thank you for your support!


We’re so grateful for our supportive community which continues to stand with our staff and physicians during this challenging time. 

What’s Up @ WLMH: COVID-19

We are taking precautions at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) to ensure the safety of our staff, physicians, patients, families and community. More information related to COVID-19 is available here:

Hamilton Health Sciences hospital information

Niagara Region Public Health
Hospital access

Visitor guidelines have changed and we have moved to a no-visitor policy with very few exceptions. Based on these guidelines, infrastructure work at WLMH, with the exception of some limited outside work, has been placed on hold. 

Patient care

 The Ministry of Health has mandated all health care facilities to postpone all non-urgent elective activity, including surgeries and non-urgent clinic visits.

Some patients receiving non-urgent scheduled care may access care by phone or virtually

Elective surgeries are being postponed and perioperative services at West Lincoln are temporarily closed. This will support additional patient care capacity and availability of health care professionals in the weeks ahead.  West Lincoln patients requiring urgent surgical procedures will receive care at the appropriate alternative hospital.  Patients will be notified by their surgeon if their surgery is deferred. 

Planning for a new WLMH

The Capital Planning team continues to move forward with planning for the new WLMH. Kick-off meetings took place earlier this month. Work led by non-clinical team members continues to move ahead. We remain committed to moving forward, recognizing COVID-19 presents an evolving situation and patient care requirements remain our top priority. 

Follow us on social media

We’re sharing timely updates and shareable content on our social media channels, like this “five small acts” campaign, which is linked at the handles below.
Twitter: @HamHealthSci
Instagram: HamiltonHealthSciences
Facebook: @HamHealthSci

What’s Up @ WLMH: February 2020

Stay in touch! Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest WLMH news, updates and progress towards building the new hospital.

CT scanner on the horizon

In January, HHS announced an exciting partnership with Siemens to procure, maintain and renew our diagnostic imaging equipment. A CT scanner for WLMH is a priority and we are pleased to be moving forward with this work. Read more about the scanner.

Expert planning consultants coming on board

We’re excited to be onboarding a functional programmer and cost consultants for the new build! These experts have done a lot of work in Ontario hospitals, including with HHS, and have a wealth of knowledge around provincial hospital design, accessibility, and building standards. Contracts are still being signed, but here’s a reminder about what they will be doing at this stage of the WLMH rebuild.

Renovations well underway

The past year was busy around WLMH with many large projects taking place at the same time. Thank you to everyone who has been working to create a safe hospital for patients, staff and physicians, until a new one is built. We’re 75% complete!

Completed work:

• Two boilers installed
• One diesel generator installed
• Fuel tanks installed
• Front and central elevators updated
• New air handling units – L&D, ED, laboratory medicine
• Obstetrics renovations
• New fire alarm upgrade completed

Next steps:

• Commissioning of second generator – April
• Installation of cooling towers – May
• OR and endoscopy renovations – August
• Lighting upgrade – 85% complete

What’s Up @ WLMH: January 2020

Stay in touch! Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest WLMH news, updates and progress towards building the new hospital.

Designing the New Hospital

The Government of Ontario approved the next step toward rebuilding West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH). The new hospital will include in-patient care, an emergency department, maternal and newborn services, day surgery, endoscopy, diagnostic services and ambulatory services.

Detailed plans are being created and will be complete by fall 2020 or sooner. Everyone is working to get shovels in the ground as quickly as possible. Get the full story.

Operating Room Renovations Are on Time

Work is underway to fix the operating rooms (OR) and endoscopy area to meet all required safety and infection control standards. Here’s what’s happening:

Completed work:

• Design work is done
• Hazmat assessment is done
• Documentation submitted to the local Building Department

Next steps:

• Start construction in spring 2020
• Complete construction through the summer
• Re-open the operating rooms in the fall

Hiring Nurses

There is a nationwide shortage of OR nurses, so we are training our own to help increase the number of OR nurses at WLMH. Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) will pay and train 4 successful nurse applicants to gain the special skills needed to work in the operating room.

Completed work:

• Program designed and supported by the nurses union
• Positions listed and interviews underway

Next steps:

• Complete selection process
• Training will start February 2020