New Ivey Eye Institute officially opens at St. Joseph's Hospital

LONDON, ON, March 3 /CNW/ - Today, hospital officials, staff, community members, fundraising volunteers and health care partners were on hand to celebrate the opening of the Ivey Eye Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital in London. The new space was completed on time and on budget, and is more than double the space previously occupied by city-wide ophthalmology.

As part of a multi-phase health care restructuring project in London, the Ivey Eye Institute - previously located on two sites: St. Joseph's and London Health Sciences Centre's Victoria Hospital - is now consolidated on the first floor of St. Joseph's Hospital. In preparation for this consolidation, 54,000 square feet of space has been renovated to create state-of-the art space specially designed for all aspects ophthalmologic care.

This second phase of the project provided an economic boost to London and the surrounding communities. At the peak of construction, more than 100 workers were on site daily at St. Joseph's Hospital.

The opening of the Ivey Eye Institute further solidifies St. Joseph's Hospital as a provincial leader in ambulatory care.

The new space for the Institute is bright, modern and offers many improvements. The Institute sees approximately 300 patients a day and is laid out in pods of subspecialties: retina, paediatric, general/ocular plastics, cornea/anterior segment, optometry low vision, glaucoma and ophthalmic diagnostics. Having all subspecialties located in one area will enhance the level of care and accessibility for patients.

The cost of the contract between EllisDon and St. Joseph's Health Care, London to build and finance this phase of renovations at St. Joseph's Hospital is $49.2 million. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will pay for 90 per cent of eligible construction costs.

St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation played a significant role in providing funding for this project. Individuals and major organizations from the across the region embraced the concept of the new Institute and have donated more than $2 million for new space and important diagnostic and front line equipment used in the delivery of care.

The Foundation thanked the thousands of donors who contributed to the Institute and recognized major supporters including the Bank of Montreal for their support of the renovation of a much needed conference room space in the new clinic.

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are working with St. Joseph's Health Care, London to redevelop the hospital, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable. Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to managing some of the province's larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects - ensuring they are built on time and on budget.

Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca for more information.

Disponible en français

Quotes:

Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and MPP for London North Centre

"This is an exciting day for London. Now with more than double the space for ophthalmology, St. Joseph's will be able to provide high quality care for more people for many years to come."

Hon. Chris Bentley, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney General and MPP for London West

"The opening of the new state-of-the-art Ivey Eye Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital will ensure Londoners have access to enhanced ophthalmologic care and services right here at home."

Khalil Ramal, MPP for London - Fanshawe

"Our government is dedicated to investing in the resources and infrastructure to meet our community's health care needs. The opening of the new Ivey Eye Institute at St. Joseph's is an example of our commitment."

Cliff Nordal, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Care, London

"The opening of our new Ivey Eye Institute is an exciting and proud day for St. Joseph's and another piece of the puzzle that is finally in place. At the end of our restructuring journey, our services will be better organized across the city in a responsive care environment with our skilled care providers coming together to build a new future ready for generations to come."

Michelle Campbell, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation

"Community donors, through the St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation, played a significant role in the consolidation of the Ivey Eye Institute at St. Joseph's. We are grateful to the thousands of generous donors, who through their contributions to this new space, will make a difference in the lives of thousands of people of all ages, who will receive care at the Institute each year."

Backgrounder

London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care, London are now well into the second phase of redevelopment as part of the overall restructuring of London hospitals.

As part of this phase, ambulatory care renovations at St. Joseph's Health Care, London will run concurrently with renovations and the completion of interior construction of the North Tower at London Health Sciences Centre.

This phase includes 112,000 square feet of renovated space at St. Joseph's Hospital including space for the Ivey Eye Institute; Ears, Nose, Throat (ENT) clinic; Ambulatory Gynaecology; the Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism; Respiratory Therapy as well as a renovated kitchen, cafeteria, and finance services office space.

The approximate cost for this phase of renovations to St. Joseph's Hospital is $49 million.

    
                       St. Joseph's Health Care, London
                       --------------------------------
    

St. Joseph's Health Care, London (SJHC) is a patient care, teaching and research centre comprised of St. Joseph's Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, Regional Mental Health Care, London and Regional Mental Health Care, St. Thomas. SJHC provides acute ambulatory care, rehabilitation, specialized mental health care, care of the elderly and complex continuing care.

The St. Joseph's Health Care, London redevelopment project is multi-phased, consisting of three significant renovations to existing buildings. Phases one and two are in development. Phase three is scheduled to commence in spring 2010.

St. Joseph's Hospital Ambulatory Care Renovations, Phase Two

Phase two involves the development of approximately 112,000 square feet of renovated space and 4,000 square feet of new space. These renovations will provide new space for the following services:

    
    -   endoscopy
    -   city-wide ophthalmology services (which will be transferred from
        London Health Sciences Centre to SJHC)
    -   ear, nose & throat
    -   ambulatory gynecology
    -   diabetes/endocrinology/metabolism
    

SOURCE Infrastructure Ontario

For further information: For further information: Melissa Poulin, St. Joseph's Health Care, London, (519) 646-6000 x64646; Jessica Hooker, Infrastructure Ontario, (416) 327-5325


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