Shelley Darling

#IamMGH – Meet Shelley Darling

#IamMGH tells the stories of our people. Meet Shelley Darling, Chief of Operational Readiness at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH).“As the Chief of Operational Readiness at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), my role involves preparing our people and updating our processes for the hospital’s move into the brand new Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre (Thomson Centre).

After many years of hard work from our teams, I’m happy to share that the Thomson Centre will open for outpatient care on Monday, January 23, 2023. On February 4, 2023, we will open 215 inpatient beds in the new Medicine, Surgery and Mental Health Units.

A lot of preparation has taken place to get us to this point. The Operational Readiness team at MGH, which includes dozens of staff in various roles, is tasked with ensuring the transition to the new building happens smoothly and safely for patients and staff.

A large part of this work involves ensuring that what was designed on paper – in our floorplans and workflows – transitions to real life. For months, teams have been inspecting new travel routes and testing workflows to ensure no problems will arise once we finally welcome patients into the space.

The Operational Readiness team is also leading the logistical planning for the move, and has organized a comprehensive training program for staff to ensure teams are comfortable working in the new space before the move takes place. 

I took on my Operational Readiness role last year, but I’ve been at MGH for 16 years and have held several different positions during that time. I started as an administrative resident – only a four-month placement – and was happy to be offered a position in data analysis at the end of my term. For 13 years, I served as director of various areas, including Corporate Communications and Partnerships; Volunteer Services; and Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Services. The diversity of my previous roles at MGH prepared me well for my current position because I need to forge strong relationships with staff throughout the hospital, in both clinical and administrative areas.

As an East Toronto resident, MGH is my community hospital. My three children were born here, and I live just down the street. In 2015, I had my appendix surgically removed at MGH. I was impressed with the care I received – the surgery went well and my pain was controlled – but I recovered in a small room with two other patients.

Starting soon, surgical patients like me will recover in bright, spacious rooms in the Thomson Centre. Eighty percent of these rooms will be private, with the rest double-occupancy. All patients will have their own washroom, allowing for privacy and dignity during their recovery. There will also be similar units for our medicine and mental health patients, and brand new spaces for many of our outpatient clinics.

The Thomson Centre is truly a state-of-the-art building that will transform healthcare for East Toronto residents. Over the past year, I’ve been lucky to spend countless hours roaming its hallways with my team. I’m so happy that we are finally nearing opening day, and starting soon, we can share these incredible new spaces with our patients and community.”  

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