Thank you for helping us transform hospital care in Niagara

Press Release

Feb 23rd, 2023

This is an opinion column by Niagara Health President and Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Guerriero, and Niagara Health Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Scott, published in the St. Catharines StandardNiagara Falls Review and Welland Tribune.

A hospital is about so much more than just physical buildings where care is provided.

It’s about people inside those walls who work hard every day to care for their community. It’s about patients who come for that care in times of need. It’s about compassionate care that happens every minute of every day inside those buildings, and equipment required to deliver that care.

That compassion isn’t just from us as health-care providers to you as residents. The generosity of our Niagara community is a gift that continues to humble us at Niagara Health and Niagara Health Foundation. Over the years, you have given us your time as front-line volunteers at our hospital sites across the region.

Many Niagara Health patients have also gone on to become patient partners — volunteer advisory positions that help inform so many of the decisions we make around how we operate, communicate and deliver care.

And then there are our donors, who have supported us in so many different ways over the years. More recently, you have stepped up to help the foundation towards our fundraising goal in support of the south Niagara site, which will transform the way care is delivered across our region. With each donation, big and small, we get closer to hitting the targets of the It’s Our Future campaign and ensuring our new 1.2 million square feet of care will have everything it needs to support patients, staff and physicians.

As Niagara Health continues on its road to building a modern, patient-centred hospital system, we’ve marked another important milestone. This week, Infrastructure Ontario announced Financial Close, meaning we have entered into a contract with EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare to design, build, finance and maintain the new south Niagara site hospital, which is scheduled to open in 2028.

It won’t be long before construction trailers will be rolled onto the project site at the corner of Montrose and Biggar roads and work will begin.

The continued support of the community provides vital funding for urgently needed patient-care equipment from patient beds and linens to MRI machines, almost everything inside the walls of our hospitals is paid for with the support of community fundraising.

Residents of Niagara have stepped up during these challenging times through support for the foundation’s monthly donor program, community fundraising events, legacy giving programs and through the commitment of significant contributions toward our equipment and capital needs.

Niagara Health’s sites provide care throughout the region, not just where the physical building stands. Our new site will touch the lives of families throughout Niagara with a full scope of hospital services as well as specialized care in the areas of wellness in aging, stroke and complex care. We serve more than 450,000 local residents and our region has one of the oldest populations in Canada, making our new site and its focus on supporting our aging adults even more vital.

The past three years have been a struggle for everyone, from patients and staff to our municipalities and partner organizations. That’s true for us at Niagara Health as well, especially in the area of health-care worker and physician recruitment and retention. Our new modern facility will help us recruit and retain staff and allow us to deliver care using the latest medical advances, technologies and equipment. The more money we raise, the more we can invest and continue to be leaders in research, education and patient care.

With the new south Niagara hospital site, Niagara will see a number of firsts for the region, and beyond. This will be the first hospital of its kind to have an Indigenous healing space and garden to create a culturally safe and welcoming space for Indigenous Peoples. It will also be the first WELL-certified hospital in Canada. We will incorporate design elements that promote health and well-being, and prioritize the mental health of staff, patients and visitors.

To those who have already supported our health-care teams and the patients of Niagara through a gift to the foundation, thank you. Your kindness will have a lasting impact on the community around you.


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