The following articles originally appeared in the June 14, 2003 Edition of “Pulse”.
|Minister of Health and Long Term Care Tony Clement announces that the province will provide the full 70% funding for our new $114.5 million community hospital. Looking on are: (seated, L-R) Marsha O'Mahoney,RN, Emergency; Cathy Haldenby, President of Lambton Hospitals Foundation; Ken Burchill, Chair of Lambton Hospitals Group; (standing, L-R) Denise Worsley, RPN, Obstetrics; Satinder Walia, Laboratory; Leny Van De Guchte, Occupational Therapy; Subash Prasad, Physiotherapy; Sharree Grant, RN, Special Care Nursery; Jody McGregor, Recreation Therapy; (seated, L-R) Marcel Beaubien, MPP Lambton-Kent-Middlesex; and David Vigar, President/CEO of Lambton Hospitals Group.|
$114.5 Million Hospital
Hospital project receives full provincial portion of funding
“Today, we celebrate.”
With those words, Lambton Hospitals Group chair Ken Burchill confirmed to a crowd of community leaders and health care workers what was joyfully obvious: Sarnia would be getting the provincial funding to build its new hospital facility.
And indeed it has. The province will kick in the full 70 per cent funding for a project cost of $114.5 million, $80.2 million in all from Queen’s Park.
The announcement was made on Friday, June 6 at the Norman Street site of the former St. Joseph’s Hospital.
In preceding the comments of Tony Clement, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Burchill acknowledged the years of both challenge and celebration of hospital workers and others who have championed the renewal of hospital facilities in Sarnia-Lambton.
“Since 1995 we have been in discussion about improving the system and specifically the need to consolidate our hospitals into one site,” said Burchill. “There has been much discussion around that project but the day of celebration is here.”
The provincial government committed to provide an increase in funding of $33.2 million for the hospital project, having previously announced a $47 million contribution toward an early proposal for a combined facility. Increased costs coupled with growing community need for the provision of hospital based health care lead the province to reconsider its funding in Sarnia-Lambton.
Minister Clement said the need for the facility is clear. “The hospital expansion will strengthen and ensure the delivery of quality hospital services, leading to better patient care in the Lambton area.”
Ken Burchill also acknowledged the role of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Marcel Beaubien in spearheading the request for additional Ministry of Health funding. “Mr. Beaubien was one of our key supporters.”
In handing a letter of committal to Ken Burchill, the Minister said the new hospital facility will serve as a “coherent answer to the health care challenges” faced by Sarnia-Lambton.
The redeveloped hospital will include enhanced services and additional capacity in the emergency department, plus an expanded ambulatory care department and eight new state-of-the-art operating rooms.
The hospital project is also expected to contribute to the area’s overall quality of life as physicians, nurses and others will be encouraged to practice in Sarnia-Lambton.
Lambton Hospitals Group CEO David Vigar echoed the comments expressed in the announcement. “This has been our hope and dream since 1995—one facility, an integrated hospital. Our future is here and now.”
Catherine Haldenby, president of the Lambton Hospitals Foundation, expressed confidence in the ability to raise the balance of the $35 million required to complete the community’s contribution to the project. “The good news is that our community is more than halfway to that goal.”
For more information on the hospital building project, please refer to the Lambton Hospitals Group website: www.lhg.on.ca.
Share is $35 Million
Community solidly behind new fundraising goal for hospital facility
Even as they celebrated the announcement of funding commitment by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for a redeveloped Lambton Hospitals Group facility, those leading the effort to raise approximately half of the $35 million that remains to be secured from community sources are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.
Liz Kenny, executive director of the Lambton Hospitals Foundation, says the announcement of 70 per cent full funding by the province will be a significant boost for the push to raise the community’s share (30 per cent) of the $114.5 million project.
“This is a community that responds when it counts,” says Kenny. “We recognize and appreciate all the hard work and selfless contributions that have already occurred in this campaign, but the final push—to bring this project to fruition—is before us. The opportunity for the entire community to demonstrate its collective commitment is something I know we will all get behind and accomplish.”
Indeed, Catherine Haldenby, chair of the Lambton Hospitals Foundation, acknowledged past support of the community for worthwhile projects that have included the St. Clair River Trail, the North Lambton Medical Centre, Victoria Playhouse, the Sarnia/Point Edward waterfront, Lambton College and the YMCA. “And let’s not forget our Charlotte Eleanor Englehart site in Petrolia, where the hospital and an endowment were donated to the community.”
Haldenby says the push to finish the funding race will be a community effort.
“We’re establishing a team of volunteers and professionals to help us to ensure a successful fundraising campaign. It has to happen. We need this new hospital.”
The enthusiasm and collective commitment has been communicated to the provincial government. “We, the foundation, have assured the Minister of Health that we as a community will meet our financial obligation in this partnership,” says Haldenby. “We are committed to the goal of having the best community hospital system in Ontario and are determined to do so.”
To make a donation to the hospital building fund, please see our Financial Gifts page.
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