Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s Capital Plan Development Task Force continues to work through Stage 1 of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care capital planning process with a focus on having two hospitals for Muskoka and area in the future. That’s a hospital in Bracebridge and a hospital in Huntsville with 24-7 emergency departments, surgical services, and inpatient care including obstetrics and intensive care supported by core diagnostic services at each site.
Knowing this is the Board-endorsed service delivery model for the future, since September we have been working on how we would build that model. Is it best to renovate and expand, is it better to replace the buildings altogether on the existing land? Or are we better to move to a new location?
Following three workshops with clinicians and community partners to understand the size of space we would need in the future to match our programs, services and increased bed base, as well as the adjacencies of those departments to each other, our architectural consultant drew up these high-level floor plans and layered the site plan onto each hospital property in line with the most ideal development spot. This work showed us what a renovation and expansion of the current buildings, a new replacement build on the existing properties, and a new build on a new site in Bracebridge could look like. You can see the plans and learn more about the estimated construction cost here, and watch short videos explaining each option on our YouTube channel and on MAHC’s Facebook page.
We were excited to share this progress, and so earlier this month we spent time engaging our staff and physicians, and residents across the region to provide an update on this work and to present the design options for redeveloping our hospitals in South Muskoka and in Huntsville. It was great to visit six communities and see upwards of 400 people, many of whom I was able to speak with after the presentation and help answer their questions. Thank you to everyone who came out to get informed!
Since March 4, our feedback survey has been open to hear your thoughts on the different approaches (the survey closed March 24). The Task Force will review the feedback and weigh it against the design guiding principles, cost considerations and affordability before recommending a preferred building option for each hospital to the MAHC Board of Directors later this spring.
I hope you agree this is a very exciting time for Muskoka and area to shape an even brighter future. We all need to be part of investing in the future and making our hospitals the best they can be for our kids and grandkids. We deserve it and I am really looking forward to making it happen together.
Natalie Bubela is the Chief Executive Officer of Muskoka Algonquin Health Care. Bublea’s original Blog post can be found here.
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