Stevenson submits redevelopment plan for new Emergency Department
January 23, 2012 – It’s time to grow at Stevenson Memorial Hospital.
President and CEO Annette Jones today submitted a proposal to the Central Local Health Integration Network (CLHIN), detailing the need for an expanded Emergency Department, Operating Rooms, Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory Department at Stevenson.
“This community has significantly outgrown the current facility and we need to make improvements in order to continue meeting the needs of residents living in South Simcoe County,” Jones said.
The current facility, located on Fletcher Crescent, was built in 1964 and the 4,000 square-foot Emergency Department was designed to accommodate 7,000 visits per year. In 2012, the number of visits to Emergency reached 29,888. That number is expected to top 30,000 visits this year.
The catchment area of Stevenson Memorial Hospital has recently been designated by the Province as an area of high growth both currently and in the future. Also, the area is identified as having a higher percentage of seniors than other Ontario communities. Growth is having an immediate impact on Stevenson’s Emergency Department in terms of increasing numbers of patients seeking treatment in the more urgent classification categories.
“Over the past 18 months, we have undertaken an extensive process of community engagement with stakeholders involved in providing health care services through Stevenson and residents’ that receive our services,” Jones said. “It is clear that we have broad community support for both this proposal and the fund-raising effort that will be required from the community to build a new Emergency Department. The provision of a new Emergency Department continues to be this community’s number one priority.”
Along with the redevelopment plan, Jones presented the CLHIN with more than 50 letters of support from local stakeholders including medical professionals, hospital staff, local businesses, municipal councils and community groups.
ER is the most relied upon and essential service at Stevenson, with over 50% of total visits to the hospital. Other hospital emergency facilities are more than 45 minutes away, and there is no public transit within or between communities. The current population of the catchment area is now greater than 55,000 and is projected to reach 90,000 by 2031.
“As a result, the hospital is struggling to meet the community’s needs with its current ER capacity limited to 12 stretchers,” Jones said. ““We are facing a critical situation with the inadequacy of Emergency. Renovations have been undertaken over the past 10 years in an attempt to improve patient flow, accommodate increased volumes and to better meet code requirements and current health care standards, but there is simply no more possible room to expand the ER within our existing facility.”