WLMH rebuild: rapid fire Q&A with Bart DeVries

Earlier this month (February 2021), the Ministry of Health approved the Stage 2 plan for the new hospital. We thought now is a good time to catch up with Bart DeVries, redevelopment director at HHS leading the WLMH rebuild planning, for a rapid fire Q&A session about the status of the rebuild.

So, the Stage 2 plan was approved. Does work on Stage 3 start now?

Actually, stages 2 and 3 were overlapped so work on the Stage 3 components has been happening for a while now. Due to the fast-tracking of this project, the work on Stage 3 was not held up waiting for Stage 2 approval.

What happens in Stage 3?

Stage 3 develops the specifications around the look, feel and character of the proposed building and site, including landscape, interior and exterior finishes, as well as technical requirements, like approved building materials and methods of construction. Furniture and equipment needs – which is a major component of the local share and building infrastructure requirements – are also finalized at this stage. This work was started in Stage 2, but approval provides further clarity to finalize the details.

How is that different from Stage 2?

Stage 2 focused on the flow and function of the building and where the proposed building might sit on the preliminary site plan. The Ministry’s approval essentially says “we agree with the plan, keep going.” That certainty allows the team to finalize all the details following the Ministry’s approval and determine requirements of the rooms, the equipment needed, the furnishings, as well as site planning and design.

What are the Stage 3 deliverables to the Ministry?

Stage 3 submission will include program requirements like which rooms need to be located where, mechanical/electrical requirements, updated furniture and equipment details, illustrative floor plans, and an updated cost estimate. It will also include the overall project requirements, which will be very similar to the information that will be included in the Request for Proposals (RFP) documents. The RFP will be issued in July.

When will the Stage 3 plan be submitted to the Ministry?

By the end of March.

By the end of Stage 3, will we know what the building will look like?

The Stage 3 plan will include a vision of what the building could look like. However, the successful design-build construction team will tell us what they can build within both the confines and ranges of the program specifications and cost parameters assigned by the Ministry of Health and Infrastructure Ontario (IO), respectively.

By the end of Stage 3, will we know the exact services that will be in the building?

Yes. The list of services was provided by the Ministry with its approval of the Stage 1 plan, at the end of 2019. That list hasn’t changed.

Last year, it was shared that the new building would be bigger than the current hospital. Does the team now have the approval needed from the Town of Grimsby to increase the size?

Yes. The application for a minor variance to allow increased height to a portion of the site where the building could be located, was approved by the Town in January.

So, does this mean approval was granted to start building?

No, approval was granted to build a taller/larger building, not to start construction yet. An overall “site plan” has been submitted to the Town for preliminary approval. This includes all planned components for the site, like where the building could sit, parking layout, and greenspace. Closer to construction, an application for a building permit will be submitted and an updated site plan will be issued to the Town for final approval.

What is the status of procurement for the design-build team?

The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) closed at the end of January. The submissions from qualified teams are being reviewed together with IO. From those submissions, a short list will be created and those teams will be invited to compete during the RFP process. We will know who the prequalified design/construction teams are by mid-April. The RFP will be posted in July and will close in December.

When will we know how much the building will cost?

IO has set cost parametres for the project. It’s a competitive process between potential bidders and they will include costing in their bids. So, the exact numbers from the winning design-build team won’t be known until spring 2022 at the earliest.

Overall timeline for the project?

Planning is targeting shovels in the ground around May or June 2022. So, about 15 months from now, give or take.

Can’t spell ‘construction’ without ‘CT’

Behind-the-scenes look at preparing for the WLMH CT scanner

The secret is out: West Niagara will have a brand new CT scanner in a few months! The machine has been selected and purchased, thanks in part to the WLMH Foundation and the landmark MES agreement HHS signed with Siemens.

Now comes the heavy lifting, literally, preparing the room to house the machine. We caught up with Diego Gomez, the project manager at HHS overseeing this work, to tell us how they’re turning an old office space into a modern diagnostic imaging suite.

First and foremost, site selection within the building.

“The team looked at the entire building and decided for a number of reasons that a former office space in the basement would be the best location,” he said. “The Ministry of Health has specific requirements for how the room needs to be set up. There are also physical space constraints in the existing building. The CT suite will be located across from the elevator, providing an adequate patient/stretcher flow from and to the Emergency Department, exterior access and in-patient units on floors above.”

FUN FACT: in hospitals, office space is called “soft space” which means it can be easily adapted for different purposes. Unlike “hard space” like an Operating Room for example, which comes with specific technology, fixed equipment and air handling requirements.

Now, the demo can start. Actually, not just yet.

“Given the age of the building, accurate as-built drawings were not easy to come by. So we had to do a lot of testing, specifically of the floor. It turns out the concrete slab is thick enough to support the weight of the machine and will withstand vibration generated by the machine,” said Gomez.

FUN FACT: CT machines weigh more than 2,000 lbs. The largest machines can weigh more than 6,000 lbs.

Ok, NOW the demo can start…which it has and the team is making considerable progress.

“They’ve taken the space down to the to the perimeter walls. The contractors have put up the new partitions, installed steel studs, ‘roughed in’ all the electrical, plumbing, air handling and gas lines, similar to a home renovation. Once it’s inspected, they will wrap the walls and ceiling with lead sheets, which is required for a CT as is produces radiation. The lead contains the radiation within the room, which is essential for safety. Then they will add the drywall boards and finish the entire space,” Gomez continued.

FUN FACT: Constructing a CT suite requires many sign offs at different stages of the process. This includes building permits from the municipality for the construction items, CT manufacturer requirements for the room, Ministry approval of the architectural drawings and lead plan, third-party inspections of oxygen and airflow, and final testing of all components…including the lead…before it can open.

The suite itself will have a few different areas, including a waiting room, patient change room and washroom, a holding area for pre and post procedure, and a radiologist’s office. This is in addition to the control room where the technicians operate the machine and conduct the scans, and the CT room itself where the machine lives.

Architectural drawing of the WLMH CT suite.

“The machine will be the main fixture in the room. There will also be some technology, including a ceiling-mounted patient lift to assist patients in accessing the table. There will be a camera and intercom so the patient and technician can maintain contact throughout the procedure. The control room will be separated by a radiation-resistant window, where the techs can safely monitor the patient,” he said.

The CT requires ice-cold water for it to operate. A chiller unit will be installed on the exterior of the building outside of the suite. CT machines are also power suckers.

“We tested all the power and verified that the supply is sufficient. We’re tying into the diesel generators which were recently installed at the site through the infrastructure upgrades to connect to emergency back-up power if there’s ever a short,” noted Gomez.

LAST FUN FACT…we promise: renovating in old buildings can often present unknown and unexpected surprises. When preparing the room for the CT, the team shut all the water valves to the area, but water continued to flow. The team ended up freezing the water in the pipes with liquid nitrogen, allowing them to install new shut off valves.

Ontario Invests $15 Million to Support the Redevelopment of West Lincoln Memorial Hospital

New State-of-the-Art Replacement Hospital in Grimsby will Improve Access to Quality Health Care

NEWS
February 2, 2021

GRIMSBY – As part of its comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, the Ontario government is making an additional investment of over $15 million to support the planning and design of the new Hamilton Health Sciences – West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby. Once complete, this new state-of-the-art hospital will replace the existing aged facility, expand capacity, improve access to quality care and help end hallway health care for patients and families in West Niagara.

“This is another great step toward the new hospital West Niagara needs. A new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital is right around the corner,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“I will keep advocating to make sure this project continues to move forward. Since the announcement of a new hospital in 2018, everyone has moved quickly to make this a reality. Getting to Stage 3 is an immense accomplishment for the many staff and planners who have helped get it to this point.”

The Ministry of Health has reviewed and accepted the Functional Program Submission. The new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital will provide patients and families in the region with the following:
• A modern, up to date facility with capacity for a total of 61 beds;
• A larger, 24/7 emergency department that will provide more space for staff and patients;
• Maternal and newborn services to support high-quality care during labour and birth;
• Modern surgical suites to deliver care with the best technology available; and
• Outpatient care services including minor surgical procedures such as endoscopies.
Following design of the new hospital, project procurement is expected to begin in 2021. The procurement process will ensure a fair, open and transparent selection of a proponent to begin construction on the new hospital.

“Investing in major hospital infrastructure projects like the redevelopment of West Lincoln Memorial Hospital is a key part of our government’s plan to end hallway health care and build a modern and connected health care system,” said Christine Elliott, Minister of Health.

“This investment will help to ensure that patients and families across West Niagara have access to high-quality care they need, when they need it, and that frontline health workers have the modern facilities and resources they need to deliver that care.”

“Hamilton Health Sciences is grateful for the outpouring of support for this project, particularly from Minister Elliott and her team, MPP Oosterhoff, Infrastructure Ontario, regional and local elected representatives and partners, and the West Niagara community,” said Rob MacIsaac, President & CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences.

“This project is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration and shared vision. Each milestone we reach is a shared accomplishment for everyone involved.”

The new hospital in Grimsby is part of Ontario’s investment of $20 billion over 10 years to build new and expanded hospital infrastructure. The funding announced today is in addition to the over $2.2 million in provincial funding provided to support the planning of the redevelopment of the hospital.

Quick Facts
• On average, there are approximately 20,000 visits to the emergency department at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital each year, and around 2,900 patients are admitted to the hospital. Approximately 750 babies are born every year at the hospital.
• While early planning work for the redevelopment project was undertaken, Ontario invested $10.5 million to support immediate infrastructure improvements to West Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

COVID-19 outbreak: Obstetrics update

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak on C-Ward at WLMH, obstetrics services will be temporarily redirected to Niagara Health, starting Friday, January 29 at 3 pm.

This redirect is anticipated to be in place for two weeks.

With C-Ward closed to new admissions, the site has lost 50 per cent of its bed capacity. In order to keep the Emergency Department functioning and supporting the community during this period, the obstetrical unit will be temporarily used for medical patient admissions.

For families expecting to deliverer at WLMH during this time, please contact Angela Leslie at 905-945-2253 ext 11436 or speak with your obstetrical care provider for further information. We appreciate your understanding as we work to keep all patients in our care safe.

As always, we thank our staff, physicians and partners at Niagara Health for their ongoing flexibility, professionalism and support of our patients.

UPDATE: Obstetrics services resume January 12

Following up from this post in November, obstetrics services at WLMH will resume next week, starting January 12, from Tuesday morning to Friday afternoon. We can now confirm that outside of these hours, women in labour or requiring assessment will be redirected to deliver at the St. Catharines site of Niagara Health (NH).

This follows the model we had in place prior to the operating rooms being temporarily closed for renovations. Our obstetricians and family physicians will retain their privileges at both hospitals, allowing continuity of care for patients. In situations where WLMH physicians are not able to attend a delivery, the patient will be under the care of the NH obstetrician on call.
Midwifery care will be provided at NH only.

EXPECTING FAMILIES: this handout is for you.


Once again, the obstetrics service resumption will be assessed on an ongoing basis to determine if and how it can be extended. The goal is to provide as many hours of obstetrics services as possible, as long as its sustainable from a staffing and resourcing perspective to do so.

Scheduled c-sections and gynecology care will continue at WLMH as it has since the operating rooms reopened in September.

Hamilton Health Sciences is grateful for our ongoing partnership with NH and its team who continue to make this service arrangement possible until obstetrics services can fully resume at WLMH. We also appreciate the flexibility and professionalism our staff and physicians have
demonstrated during this period of transition.

Reflecting on a remarkable year

What a remarkable year 2020 has been.

As a global pandemic took hold in the community, our team at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) has shown incredible resilience and dedication to keep the hospital open and our patients safe.

Inside the hospital, we’ve invested heavily to upgrade the aging mechanical systems to make the building safer, until we can open the new one. The most significant safety upgrade at the site occurred in the operating rooms and endoscopy reprocessing area. Our site team and the contractor worked tirelessly during the surgical shutdown that occurred in response to the pandemic in order to renovate and reopen the operating rooms on time.

We’re also further down the path than ever before to rebuild WLMH. This year started with the government approving a detailed service plan for the new hospital, which meant we could start designing how those services will function in a brand new building. At the end of October, that plan was sent to the Ministry of Health for review. We’re now looking for a team to design and build the future hospital. This project is moving at unprecedented speed. Our goal is to keep it going.

Through it all, our community, neighbours, families, patients, staff, physicians, volunteers, partners and donors have stood beside us. We thank you for your unwavering support and generosity this and every year. Because of you, WLMH’s future has never been brighter.

On behalf of Hamilton Health Sciences, we would like to wish you a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

HHS starting process to find build team for new WLMH

The redevelopment of West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) is taking another step forward as Infrastructure Ontario and Hamilton Health Sciences start the process to find a design-build team for the project.

Issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) is the initial opportunity for prospective teams to express their interest in bidding for the construction contract.

The RFQ process narrows down the list of teams to those who have the design and construction experience, as well as the financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and complexity.

Shortlisted teams will be invited to respond to a request for proposals, or RFP, which is expected to be released mid-2021.

“This is a significant milestone toward redeveloping West Lincoln Memorial Hospital. In less than a year, this project has progressed from initial planning stages to finding a builder for the new hospital. We’re thankful for the ongoing commitment of our government partners, the community and our team who keep this project on track and moving quickly toward the finish line.” Rob MacIsaac, President & CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences

“This is great news for the continued progress towards the new hospital the residents of Grimsby and West Niagara deserve. Because of the tireless efforts of so many within the hospital and broader community, the new hospital has moved forward rapidly, and I am confident we will see shovels in the ground as soon as possible. We can’t forget, this started back at square one in 2018, and the project has seen remarkable progress in two years. My thanks goes to all the citizens, frontline workers, administration, and advisory groups that have been involved in this process. This step is good news towards the selection of the construction firm which will build this hospital. I will keep working with our local community to make this happen.” Sam Oosterhoff, MPP, Niagara West

Services are coming back, baby!

This week, the initial plan to resume obstetrics services at WLMH was shared with site staff and physicians.

Starting January 12, 2021, mothers in labour will be able to deliver their babies from Tuesday morning until Friday afternoon at WLMH. Births outside of these hours will be delivered at another nearby hospital. Those details are still being worked out and will be shared as soon as they’re confirmed.

The service resumption will be assessed on an ongoing basis to determine if and how it can be sustained and expanded. Factors which will be considered include the availability of staffing and the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the community. The goal is to build the service up to provide as much coverage as possible, as long as its sustainable from a staffing and resourcing perspective to do so.

“Obstetrics services at WLMH are very important to families in West Niagara, and it is very good news that safety upgrades at WLMH funded by the Government of Ontario will enable the program to continue. We’re grateful to our staff and physicians who have made this program resumption possible, and to our partners for their support during this period. Recruitment is ongoing for additional operating room staff needed to expand the services in a sustainable manner,” said Dr. Michael Stacey, EVP Academic and Chief Medical Executive, Hamilton Health Sciences.

Obstetrics services offered at WLMH were temporarily redirected earlier this year to allow for critical safety upgrades in the site’s operating rooms. Functional operating rooms and sufficient operating room staffing are required to provide a safe environment for after-hours and overnight births, in the event that emergency surgical procedures are needed during a delivery.

Scheduled c-section births have been taking place at WLMH since the operating rooms reopened in September.

Ten things to know about the Stage 2 submission

The last seven months were a whirlwind for those involved in WLMH rebuild planning. But, we got the Stage 2 plan done and sent off to the Ministry for review and approval…ahead of schedule!

It’s not a final document until the Ministry approves it, so we can’t say too much at this point. Though we’re too excited not to share some information about the plan. Here are 10 things to know about the WLMH Stage 2 submission:

  • The Stage 2 plan is submitted as part of the Government of Ontario’s five-stage process for building a hospital, with Infrastructure Ontario estimating construction on the new WLMH to begin in 2022.
  • The Stage 2 plan is based on planning details set by the Ministry about the services to be included in the new hospital. The Ministry of Health will make the final decision to approve or request changes to the plan.
  • The submission is not publicly accessible until the Ministry’s final approval is provided. This is anticipated early in 2021.
  • The submission includes:
    • a detailed list of the spaces within the new building;
    • a simplified “block planning” of how those spaces may be configured within the new hospital;
    • a site plan showing elements like parking, site access, landscape, etc.;
    • a list of all furniture and equipment needed for the facility;
    • and, a preliminary cost estimate.
  • Based on Ministry specs to assure accessibility, infection control and service delivery, the proposed hospital will be almost double the size of the current hospital – from 65,000 sq. ft. to roughly 120,000 sq. ft.
  • Approximately 150 staff members from across WLMH and HHS contributed their experience and expertise to this planning. This was on top of their daily duties of providing or supporting the delivery of excellent patient care. We’re incredibly thankful for their efforts to get this done. Particularly because…
  • Stage 2 planning kicked off the week before COVID-19 started showing up in our community. Almost every meeting was done virtually, but the stakeholder engagement was equally as robust as in-person sessions. “We got great questions, ideas and comments in all of our user group meetings. The engagement got even better as we progressed through the process. This was new for all of us, but it was a robust experience and that’s definitely reflected in the final plan,” said Bart DeVries, director of redevelopment.
  • The plan proposes to build the new hospital behind the existing building. Once the new hospital is open, the old hospital will be demolished. This will create a substantial set back from the street to the front door allowing for landscaping and additional parking. The details of what this looks like will be developed in Stage 3.
  • The plan includes four operating suites which is twice the number at the current WLMH. This is consistent with the Ministry’s direction, meaning more people can receive the surgical care they need at WLMH.
  • The plan includes space for a multi-faith room, where patients and families will be able to go for a quiet moment of reflection when they need it. The current site does not have a similar space.

    Want more content on the WLMH rebuild? Here’s the most recent video in our series with WLMH leaders involved in the rebuild, talking about what we’re planning and what we can expect moving forward.

We’re digging all the progress at the site!

You may have noticed a drilling rig on the WLMH property recently. “Geotechnical drilling” is a normal part of the process for infrastructure development. Essentially, the team is taking underground samples to get a sense of the soil type and bedrock depth. This will help when determining the best type of foundation for the building. They also installed ground water monitoring wells to understand the ground water conditions, including its purity and flow.

This drilling will likely continue for the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, no dinosaur bones have been found during this process…yet.

Launching new expert video series

Building a hospital is not an everyday experience for many people, including those of us who work in the hospital! It comes with a whole bunch of lingo, jargon, phrases, acronyms and processes. Luckily, we have experts on our team who can clarify some of this information so we’re all on the same page about what’s happening in the rebuild.

On that note, we’re excited to share with you the first video in a series that we like to call, Ask Bart Anything. To kick it off, we ask about the Ministry of Health’s 5 stage planning process.

Enjoy!

Much ado about (WLMH rebuild project) costing

Last week, Infrastructure Ontario (IO) released its fall Market Update report. The report reiterates the government’s commitment to rebuild WLMH, which we completely expected, but it’s always great news regardless. (The WLMH rebuild project has been included in IO’s updates for almost two years.)

The report, however, noted for the first time that WLMH project is now included in the “$200 – $499 million” budget range, which is an increase from the “less than $200 million” budget range we’ve been working toward. This change on paper has encouraged some excitement in the community and beyond.

We asked our WLMH redevelopment lead for his take on this development.

“I get the excitement about this project, we’re really excited too,” said Bart DeVries, HHS director of redevelopment projects. “Based on my experience with large scale infrastructure projects, this is to be expected. It’s important to note that this development doesn’t mean there have been any significant changes to our planning. The difference between the previous budget range [<$200M] and the new budget range [$200M-$499M] could technically be $1. At the end of the day, the market will dictate what the true value of the project will be and that’s still a little way down the road.”

Budgeting for large, public-private partnership (P3) projects is a complex process with many moving parts. Ultimately the goal is to get the best value-for-money spent.

“The budget refinement process will continue as we proceed through Stage 3 toward construction. We’re still working under the original budget assumptions, which is the prudent approach. We’ve hired our costing team who are experts in budgeting for projects of this size and scope. They will tell us the anticipated project cost based on our requirements, which will be kept confidential and used to inform our plans. The private-sector teams bidding on the design-build contract for the hospital will include their project cost in their bids, which will also based on our requirements. Once a winning bid is selected by IO and HHS together, we will release the fixed-price contract value,” DeVries explained.

Many elements can influence a change in project budget, such as cost and availability of construction materials, labour and skilled trades. Time tends to drive the cost of the required elements up higher so planning needs to account for that possibility. It’s also wise to include contingency for unexpected costs, especially given the impacts the ongoing global pandemic is having and will likely continue to have on supply chains.

“These are the types of things we have been planning for since we started Stage 2 and why we always build contingency in to our projected budget,” he noted.

In terms of WLMH project timelines, we’re aiming to submit our Stage 2 plan to the ministry by Hallowe’en. The Request for Qualifications, which is the initial call for teams eligible to deliver the project, will be posted later this fall. Teams prequalified through this process will be named in early 2021, and invited to respond to a Request for Proposals later in the year.

Local leader to head up rebuild project

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. Here’s a little bit about Bart.

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. I’ve worked at HHS for a few different periods throughout my career.

What hospital development projects have you worked on previously?

BD: I’ve had the opportunity to work on a range of development projects, from small to large-scale, both at HHS and as a consultant. Between 2012 and 2016 I was the Senior Project Manager for the development of the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre in Hamilton. I led the project from planning to close out and I’m proud to say it was delivered ahead of schedule and on budget. I’ve also spent some time working at Colliers managing teams of equipment consultants on projects across Canada. In this role I will be working on other HHS projects in the future as well.

What is your role in building the #newWLMH?

BD: Going forward, I’ll be 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 methodology, so this project is a natural fit.

What does building a new WLMH mean to you?

BD: This new hospital 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. As mentioned, I have a number of personal connections to the hospital and I’m glad to be part of this next chapter of WLMH’s story.

Fun Fact: Bart’s father, and more recently his brother, have managed landscaping at the WLMH site since the 1980s.

Parking Lot Resurfacing – Final Phase

The parking lot at WLMH is being resurfaced as part of the regular maintenance schedule to support safety for everyone. Last fall, the initial phase of this work was completed. The next and final phase is the repair and resurfacing of the main parking lot. This work will begin on May 4, 2020 and take place Monday to Friday between 7 am and 5 pm. Weather permitting, work may also occur on some weekends. During this phase, additional lighting will be installed to enhance staff safety. Access to the Emergency Department and designated pedestrian entrances will continue.

All Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) parking infrastructure, including the WLMH parking lot, is managed by the Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) Volunteer Association (VA). The HHS VA funds all necessary parking lot repairs and maintenance. The resurfacing project is 100% funded by the HHS VA.

Thank you for your patience while this work is being completed.

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

About COVID-19

The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) causes a respiratory infection and spreads mainly from person to person. Those with a weakened immune system are more at risk, which may be the case for older people and those with chronic diseases. The first presumptive case of this infection in Ontario was identified on January 25, 2020. Since then, the World Health Organization has characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. We are taking precautions at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) to ensure the safety of our staff, patients, and community.

More information related to COVID-19 is available here:
Hamilton Health Sciences hospital information
Niagara Region Public Health

For ongoing updates, follow Hamilton Health Sciences on social media:

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Planning team hits ground running

And we’re off!

It was a packed meeting room at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) on Thursday afternoon with staff, physicians and hospital administrators ready to roll up their sleeves to dig into the next phase of planning for the rebuild.

The gathering was a kick-off session to introduce experts from RPG Inc., who will lead us through creating a “functional program” for the new hospital.

“This is a very important step in the redevelopment process. It’s critical that we have the right people around the table to provide advice, ask the right questions and make sure we create the best program for the new hospital. The team from RPG has tremendous experience working with hospitals across Ontario and we’re glad to see so many of our staff and physicians wanting to get involved,” says Kelly Campbell, HHS vice-president of Corporate Services and Capital Development.

The functional program will include details about the programs and services in the new facility, as well as describing workload, equipment and operational processes. This will be done through 19 unique “user groups” made up of hospital staff and physicians over the coming weeks. User groups will focus on matters in specific clinical services and departments, like emergency care, diagnostics, obstetrics and more.

Creating best practices for new hospital

A significant part of this phase is understanding current patient care and work flow practices and creating the best processes for the new hospital.

“We’re excited to get going on this project. We know the hospital and community have been waiting a long time for this and we’re pleased to be part of the process. It’s encouraging to see the momentum and support around this project,” said Chuck Wertheimer, senior principal at RPG Inc and project lead on the WLMH rebuild.

In addition to all of the community, hospital and government leaders’ support for the project, the ministry is giving HHS a unique exception to fast-track the planning process by overlapping some parts of Stage 2 and Stage 3 work.

“This is not business as usual and we’re very pleased to see this flexibility. It will, however, mean a lot of work needs to get done in a shorter time frame which will require a focus and extra efforts from the user groups, the hospital and our team. I know that we’re all up for the challenge,” said Wertheimer.

The functional program will also profile design and spatial requirements, a project budget and a project schedule which is looking to be submitted to the ministry by early fall 2020.

Hospital and community members who want to stay up-to-date on WLMH developments can subscribe to our newsletter.