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St. Catharines

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First-year milestones and successes

March 24, 2014, marked the first anniversary of the opening of the St. Catharines Site and a year full of milestones and successes thanks to a new way of delivering care across Niagara.

Since the St. Catharines Site opened, thousands of patients have benefitted from new and expanded regional services that brought care closer to home in a state-of-the-art facility.

“It has been a remarkable and exciting time for healthcare in Niagara,” says Angela Zangari, Interim President and Chief Financial Officer. “Our team has made a smooth transition and accomplished much of what we hoped for; providing the best possible patient care as we continue to build a better healthcare system. I want to thank everyone who made this year a success; those who were our fundraising champions, the hundreds of dedicated staff, physicians and volunteers across our NHS sites, and the community of Niagara for its support.”

Over the past year, Niagara Health System has provided specialized healthcare services across the region. Here are some highlights from 2013/14:

  • For the first time in Niagara, residents of the peninsula had access to a full spectrum of cancer care including radiation therapy through the hospital’s Walker Family Cancer Centre. 7,600 radiation treatments were provided to 700 patients.
  • Almost 1,300 cardiac care patients were able to receive diagnostic procedures at the Heart Investigation Unit (HIU). The opening of the HIU has meant access to cardiac catheterization, and as of April 2014, interventional care (stents) for the first time in the region.
  • Approximately 2,700 babies have been born at the St. Catharines Site new regional Women’s and Babies’ Unit. The patients and specialized team in this program have benefited from being in one location with the availability of concentrated expertise and training, and a multidisciplinary environment.   
  • The Mental Health and Addictions Program has started seven new programs, hired 105 new staff members, and recruited seven new psychiatrists with an additional four to join the team in 2014. The availability of new longer-term mental health care has meant that many patients and families no longer have to travel outside the region for care.
  • The Kidney Care Program has expanded its care model to include a community-based satellite Kidney Care Centre in Niagara Falls; the first of its kind in the region. The Niagara Falls program has provided 15,400 treatments to 80 patients. NHS now provides dialysis across the region; in Welland, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls. 
  • The NHS’s Niagara District Stroke Centre at the Greater Niagara General Site continues to have the best “door-to-needle time” (the amount of time patients wait to receive life-saving
     t-PA) in the province at an average of 31 minutes.
  • The Welland Site opened a Respirology Clinic and has been building a regional Comprehensive General Ambulatory Ophthalmology Program. The program has performed 5,600 cataract surgeries and had patient 2,200 visits.
  • The Douglas Memorial, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Fort Erie sites have focused on building improved specialized complex and palliative care services.

About the St. Catharines Site

The St. Catharines Site opened its doors on time and on budget on March 24, 2013, opening a window on the future of healthcare in Canada.

A replacement facility for the former St. Catharines General and Ontario Street sites, the St. Catharines Site is the community hospital for residents of St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara-on-the-Lake and surrounding communities, and includes Emergency Department and Urgent Care services in one place.

In addition, the site also introduces much-needed regional services to Niagara in a state-of-the-art building, providing residents across the peninsula access to care closer to home.

Comprehensive cancer care — including radiation therapy — is available for the first time in Niagara through the hospital’s Walker Family Cancer Centre. Patients with cardiac illness can now be assessed at the Heart Investigation Unit, which offers diagnostic and interventional care, including cardiac catheterization and stents. People with mental health needs have access to an 81,000 square foot Mental Health and Addictions Department where they can receive longer-term mental health care.

The St. Catharines Site is the kidney care hub for dialysis patients, supported by satellite units in Welland and Niagara Falls, and provides a new model of health services for women, babies and children.

At nearly one million square feet, the comprehensive acute care hospital is a showcase of state-of-the-art technology and patient-centred design features that set a new standard for Canadian hospitals, help medical professionals provide better care and allow patients to better enjoy their stay.

Services provided at the St. Catharines Site

  • Cardiology Services
  • Children’s Health
  • Critical Care Services
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Emergency and Urgent Care
  • Kidney Care Program
  • Laboratory
  • Medicine
  • Mental Health and Addictions
  • Ontario Breast Screening Clinic
  • Outpatient Clinics
  • Pharmacy
  • Surgery
  • Walker Family Cancer Centre
  • Women’s and Babies Health

*This is not a full list of all services. Please contact our main switchboard at 905-378-4647 for more information.

FACTBOX: Some of the design features that make the St. Catharines Site so unique include:

  • The highest percentage of single-patient rooms in Ontario with 80% private rooms.
  • One of the only hospitals in the world to have a dedicated HVAC system, enabling the hospital to be split into two distinct air-handling zones for complete isolation in the event of a pandemic or other significant event — the independent section includes half of the Emergency Department, two Operating Suites, ICU and one inpatient unit, ensuring that regular operations can continue in the remainder of the hospital.
  • The largest wireless installation in a Canadian hospital. The Distributed Antenna System enables guaranteed wireless coverage throughout the building and allows physicians and medical staff to make the most of technological tools, such as computer tablets, to make diagnostic decisions more quickly and improve patient care.
  • The first Operating Suites in Canada to be lined with corian walls — a solid-surface material typically used in countertops — for improved infection prevention and control.
  • An unprecedented 1,400 hand-washing sinks and nearly as many alcohol hand-rub dispensers.
  • Patient-centred features include simplified way-finding throughout the building, extensive outdoor walking paths and gardens, natural light in every patient room, increased privacy with separate entrances for the community hospital, cancer centre and mental health units, and numerous lounge areas and quiet rooms throughout the facility for patients to spend time with family members and friends.

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1200 Fourth Ave
St. Catharines, ON
L2S 0A9

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