ST. THOMAS, ON, April 1 /CNW/ - Steve Peters, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London joined Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Care London, St. Joseph's staff, volunteers and patients, community members and partners for St. Joseph's forensic mental health care building's official groundbreaking in St. Thomas.

The St. Thomas facility will be a new 233,640 square foot hospital for forensic mental health-care built on the existing lands in St. Thomas and will replace the current facility. It will provide specialized inpatient and outpatient services, including assessment, treatment, outreach and support services to individuals with a mental illness who have come into significant contact with the criminal justice system.

The new facility will better support staff and a recovery model of care for patients by creating healing environments within a neighbourhood and community setting. The model promotes individual growth and skill development enabling patients to return to community living more successfully.

In addition to the health-care benefits, the project will also provide a boost to the regional economy by supporting and creating jobs. At the peak of construction, it is estimated that 200 workers will be on site daily. Construction of the new mental health facility is expected to be completed in June 2013.

The overall project also includes a new mental health-care facility which will be constructed adjacent to Parkwood Hospital in London.  The Regional Mental Health Care London facility will be celebrating the start of construction on April 8, 2011.

Integrated Team Solutions (ITS), the consortium selected to design, build, finance and maintain the new mental health facilities represents a joint venture between EllisDon Corporation and Fengate Capital Management Ltd., with EllisDon also providing design build services. The facilities were designed by Parkin Architects and architects Tillmann Ruth Mocellin. Honeywell Limited will provide facilities management. Scotia Capital acted as financial advisor to ITS.

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care are working with St. Joseph's to build the hospitals, 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. As well, it is dedicated to providing the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term financing to renew their infrastructure.

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Quotes :

Hon. Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure
"Today's announcement illustrates the government's commitment to building modern health-care facilities that provide Ontarians with the services they need and deserve."

Hon. Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"Our government is committed to giving Ontarians and their families the kind of high level healthcare that they expect and deserve. The new hospital will enhance the quality of care and the quality of life for patients and their families who rely on this specialized care."

Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Care London
"These two facilities will have on vision - to help us provide the absolute best patient care experience possible. At St. Joseph's, we are dedicated to patients and these new buildings will offer dignified, comfortable spaces, and allow for life affirming progress and skill development as people journey toward recovery."

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The St. Joseph's Health Care London mental health facility projects include the construction of two new buildings in London and St. Thomas totalling 650, 000 square feet of new space.

The new St. Thomas facility will operate 89 beds, an increase from the current 80 beds operating today at the site.

The new London facility will have a capacity of up to 156 patient beds in operation with future capacity for up to 168 beds.

Both facilities will offer a range of outpatient treatments, clinics and supports that will enhance the recovery philosophy of care, which emphasizes treatment and rehabilitation, a shift from the traditional institutional model.

These new buildings are one of many projects that are transforming the mental health care system in Southwestern Ontario. This includes the divestment of beds and services from St. Joseph's to hospitals in Kitchener, Windsor, Hamilton and St. Thomas, in keeping with Ontario's vision of providing care closer to home.

This vision also includes a shift from inpatient care to more community based care, which requires substantive government investment. St. Joseph's will continue to serve those from across Southwestern Ontario who require specialized treatment. St. Joseph's mental health facilities will also continue to offer strong teaching and research programs in keeping with its mandate as an academic hospital.

St. Joseph's aims to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification for the design and construction of the new facility. LEED® standards focus on healthy indoor environments, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and efficient use of energy, water and other resources.

Construction of the new mental health facility in St. Thomas is expected to be completed in June 2013 and the London facility is expected to be completed in December 2014.

SOURCE Infrastructure Ontario

For further information:

Amanda Jackman
St. Joseph's Health Care London
519 646-6100 ext. 47155     
        Lyndsie York
Infrastructure Ontario


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