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Investing in Care by Investing in Space

Smitherman calls Sinai staff "fantastic" upon announcing capital renewal money

TORONTO, July 19, 2006 – Mount Sinai Hospital patients, staff, donors and volunteers gathered to hear Ontario's Health Minister announce funding of $8 million to start Mount Sinai's ambitious capital renewal program, starting with creating enhanced care for “moms and their children” through the redevelopment of the Women's and Infants' Health Program.

“We're on the side of Ontario families who want and deserve the very best health care, including quality hospital care,” the Honourable George Smitherman told about 100 clinical staff and donors and media this morning at an announcement at the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Centre. “The redevelopment of obstetrical, neonatal and ambulatory services at Mount Sinai will provide women and infants with improved access to a full range of services.”

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Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman spends time with members of the Mount Sinai NICU Team.

The capital renewal funding breaks down into $7 million for the planning and redesign of Mount Sinai's top priority, redeveloping what the Minister calls “less than ideal circumstances” in our Women's and Infants' Health Program. The other $1 million will be used to begin the design and planning for the additional two stages of redevelopment: an ambulatory surgical centre and upgrades in the critical medical and surgical areas.

As part of the announcement, Dr. Kin Fan Young Tai, Director, Nurseries, demonstrated a ventilator and isolette for Mr. Smitherman. These isolettes are used in the NICU, which will eventually switch from its present cramped patient space to more spacious and patient and family-centered facilities. “Our team is very excited about growing our space to meet the ever increasing demand for our services right across the country.”

As well, a scaled-down model of what Mount Sinai will look like after we build on the best was unveiled by the Health Minister, Mount Sinai Board Chair Lawrence Bloomberg, and President and CEO Joseph Mapa.

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Posing with the scale model of the future of Mount Sinai Hospital. (left to right): Joseph Mapa, President and CEO; Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman; Lawrence Bloomberg, Mount SInai Hospital Board Chair; Ed Sonshine, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation Board Chair.

Lawrence Bloomberg reinforced the importance of redeveloping our Women's and Infants' Health Program, “The program is considered one of the top six academic women's health centres in the world, and certainly one of the busiest in the country.”

“Mr. Smitherman's important announcement about capital renewal in our Hospital testifies to the McGuinty Government's confidence in what we do – how we do it – and our role in Ontario 's changing healthcare system,” said Mr. Bloomberg, responding to the Health Minister's news. “We thank you and the entire provincial government for this expression of support and commitment, which will help us provide the best possible care to women and infants at Mount Sinai Hospital .”

Parent and volunteer Maureen Riley shared her story about her son Sullivan who was born 13-weeks early, weighing only 600 grams. He spent four months in Mount Sinai 's NICU. “Having had a child in the NICU and volunteering with the Parent Advisory Committee,and the Parent Buddy Program, I know first-hand how much this funding will help future mothers and their babies in their time of need,” she said. “I am thrilled with the announcement of funding for the Women's and Infants Health program and the building of a new NICU. This will allow the environment to better enhance and reflect the advanced care provided in Mount Sinai 's world-class NICU. In keeping with the philosophy of family-centered care that is alive and well in the NICU, families will be involved in the planning of this new unit, from the initial design stage – and I'm pleased to be able to participate in that advisory group.”

Mr. Mapa said today's announcement was about “renewal” and the Province's recognition of the special role of our clinical teams at Mount Sinai. “This funding will translate into new and enhanced space, more suitable clinical work environments and more patient-centred facilities for the people we're here to serve,” he said

Minister Smitherman ended his remarks with some powerful words praising our clinical staff, leaders and everyone in the Mount Sinai family.

“With strong partners like Mount Sinai , healthcare in Ontario and the patients of Ontario are the beneficiaries. In recognition for all that you do every single day and for all that will be asked of you as we move forward…we want to thank you for all that you do,” said Minister Smitherman.

“You're fantastic. We're proud of you.”

Sinai Scene and MSH News will keep you posted about further capital redevelopment plans as they unfold.