Support continues to build for a proposed new Windsor-Essex Hospital System to serve our region for decades to come, with local leaders uniting on Monday to let the province know that Windsor-Essex is ready to move to the next stage of the process.
Elected officials representing municipal and provincial offices have issued a letter to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to signify a regional commitment to seeing this much needed capital investment approved for our nearly 400,000 residents of the City and County.
Local business and community leaders, designated ‘Ambassadors’ by David Musyj, Windsor Regional Hospital CEO, also gathered to celebrate the launch of #WEareready – a new hashtag that underlines our collective commitment to see this bold new vision for health care delivery in Windsor-Essex come to fruition. The hashtag is the brainchild of Taras Natyshak, MPP, Essex.
The “Stage 1B” submission – an early but important stage of the necessary process to complete new hospital infrastructure projects – is under review by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The hospitals are ready to work with the Ministry through this approval stage and move to Stage Two, which would allow additional funds to flow so that we can begin designs and other important technical discussions for the proposed new facilities.
The plan, announced last July, would see the construction of a new, 1.6 million square foot state-of-the-art acute care hospital, an 80,000 square foot Urgent Care Centre built on the former Grace Hospital property, redevelopment at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s (HDGH’s) Tayfour Campus, and an exciting opportunity for HDGH to return to Ouellette Ave. to support outpatient mental health services, chronic disease management and a community hub with partner organizations.
“In December 2015, our County Council, representing seven municipalities, voted unanimously in favour of a commitment on behalf of residents of the County of Essex towards a local contribution to this vitally important infrastructure project for our region,”
– Tom Bain, Warden, Essex County.
“Our community of Windsor and Essex County is being presented with an historic opportunity to transform and modernize our health care system. An estimated $2 billion investment would not only bring a decade’s old system into the modern era. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reorient to a forward looking model of health care delivery,” said Taras Natyshak, MPP, Essex.
“The City of Windsor and the County of Essex have both made a commitment to a new vision for hospital care in our region,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “We truly appreciate standing next to our Provincial representatives in unity to move this important project forward. A single site acute care hospital is the cornerstone of the transformation in the delivery of health care in Windsor Essex. We are ready to move to stage two and ask the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to help us realize this vision. Our residents deserve nothing less.”
Musyj underscored the importance of this proposed overhaul to our local regional healthcare system and the importance of citizens to use #WEareready often to communicate their support on social media.
Video -Essex County Warden Tom Bain unveiling #WEareready
Photo and video by Joe McParland