Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the two hospitals planning the project together?
Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital are working together to plan for the future of hospital-based services in Kitchener-Waterloo as part of the broader health care system in Waterloo Region and beyond.
Our hospitals have a long history of partnership including a joint medical staff, shared clinical support services such as lab, diagnostic imaging and pharmacy, collaborations on COVID-19 response, KW4 Ontario Health Team development and implementation of a shared health information system. We are working together, along with the community we serve, our health system partners and Cambridge Memorial Hospital to plan and build health care infrastructure for the future.
Collaborating on this project will allow us to build something better together and provide better care together than either of us could accomplish alone.
How long will planning take and when will building begin?
We are currently in the preliminary planning stages. In April, 2022 the Government of Ontario provided Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital a $5-million capital planning grant to support planning to build a new shared state-of-the-art hospital and to modernize some of our existing hospital buildings. In May, 2022 we submitted a joint proposal to the government which is subject to modification change following engagements with government and the community.
These projects have multiple stages of planning and can take 10 years or longer on average to complete. We will continue to provide high-quality care across both of our hospitals as we put plans in place to modernize and expand hospital infrastructure for our growing community.
Next steps include starting engagements to further identify service needs in our community, the best locations for these services, and how to deliver this project on the fastest timeline.
Are we going to lose any hospital services? Are we going to gain any services?
Based on our growing population, we expect to add more patient beds and expand acute care programs. Our planning grant enables us to determine exactly what services we will need, the best location for these services based on the changing needs of our community, and how to get this project on the fastest timeline.
This is about creating the future of acute care in Waterloo Region and beyond to ensure that our patients have timely access to high-quality, leading-edge care close to home.
How will the community and public be able to provide input into the plan?
Input from the communities we serve is critically important as we plan new hospital infrastructure. We will provide many opportunities for the community to be involved in the planning process and provide input. You can subscribe to receive email updates on the project here.
How will a new hospital site be selected? Where will this hospital be located?
At this point, we have not selected a preferred location for a new shared hospital. Decisions regarding the type and location of any new infrastructure will be determined later in the process through engagement with both hospitals, our health system partners, our communities and the government. Ultimately, a final decision on location will be guided by optimizing access to care for the communities we serve.
What does this mean for the current hospital sites?
St. Mary’s General Hospital and Grand River Hospital provide excellent patient care, but we’ve significantly outgrown our aging and outdated buildings. Decisions regarding the future of each of our existing hospital buildings will be determined later in the planning process through engagement with both hospitals, our health system partners, our communities and the government. While we continue to plan for a future hospital facility, continued investment in our current hospitals remains critically important to ensure we can continue to provide high-quality patient care.
The current St. Mary’s General Hospital building is not included in the vision. What does this plan mean for St. Mary’s?
St. Mary’s General Hospital and Grand River Hospital provide excellent patient care, but we’ve significantly outgrown our aging and outdated buildings. St. Mary’s is almost 100 years old. Due to its current infrastructure, it is difficult for St. Mary’s General Hospital to meet current growing capacity demands and will be unable to meet future needs.
St. Mary’s will continue to provide vital hospital services to our communities just as it has for nearly 100 years. Through this project the vision is that St. Mary’s and Grand River will share new and modern hospital facilities with expanded capacity and services.
Decisions regarding the future of the St. Mary’s hospital building will be determined later in the planning process through engagement with both hospitals, our health system partners, our communities, the St. Joesph’s Health System and the government.
Given this is a joint project, does this mean the hospitals are merging?
Partnering on this infrastructure project does not mean our two organizations will be merging or giving up autonomy. We have a long history of collaboration. This project will enable us to strengthen our partnership while maintaining our organizations’ independent identities and cultures, including our individual missions and values.
How much will this project cost?
At this point, an estimated cost for the overall project has not been determined. Estimated costing will be established later in the capital planning process as we determine the size and scope of the new shared hospital, as well as upgrade work required to modernize existing hospital buildings.