March 24, 2010

New Women's Hospital Enters Next Stage of Development

L - R: Lori Lamont, VP and Chief Nursing Officer; Adam Topp, COO HSC, Alene Wilgosh, President & CEO.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger today marked the official start of deconstruction of the former Weston Bakery, site of the new Women's Hospital at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg.

"This is the first visible step towards the reality of the new hospital," Premier Selinger said. "It is exciting to see the months of consultation and planning now physically progressing towards what will be a state-of-the-art health care facility for women and their families."

Health Minister Theresa Oswald said the needs and concerns of Manitoba's women form the basis of plans for the new facility.

"When construction of this new facility is complete, it will reflect the input of women and their families across the province -- what they want and expect in a health care facility, whether they are there to give birth or have surgery," Minister Oswald said. "The public's input has and will continue to be invaluable as the project continues to move forward."

Adam Topp, HSC's Chief Operating Officer, said that engaging the neighbourhood has been vital throughout the process.

"In addition to the Province's public consultations, representatives from the community have participated in all phases of functional and design planning," he said. "As neighbours, we've worked to address issues of mutual concern, from parking to neighbourhood improvement initiatives, street safety, green space as well as what the exterior and interior of the building will look like."

Arlene Wilgosh, President and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, said that while demolition of the exterior of the bakery will begin shortly, work is already well underway on the interior and exterior design of the new building that will replace it.

"The design concept for the Women's Hospital has ultimately been driven by the people of Manitoba," said Ms. Wilgosh. "More than 900 people voted on design concepts in an online survey in January and February. Overwhelmingly, they preferred the wildflowers theme."

"The public's comments helped ensure we were heading in the right direction, creating a facility that reflected a culture of hope and a connection to healing and nature," Lori Lamont, WRHA Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, said. "Many people also felt it was reflective of Manitoba."

Dr. Maggie Morris, Medical Director of the Women's Health Program, said the theme will be used in planning all units in the facility. "When you look at the design of the new Women's Hospital, it's clear that the needs of patients and their families are at the heart of planning for this space," said Dr. Morris. "From single-patient rooms with lots of natural light, to private bathrooms, to spacious family rooms, we're building a hospital that puts the patient experience at the centre."

Mr. Topp said that he expects some of the material from the Weston Bakery may also make its way into the new Women's Hospital. The goal of the project is to achieve LEED Silver certification. The contractor has committed to salvaging and recycling a minimum of 70 per cent of the building's materials, but expects the final number may be as high as 90 per cent.

"The exterior face brick, the hardwood floors, all windows, doors are being salvaged, cleaned and reused or sold to another company," he said. "We're excited about opportunities to incorporate elements into areas like landscaping features in the new building."

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2011.

Click here for more information on the Women's Hospital Redevelopment Project.

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