The lengthy process of planning a future Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) continues and a new website will aim to keep residents and interested parties updated on the progress.
The hospital's chief financial officer, and soon-to-be interim president and CEO, Michael Lacroix, told Clearview Township council on March 21, the hospital aims to complete its Stage 2 (of 5) submission by the first quarter of 2023.
The hospital's first stage application was approved in 2021, and that approval came with a provincial grant of $15 million toward planning work for the second stage of the application.
During that announcement in August, the province said CGMH can move forward with the planning process to "modernize and expand the hospital." There is some question over whether that means the hospital will be renovated and rebuilt at its current location or if a new hospital can still be built at a new location.
Land has been offered on Poplar Sideroad near Georgian College for a new hospital.
According to CGMH, a final location for the hospital has not yet been confirmed.
"We will continue to define program services and space requirements and will be sure to incorporate emerging care standards and building requirements informed by the pandemic ... assessing whether the current building can support these standards," Lacroix told Clearview council. "While planning work will ultimately determine the size and scope of the overall hospital project, we can say with certainty it will lead to a state-of-the-art facility that will meet healthcare needs for a rapidly growing South Georgian Bay community well into the future."
Lacroix announced a new website, yourfuturehospital.com, where he said updates will be posted on the development application process.
Lacroix and the current CGMH president and CEO, Norah Holder, are touring South Georgian Bay councils to deliver a hospital development update and present a refreshed strategic plan. Their tour began with Clearview council on March 21.
Holder presented the strategic goals, which fall under the four pillars of patient experience, people, innovation, and partnerships.
Under the patient experience pillar, CGMH will focus on improving access to care closer to home, and increasing the coordination of services for frail seniors and people with complex mental health needs.
The second pillar, people, includes goals for recruiting and retaining highly-skilled people and supporting health and mental wellness for the hospital team.
The partnerships pillar comes with goals focused on collaboration, including working with the South Georgian Bay Ontario Health Team to improve patient outcomes.
Finally, the hospital aims to use technology to advance safety, quality of care, and efficiency – including planning a state-of-the-art future hospital – as part of the goals in the innovation pillar.
The strategic refresh process began in 2020 and involved consultation with approximately 700 internal and external stakeholders as well as a review of metrics and demographics, according to a news release from the hospital.
“The refreshed plan outlines the roadmap the hospital will follow for the next three years, as we continue to optimize operations and work on corporate projects," said Holder in the news release.
The upcoming presentations by Holder and Lacroix include March 24 for Wasaga Beach, March 28 for Town of The Blue Mountains, March 28 for Collingwood, and April 6 for Grey Highlands.