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SMH Receives Stage 2 Approval for Redevelopment by Ministry of Health

[New Tecumseth, ON – March 16, 2022] Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) has received formal approval from the Ministry of Health on its Stage 2 submission for a redeveloped hospital and has been approved to move to Stage 3 Design of the process.

This is the most significant milestone to date, moving the hospital one step closer to building the much-needed expansion. The completion of Stage 2 allows the hospital to begin detailed architectural design work that will finalize the layout of the new expansion and how it is integrated with the existing hospital. This will be a major step toward being able to begin construction.

The Stage 2 Functional Program planning approval means that SMH can proceed with design of the expansion based on government direction. The hospital will soon release a Request for Proposal to hire an architectural firm to provide the consultant team and leadership to complete Stage 3 design work within a year. This project is part of the government's commitment to invest $30.2 billion over the next 10 years in health care infrastructure projects across Ontario.

“I’m pleased and very thankful for the Ministry of Health’s support in moving our redevelopment project one step closer to reality,” says Jody Levac, President and CEO, SMH. “Our community, including our staff, physicians and patients deserve a modern, state-of-the-art facility with the space required to deliver and access the high quality, compassionate health care services that they do, and that’s what they will receive.”

“Investing in Stevenson Memorial Hospital is a key part of our government’s plan to build a stronger, more resilient health care system and end hallway health care for all Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Patients and families in Simcoe County can look forward to a new and expanded services that will benefit them for generations to come.”

SMH’s 58-year-old facility was built to manage 7,000 Emergency Department visits and now sees almost 40,000 per year. With residential developments that continue in New Tecumseth and in the south Simcoe region, the population has grown significantly over the years. New Tecumseth is the seventh fastest growing municipality in the country with a 28 per cent growth in population since 2016. SMH has not undergone a redevelopment since the current facility’s inception in 1964 and needs this expansion to serve the growing community today and future generations.

The phased redevelopment project will feature a 100,000 square foot wrap-around expansion, doubling the square footage of the current hospital. The Emergency Department will triple in size, featuring a separate entrance and two ambulance bays. Inpatient beds will increase from 38 to 47 with an innovative approach as 100 per cent isolation rooms, following best practices in infection prevention and control. The surgical suite, birthing unit, pharmacy, laboratory, diagnostic imaging and dialysis units will all be expanded and for the first time, the mental health program will be brought inside the hospital building. The repurposing and revitalization of the hospital’s current building will follow as a second phase of the project.

“We are very excited to move to the next stage of the redevelopment process and are grateful for the support of so many along the way,” says Levac. We would not be where we are today without the incredible support from our community members, municipality, local members of provincial parliament, businesses and organizations who have advocated for us and donated towards the local share of the funds required for the project.”

The Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation (SMHF) launched the $43 million Because of you, we can Capital Campaign in 2019 in support of the redevelopment project, as well as funds needed to support critical equipment and technology upgrades. The SMHF is pleased to have reached over 60 per cent of their fundraising goal.

“Time and time again our community has shown that they support this hospital and its redevelopment and have made a transformational impact by giving towards the Campaign, even in the most difficult of times,” says Mary Thomas, CEO, SMHF. “On behalf of the Foundation, I thank our donors for their incredible contributions and know they will inspire others to help us reach our ultimate goal.”    

For more information, please refer to the provincial news release.