MOUNT FOREST – Dignitaries and hospital supporters gathered for a celebration of Louise Marshall Hospital’s soon-to-be-opened Emergency Department and Ambulatory/Oncology Unit on Sept. 9.
“The two-year, $25 million expansion is complete,” stated North Wellington Health Care (NWHC) president and CEO Stephen Street in a press release.
“The newly built 5,710 square foot Emergency Department will officially open its door on Sept. 14. The new 7,000 sq. ft. Ambulatory Care/Oncology Unit will open the following week.”
The LMH expansion project was approved in August of 2011 with shovels going into the ground in August of 2019.
The design of the expansion prioritized enhanced infection prevention controls and privacy, hospital officials state.
“Instead of having curtains between each treatment bay in the Emergency Department we now have sliding glass doors with complete privacy, providing a more dignified patient experience from start to finish,” explained NWHC chief of staff Dr. Chris Rowley.
“The new ER space also boasts two major trauma bays and increased treatment rooms,” Rowley noted.
Additional new features include a new bright and modern oncology unity, central patient registration, enclosed ambulance bay, new volunteer gift shop, donor recognition wall and patient drop-off lanes at the main entrance.
“On behalf of my fellow board of directors, I would like to thank the provincial government, Wellington County and the Township of Wellington North for supporting the Louise Marshall Hospital expansion,” said NWHC hospital board chair Dale Small.
“The hospital staff and physicians have worked hard to minimize the patient impact during construction, amid a pandemic. They are to be commended for their resilience and care provided during this time.”
Small added, “This investment in our rural hospital could not have come at a better time as demand on hospital services continue to increase.
“The expansion will allow our patients to receive their health care services close to home for generations to come.”
Street thanked the Mount Forest Louise Marshal Hospital Foundation, volunteers and donors for their “tremendous support” in raising $5 million for the local share of the project.
“The LMH Foundation is so pleased to see this project reach completion,” said foundation board chair Bob Mason.
“We are appreciative of the support of our community that helped to make this happen, and excited to see the improvements to local health care that this new facility allows for,” Mason added.
“Projects like these do not just happen without community support, which we certainly have and then some,” Perth-Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece stated at the Sept. 9 celebration.
“It’s an investment in bricks and mortar, but it’s more than just that. It’s an investment in the future of rural Ontario. It’s an investment in future generations who will live and work in this community, people who will need modern health care facilities.”
Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox expressed appreciation to hospital workers for their efforts through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On occasions such as today, one word comes to mind – gratitude. We will be eternally grateful to the people who work here and who continued to work throughout this difficult pandemic. Thank you for looking after us in our time of need. You are our heroes,” he stated.
Lennox added the community is also grateful for those people who made the hospital upgrades a reality, including the provincial government, hospital staff and the construction and design team.
“Especially, we are grateful to the people who had the vision and perseverance,” said Lennox.
“To all the staff, all the volunteers on the hospital board and on the hospital foundation, to all the donors that contributed to this project, you are the people who continue to make this a fantastic community to live work and play.”
About 35 dignitaries and hospital officials and supporters were given tours of the expanded facility following a brief ceremony.