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HHS to unveil WLMH wish list

Photo:
Hamilton Health Sciences president and CEO Rob MacIsaac was on hand Monday, Feb. 8, to review recent investments in WLMH at an open house at Lakeview Public School in Grimsby. (L to R) Martha and Joel Johnson, MacIsaac and Ernie Termorshuizen chatted at the session.

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Next step in hospital service proposal important one: MacIsaac

By Mike Williscraft
NewsNow

Future services at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital will be unveiled at a public meeting next Thursday, March 3, at Grimsby Activity Centre.

Rob MacIsaac, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences will make the long-awaited announcement.

“Starting on March 3, we’ll begin sharing our emerging vision for WLMH at a series of events being organized across the region,” said MacIsaac.

To get to point, HHS officials have conducted a lengthy series of public meetings and open houses in communities where each of its six member hospitals serve all as part of the “Planning Our Healthy Future” process.

This process, officials said, was a crucial stepping stone in that services to be offered at each site must work in synch with an overall plan. Once the services have been established, the capital needs to execute the approved services could be assessed and dealt with.

“Right now, the focus now is 100 per cent on the clinical services that will be offered at the WLMH site,” said Kurt Whitnell, HHS board member from Grimsby.

The goal of the ongoing study is to determine “how hospitals and other healthcare services should be shaped over the next 10 to 20 years.”

“The needs of the community are changing, and so too are the demands for healthcare services. Together with the community and our health system partners, we are developing a plan that will be sustainable and effective for years to come,” noted Whitnell.

It is that kind of sentiment which is music to the ears of Grimsby officials and residents who have supported the facility since its existence was first called into question in 1996.

“My daughter Dawn and I were there at the first rally at Grimsby Secondary School when we saw you crawling around on the roof taking pictures,” said Marion Thorp, president of the Grimsby Chamber of Commerce and general manager of Grimsby Benevolent Fund, of the local media coverage.

“We were also right there with you at the second one. WLMH is a must for the community in all aspects.”

Thorp noted, aside from having a great level of care in the community, the economic impact of all the direct and indirect jobs related to WLMH cannot be underestimated.

HHS has recognized this since it amalgamated with WLMH.

“Hamilton Health Sciences is proud to be part of West Niagara,” said MacIsaac.

“The redevelopment of WLMH is a top priority for HHS, so that we can meet the healthcare needs of patients in the regions of West Niagara and Hamilton for decades to come.”

As Whitnell noted, the services is a key step in an ongoing process.

“Once we get future state services approved, we then move into building and capital items,” said Whitnell. “The up front and most important step of any redevelopment is alignment on what services will be under the roof. This is the heavy lifting phase: figuring out a building and construction is straightforward relative to this phase.”

Thursday’s public meeting will run from 6:30-8 p.m.

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