Ten years ago this week, the way in which healthcare was delivered in Niagara changed forever, and for the better.
The closing of the St. Catharines General Hospital and official opening of the St. Catharines Site (SCS) on March 24, 2013, was a monumental and well-orchestrated effort years in the making.
The opening of the SCS meant Niagara residents wouldn’t have to travel out of region for a number of treatments. New and enhanced regional programs were introduced, changing how care was delivered, and enabled us to advance technology and recruit and retain staff and physicians.
“It has always been very clear to me what the SCS has meant to everyone across the region,” says Lynn Guerriero, President and CEO. “A hospital is about so much more than physical buildings. It’s about the people delivering care inside those walls, the programs they facilitate and the patients our teams provide compassionate care for.”
As we look forward to the next 10 years and beyond of transforming care in Niagara, we’re reflecting on how the opening of the SCS continues to enable and inspire us to provide the extraordinary care that our community deserves.
Over the next four days, we’ll be sharing stories on our blog and social media channels highlighting patient stories that illustrate how care improved as a result of the SCS opening. Highlights will include the Women, Babies and Children’s Unit, Mental Health and Addictions, Cardiology and Cancer Care.
By the numbers
Women, Babies and Children’s Unit:
The regionalization of services has supported growth from 2,748 deliveries in 2013/14 to 3,615 in 2021/22. It has also allowed us to develop our neonatal program, expanding from a 12-bed Level 2B Special Care Nursery to a 20-bed Level 2C Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Mental Health and Addictions:
Our Wellness Recovery Integrated Care program works with individuals who have complex mental health needs and experience repeat Emergency Department (ED) visits and re-admissions. The program had 85 clients when it launched and is now down to about 40, which speaks to its success in helping patients heal and avoid further ED visits or readmissions.
Our Heart Investigation Unit has performed more than 17,000 cardiac catheterization services and more than 4,300 percutaneous coronary interventions since launching in 2013. Previously, cardiac care in St. Catharines was done by three cardiologists. There is now a team of 12 cardiologists, and as many as 10 research projects running in Cardiac Care at any given time.
Since opening in 2013, the Walker Family Cancer Centre has supported more than 9,000 radiation therapy visits that would have otherwise taken place outside Niagara. There has also been an increased opportunity for patients in the region to receive chemotherapy treatment.