Waterloo Region is a Thriving Community Missing a Critical Piece: A New Hospital Infrastructure in KW
This is an abridged version of the article written by Lee Fairclough, President of St. Mary’s General Hospital, and Ron Gagnon, President and CEO of Grand River Hospital for the March/April Advocate 2022 by Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.
Waterloo Region can’t wait any longer to put plans in place for new hospital facilities to better serve the needs of our rapidly growing and thriving community.
We need more hospital beds. We need more hospital services. The last few years we have seen an influx of people moving to our community and our population is projected to grow significantly over the next 20 years. We need hospital capacity to accommodate this growth. We need facilities engineered and built to modern design standards to replace our aging hospitals and provide patients the care they deserve. We need world-class infrastructure to enable our hospitals, in partnership with local businesses and post-secondary institutions, to fully reach our potential in health research, innovation, technology development and learning.
The reality is we were dealing with chronic hospital capacity pressures and limits to our ability to be innovative as a result of our aging facilities well before the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the past two years of navigating COVID-19 have provided a snapshot of the severity of our space challenges and what our future may hold if we don’t move quickly to build a new hospital and expand our capacity to serve this community.
Here’s why we are embarking on this joint project now:
- Waterloo Region is one of the fastest-growing jurisdictions in the country
- We never again want to be in a position where capacity pressure forces impacts our ability to provide care
- Historically, our region has had far fewer hospital beds per capita than average in Ontario and across Canada
- We need infrastructure that will allow us to not only to provide high quality care for our community today, but to grow to meet the needs of tomorrow
To make this a reality, St. Mary’s General Hospital and Grand River Hospital are building on a long tradition of partnership to plan for the future of hospital services as part of an integrated healthcare system in our region.
Over the coming months, we will need the support of our community to help build a case for this project and engage the provincial government on why the time is right to invest in a new world-class hospital for Waterloo Region. We’ve pulled together before for the benefit of our community on similar projects, such as the recent Two-Way All-Day GO campaign. We’ll be sharing details soon on how you can get involved and lend support to ensure Waterloo Region gets the hospital infrastructure we need for our growing and thriving community.
Read the full article in the March/April Advocate 2022 by Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.