It’s been a while

We were still at the old office downtown when word slipped out that Groves was ambitious to renovate its aging facility.

For whatever reason, we vividly recall talking on the phone with a hospital board member, looking out the back window towards the Grand. The old Groves perched on the hill of the opposing riverbank offered up a panoramic view of what could be. It was exciting to hear about better services for this community and as we typically do here, the offer was made to support the best we could. Then years later after great efforts of all those involved the plan changed from renovation to building a brand-new facility. The new Groves was worth the wait.

As is characteristic of a thank-you message involving more than a small handful of people, there is great risk in missing an important person or persons. Recognizing that, 15 years of history is a lot to recall on a busy deadline day so apologies in advance if an obvious name or group is missed.

In this edition of the Advertiser there is a special supplement with information about Groves – its past, present and future. We actually pulled a bit of a favour pre-opening and reporters were allowed in to take dozens of photos. This week we have a pictorial of various highlights since COVID-19 has made it all but impossible for people without need of medical care to take a tour or participate in an open house.

Take comfort that when the need for care does arise, patients and their families can be assured of exceptional care and a people-friendly facility.

An incredible amount of work went into planning from what happens the moment a patient arrives. One of the larger challenges for working groups tasked with designing a project such as this, is to identify needs and find a way to plan accordingly.

We remain impressed at how successful those efforts were to ensure a safe work environment for staff and as comfortable as possible patient experience.

Stephen Street, CEO of Groves has proven himself an incredible leader in this regard. Calm and deliberate, he has really been an inspiration to those involved. There are literally dozens of support people – from hospital staff to the hospital board, the foundation, the auxiliary – all whom have worked long hours and dedicated years to seeing the hospital happen.

All of this time they have worked with the Ministry of Health to develop and administer the plan to erect a state-of-the-art facility. Getting all oars in the water at the right time is no easy task, but our local health care providers and ministry personnel found a way to work through enormous amounts of regulation and red-tape. It speaks to what is possible when people work together.

The County of Wellington is specifically owed a huge thanks for being a primary donor for this facility. Yes, it was taxpayer’s money that funded their contribution, but at numerous points over the last 15 years or so they stepped up and provided leadership on the issue. Large projects make it very easy for politicians to escape making costly choices, but county council pushed forward with funding commitments that allowed the project to continue.

The confidence that came with knowing the county was on board led to community donors – from generous business leaders to community groups to individual citizens – putting time and effort into raising funds with a purpose.

Several service clubs took up the challenge early on to pledge funds for Groves. What seemed so significant in this process is that intuitively people knew what they had to do to reach fundraising goals. Getting a new hospital was a priority for everyone.

Representative of a team effort, everyone marshaled forces and gave to the foundation – sometimes in spectacular fashion. People did what they could, and the result is something the community can take pride in. Every donor and participant in a workplace or group that contributed should feel a great sense of accomplishment.

The new Groves is here for you.