Sunnybrook & Women's and Women's College Hospital Reach Historic Agreement

Wednesday, July 28 2010

TORONTO, March 9 /CNW/ - Sunnybrook & Women's and Women's College Hospital have reached an agreement on the transfer of programs, services and staff that will take effect when Women's College Hospital becomes independently governed on April 1, 2006.

In August 2005, the Honourable George Smitherman,  Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, set out a three-point plan to create a state of the art academic ambulatory care hospital to provide leadership in ambulatory care for women and their families, reduce wait times for hip and knee replacements, create a state-of-the-art facility for high-risk pregnancies and critically-ill newborns and improve access for emergency care.

The Honourable Elinor Caplan, lead facilitator for governance, finance and program issues during the transition, worked with both organizations to reach this milestone in the government's plan. "I'm very pleased with the outcome of the process, which ensures both Women's College Hospital and Sunnybrook & Women's emerge as strong organizations that will continue to play important roles in the Ontario healthcare system," said Caplan.

Women's College Hospital is moving forward to become a state-of-the-art academic ambulatory care hospital with a focus on women's health. These plans will include the significant capital redevelopment of the Grenville site to become a leading-edge facility with the capacity to provide leadership in women's healthcare, education and research, providing service to women and their families. The Women's College site will also be home to a new provincial Women's Health Institute, which has a mandate to promote women's health throughout Ontario. Patients and visitors to Women's College Hospital will not see a disruption in service and will be able to continue to access the programs and clinics they require for care.

"Gaining our independent governance is an exciting challenge," says Michele Landsberg, Chair of Women's College Hospital Board of Directors. "We can honour our distinguished history of leadership in women's health and build on that for an exciting future involving partnerships with many different hospitals in a fresh approach to health care. We are also fully committed to ensuring this change is safe, comfortable, and seamless for our patients, volunteers and donors."

Sunnybrook & Women's will begin exciting new capital redevelopment projects to double the size of its Emergency Department and Regional Trauma Centre and add a four floor addition on M-wing of the Sunnybrook Campus to provide a new home for the Perinatal and Gynaecology  program currently housed at Women's College. Construction is set to begin on the Emergency Department in spring 2006 with the four floor M-wing development expected to begin soon thereafter. Both projects are expected to be complete by spring 2009, or sooner if possible.

"Improving patient care has always been our goal throughout this process and together we have taken significant strides in caring for women and babies, those who are critically-ill and seriously injured and those who require procedures that will greatly enhance their mobility and independence," said Virginia McLaughlin, Chair of Sunnybrook & Women's Board of Directors. "Our staff, physicians, patients, donors and volunteers are excited about moving forward on our capital development and creating centres of excellence in patient care, teaching and research."

Another important component of Minister Smitherman's announcement last summer was an initiative to reduce lengthy wait-times for hip and knee replacements. The Minister chose Sunnybrook & Women's Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre to create a centre of excellence in hip and knee replacement surgery. The development of this centre is progressing ahead of schedule and has already increased its numbers of hip and knee replacements. The Holland Centre already performs the largest number of hip and knee replacements in Canada, but over the next few years the centre will more than double its volumes from 1,800 procedures a year to 4,100.

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