Updated Fall 2019
What does it mean to be included on the provincial government’s future infrastructure list?
The South Niagara hospital was listed on the provincial governments Fall 2019 Market Update. The Market Update is a list of future infrastructure projects of the provincial government. This announcement gives us some timelines for when we can issue a request for qualifications from potential bidders on the project’s construction which is set to begin in 2021. From this, we can project a completed hospital in 2026/2027.
What stage in the planning process are you currently in for the South Niagara Hospital?
The project team has submitted our Stage 2 revised proposal to the provincial Ministry of Health. This submission outlines the program and service requirements, equipment and space needs of the hospital and has been developed with extensive input from our staff, physicians and community partners. Ministry approval of Stage 2 is required before we move forward with the next phase of planning, which involves the development of written specifications and an illustrative design of the building.
Are there any changes to how you are providing services?
Although we are making progress, we are still in the early phases of planning and approvals with the Ministry of Health. It is business as usual across all of our sites, and there are no changes taking place to our service delivery model at this time.
When you talk about future changes in delivering care, what do you mean?
Niagara Health is committed to fundamentally shifting the healthcare delivery system for Niagara. From the current hospital centric model in which the hospital is the core healthcare resource in each community, to transition to a model in which hospital services support frontline and community-based care providers. A model that shifts resources to the community where they’ll have the biggest impact for patients.
This model will bring healthcare providers to the patients through enhanced community partnerships and in-home care options. This model will be supported though two centralized state-of-the-art hospitals and a redeveloped site in Welland which together will form a more efficient, yet more robust patient-focused health system where even the chronically ill can be cared for in the community with less reliance on the hospital. Patients will access care in the community, and in their homes through enhanced partnerships, clinics and satellite offices for specialist and physicians.
Technology advancements have afforded us new opportunities for healthcare delivery that we never dreamed possible. In our planning, we are working with some of most forward thinking technological companies to plan for what the future brings.
Ontario Health Teams will also provide us with new opportunities to think even more as a seamless, integrated healthcare system. Under Ontario Health Teams, healthcare providers will work as one coordinated team – no matter where they provide care.
What are Ontario Health Teams?
Ontario Health Teams are being introduced by the Ontario Government to provide a new way of organizing and delivering care that is more connected to patients in their local communities. Under Ontario Health Teams, health care providers will work as one coordinated team for a more integrated and seamless delivery of care.
The Niagara Ontario Health Team - Équipe Santé Ontario Niagara (NOHT-ESON) marked an important milestone as 44 healthcare, the community support sector and social services across Niagara - which include 60 Primary Care Physicians, collectively submitted their Full Application to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in their next step in becoming a designated Ontario Health Team. Read more here.
What other opportunities in healthcare in Niagara should I be aware of?
When reconfiguring the healthcare model in Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL), Niagara Health worked with a local steering committee to find partnerships with existing health care providers and long-term care facilities in the area to help meet the needs of the residents in NOTL. Healthcare services improved as a collaborative model of care was introduced.
Niagara Health also built a partnership with Pleasant Manor, a private, not-for-profit facility in Virgil, owned and operated by Radiant Care, in which Niagara Health provides funds annually out of our operating budget for 12 convalescent care beds. This solution of collaboration ensures that NOTL residents have access to transitional beds close-to-home.
Niagara Health continues to work with community providers in NOTL to ensure access to healthcare for residents does not change.
Niagara Emergency Medical Services (NEMS)
Niagara Health has a strong partnership with NEMS and has developed a program for destination determination – meaning that based on presenting complaints of the patient, Niagara EMS can access which Niagara Health site the patient should be taken.
Niagara Emergency Medical Services (NEMS) has begun a new program to field 911 calls to assess patients to determine if they need an ambulance or some other level of care. This new program will help non-emergency patients over the phone, and in most cases avoid the need for an ambulance entirely, ultimately lessoning the demand on hospital emergency departments.
Other Community-based Care
Niagara Health is a leader in the shift to community-based care – focusing on supporting patients with chronic diseases by helping them safely manage their conditions from the comfort of their home. Niagara Health has developed an Integrated Comprehensive Care program for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Congestive Heart Failure. This program has reduced both Emergency Department visits and readmissions.
Niagara Health was one of the first hospitals in Ontario to introduce the Amia System – a peritoneal dialysis cycler (an at-home dialysis system) that is improving care and increasing independence for individuals receiving dialysis at home. The system reduces hospital visits for our patients and allows our providers to monitor treatments remotely.
Focusing on the needs of Niagara residents, a Niagara Health mental health nurse works with Niagara paramedics to treat people in the community and coordinate follow-up care as needed.
Niagara Health uses Ontario Telemedicine Network technology to connect people through video with their healthcare providers, therapeutic groups and other programs – providing more prompt care and reducing the need for patients to travel.
What does the future look like?
In our proposal to the Ministry of Health, we outline a plan to evolve to three hospital sites (St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland) and expand access to healthcare services in communities across Niagara. We are committed to working with community members in Fort Erie and Port Colborne to determine the best mix of services and new ways to provide care to ensure we are meeting the needs of residents. Hospitals will provide services for those who need a higher level of care, while services provided in community settings will bring care closer to home for residents whose needs do not require hospital stays.
Our proposal includes redefining the way healthcare looks in the region through community partnerships and enhanced services closer to home, and in some cases, in the home.
Emergency Medicine Program
Critical Care Program*
Mental Health & Addictions Program
Wellness in Aging*
Complex Care Program*
Mental Health & Addictions Program
Complex Care Program
Eye Centre *
The South Niagara hospital hit an important milestone in early September with the development being included on the Fall 2019 market update of future provincial infrastructure projects.
This milestone signals, among other things, that a request for qualifications from potential bidders on the project’s construction would be issued in spring 2021. Link to news announcement.
The project team has submitted our Stage 2 revised submission to the provincial Ministry of Health. This submission outlines the program and service requirements, equipment and space needs of the hospital and has been developed with extensive input from our staff, physicians and community partners. Ministry approval of Stage 2 is required before we move forward with the next phase of planning, which involves the development of written specifications and an illustrative design of the building.
Although we are making progress, we are still in the early phases of planning and approvals. It is business as usual across all of our sites, and there are no changes taking place to our service delivery model at this time.
We have heard a lot of feedback about our planned vision for healthcare in Niagara. We also appreciate that this vision will bring changes in the future to the ways we are used to providing care across our sites.
We plan to have a strong, yet different, presence in our communities once the Niagara Falls hospital opens, currently estimated to take place in 2026-2027. The full range of services to be provided in Welland and Niagara Falls was shared with you earlier this year. Click here for details.
We will be working with community members in Fort Erie and Port Colborne to determine the best mix of services and new ways to provide care so we are meeting the needs of residents. We are building more than hospitals and care centres. We are redefining the way healthcare looks in the region through community partnerships and enhanced services closer to home, and in some cases, in the home.
In addition to this work, Ontario Health Teams provide us with new opportunities to think even more as a seamless, integrated healthcare system. We will continue to work hard with our staff, patients and families/caregivers, and community partners to enhance experiences for Niagara residents in the hospital and in the community. Our ultimate goal is to ensure every resident receives the healthcare they need no matter where they live.
We will also continue to work closely with our community and hospital staff to implement the project, and we look forward to providing additional updates as they arise.
The new Niagara Falls Hospital will be centrally located at Biggar and Montrose Roads (off of Lyons Creek Road) and will give residents from across the southern portion of the region equal access to a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services.
Questions? Email us