ABOYNE – They’ve got the keys, so it’s just a matter of time before the new Groves Memorial Community Hospital will open.
There’s still some work to do – quite a bit when viewed through the eyes of the layman – but for those who have been working behind the scenes on this project for years, the finish line is in view.
Construction is substantially complete, and the builder is just finishing up some minor deficiencies, said Stephen Street, president and CEO of the hospital.
That work, he added, should take 45 days.
Then what’s left is to install new equipment, move the old equipment and train staff in the new space.
The new hospital will have 45 beds – the old Groves has 39 – plus capacity for 50 beds when necessary.
At 152,000 square feet, it’s bigger than the old hospital, with emergency, diagnostic imaging and ambulatory care departments doubling in space.
It will have parking for 320 vehicles and sits on 30 acres of land behind the Wellington County Museum and Archives. That will allow the hospital to expand in the future as the community grows.
Street said he expects all staff will move to the new hospital and there could be some new hires depending on need and funding.
He said he is negotiating with the province over operating funding, “and that will determine staffing,” he said.
“We do know there will be more funding for the facility because it is larger. The province has some new rules; it’s taking a phasing-in approach. But as our volumes increase, so will our funding.”
Staff will soon begin “day in the life” training, simulating real scenarios and learning how to work as a team in the new space.
“We hope that on Day 1 it should be like our thousandth patient,” said Alison Armstrong, manager of communications and stakeholder relations.
Street said there will be an open house and public tours before the new Groves is fully operational, but he doesn’t expect to have two hospitals operating for very long.
“We’ll move some departments earlier,” he said, “but it will all be done within a week.”
No date has been set for the grand opening but Street expects it will happen in spring or early summer.
For more information about the new Groves hospital, visit www.newgroves.net.