The chairs of the hospital board over the last 25 years have united to petition Doug Ford to speed up progress on a new hospital for Orillia
ORILLIA SOLDIERS’ MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
For the first time in history, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital past Board Chairs have assembled together as one unified group to call on the province to speed up progress on a new hospital in Orillia.
The chairs of the hospital board for the past quarter-century have added their voices to the chorus of groups calling on Premier Ford to advance OSMH onto Stage 2 of the provincial Capital Redevelopment timeline, or risk a community health-care crisis with the real potential to overwhelm the current hospital’s existing capacity.
In the letter to Premier Ford, the group of Chairs stated, “We have been honoured to share in the collective responsibility of overseeing the governance of OSMH in the role of Board Chair. We have all witnessed the profound and positive impact our hospital has had on the health and well-being of residents.”
“It’s through these eyes and shared wisdom however, that we now feel obligated to sound an alarm, not for the past, but for a future that carries significant negative consequences without immediate and decisive action,” warned the nine past Chairs.
“At the heart of the problem is the hospital’s aging and failing infrastructure that is being strained to its limit,” said Karen Wilford, Chair from 1998-2004. “With the most recent, unexpected rise in community growth, coupled with the out-dated and space-constricted infrastructure, we recognize the urgency of the situation now before our hospital.”
Speaking on behalf of the group, 2018-2019 Chair Al Scott noted that “The pandemic has illustrated both the best in the response of our front-line providers as well as the limitations in our current facilities. Knowing the lead time that projects like this can take, we firmly believe that the time to act is now.”
OSMH President and CEO, Carmine Stumpo commended the past board chairs for taking this unprecedented step.
“It speaks volumes to have the chairs from the last quarter century unite in a collective, strong voice to call on the province to address the immediate need to move the new Hospital project forward to ensure the continuation of the high quality health care the community expects from our hospital in the future,” said Stumpo.
OSMH is currently awaiting formal approval of its Stage 1 submission to build a new hospital on a different site in Orillia. Advancing onto Stage 2 is typically combined with a planning grant to move into more detailed planning.