BLOG: A letter to West Niagara from Rob MacIsaac

BLOG: A letter to West Niagara from Rob MacIsaac

If anyone ever doubted how strongly West Niagara residents feel about West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH), our March 3rd community meeting in Grimsby would surely have laid any doubts to rest.

We at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) were happy, and not surprised, to see approximately 250 people packing the Livingston Activity Centre for a standing-room-only crowd. I would like to thank everyone who attended that evening. The support that the hospital enjoys from this community is something to be proud of. More importantly, as we plan for the redevelopment of WLMH, the level of engagement from the community is very important.

The purpose of the March 3rd community meeting was to share details about the planning HHS has undertaken for the future of our care in Hamilton and West Niagara.

To re-cap the main points:
• HHS is committed to the redevelopment of WLMH – it is a top priority
• The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) has made it very  clear that we need to create an integrated plan that shows how all HHS’ programs and services will work together. This includes the care we provide at WLMH
• Our vision for WLMH is based on input from many stakeholders, including the communities we serve, our staff, physicians and partners.
• Our plans, once complete,  must be approved by the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN and the MOHLTC
• We have recommended to the MOHLTC that WLMH be a demonstration site for integrated community care – this is one of the hospital’s major strengths
• We see the future WLMH as a community hub – possibly locating other community health services in the new building

The key programs we’re proposing for a redeveloped WLMH are:
• 24-hour Emergency care
• Maternal & Newborn (low-risk births)
• Community Surgery (an innovative, ambulatory model for same-day surgery for residents of West Niagara and Hamilton)
• Community Medicine: Healthy aging and seniors’ care; specialty clinics (such as general internal medicine, pre-op, geriatrics, mental health); advanced diagnostics (echocardiogram, ultrasound, proposed CT scanner).

There were many questions at the community meeting about hospital beds –  how many and what kind there will be. This is something that is still being discussed by our physicians and staff and we will communicate the outcomes of those discussions as soon as we can.

We think there’s an exciting future ahead for WLMH and we look forward to continuing the conversation as we move forward.

Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO
Hamilton Health Sciences