Four renovation highlights from Michael Garron Hospital's redevelopment project
As part of Michael Garron Hospital’s redevelopment project, the hospital has been undergoing some significant renovations since the project began in 2018. Here is a quick look at four of these renovations; some of which have been completed and others that are currently ongoing.
New security office
MGH security is getting a brand new space. The security team will be moving from their current space on J1 near emergency services into a brand new office space. This work is currently ongoing and is scheduled to be completed later this year.
Kevin Di Ciacca, manager, protection services at MGH, says this renovation project has been a long time coming but it will include many important features for the MGH security team. Kevin was particularly thankful for the support and hard work of past managers of protection services like Clint Hodges.
The new security setup will include new integrated systems for patient safety, video monitors to access over 800 security cameras, easier processes for staff when they receive their ID badges, and more all in one central location.
“The main improvement is all the new systems and innovations that are going to be in one central space to help security and benefit the hospital as a whole,” Kevin says.
These integrations and technology upgrades will allow security staff to have everything from easy security camera access to real-time locating systems “at their fingertips” when responding to calls, Kevin says.
He adds that he hopes all of these new features will go a long way in decreasing response wait times, improving staff and patient safety and managing hospital emergencies.
K4 Child and Youth Mental Health Outpatient preview
Starting in mid-August, work will begin on a new child and youth mental health outpatient clinic on K4. This project will involve demolishing the existing office units in K4 to make room for a brand new clinic.
The new space will be designed to mimic the current outpatient clinic located on A6. At this moment, work is scheduled to be completed in summer 2022.
Dr. Krista Lemke, medical head of the MGH child and youth mental health program, says one goal with this future space is to allow for better care integration with community mental health partners. Services such as outpatient consultations, day treatment, specialized anxiety treatment and crisis assessments will remain at the hospital. The program already relies on community partners to provide other aspects of care, such as individual and family therapy.
“What we would like to do is to share our psychiatric expertise in a more seamless manner with our community partners and the emerging east Toronto community hubs, while also allowing our patients to benefit from the community programs that these hubs can provide,” she says.
Moving forward, all of the mental health providers across East Toronto will be able to come together in a much more “coordinated” fashion, Dr. Lemke says. This will be of great benefit to high-priority neighbourhoods in particular, where access to care is more challenging.
“Some of the care will be virtual, some of it will be in-person,” Dr. Lemke says. “We’ll still offer the core services in a hospital setting but we are aiming for more of a program without walls.”
K Wing vestibule
Another new K Wing space is a vestibule off Sammon Avenue. This will connect the hospital to the new Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre (NPCC), allowing people to enter the H Wing of the current hospital. When entering the NPCC this entrance would provide access to the service corridor, the food court and retail spaces.
This new vestibule will feature brand new doors, hardware, glazing and mechanical and electrical systems, says Andrew Dempsey, project manager, redevelopment at MGH. There will also be a new air curtain to help with temperature control as the existing unit no longer works.
For this space and others like it, these features are replacing older, less efficient equipment. These spaces are also designed to be up to modern accessibility standards.
As well, the walkway entering the vestibule feature heated slabs to prevent ice buildup and cut down the amount of shoveling needed in the winter. Brand new landscaping will border the pathway.
This work is scheduled to be completed later this year.
While some renovations have been out in the open, the redevelopment project includes some more behind the scenes work with some significant upgrades to hospital infrastructure.
“They’re big undertakings,” says Faye Baisley, an engineering services coordinator at MGH, even if they are not as visible to the public.
Some of this work includes the installation of new oxygen concentrators in the hospital basement. The system is responsible for purifying oxygen from the surrounding atmosphere, disposing of impurities and then distributing oxygen into tanks for patient use. The older oxygen equipment needed to be removed to make room for the footprint of the NPCC, and its replacement is much more cutting-edge technology-wise.
“That type of technology is very new,” Faye says. “We’re the only acute hospital that has it.”
Hospital electrical substations also needed to be relocated to make space for NPCC construction, which allowed for newer, safer and more reliable equipment to replace the aging switchgear. The result is two brand new switchgear rooms and the large electrical substation currently in the parking lot looking out onto Knight Street which is responsible for all incoming hydro services.
The installation of the concentrator system and new switchgear rooms each took about 12 months. The outdoor substation took roughly two years and was completed in May 2020.
Additionally, the hospital has added a second set of pipes for incoming water to allow for backups and redundancies in case one water main fails. This backup for incoming water flow did not exist before.