Headwaters CEO Stacey Daub updates County on state of local facility

July 19, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By James Matthews

Headwaters Health Care Centre is showing its age.

The health care facility is about 20 years old, and Stacey Daub, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer says certain parts of it bear evidence of those two decades. 

“Those of you that have been in the Emergency Department recently would know that it is showing its age,” she said.

Ms. Daub says the Emergency Department was designed to handle about 20,000 visits a year. Lately, the department has been seeing as many as 45,000 to 50,000 visits. “And it’s about time we made some changes to it.”

The CEO described to Dufferin County council during its meeting last Thursday (July 11) how administration officials spent much of the last year polling county residents about the hospital’s future. She said as many as 3,000 people gave input. They included patients and their families, residents, people at area partner organizations, and hospital staff.

“That really helps us understand from a hospital perspective … any areas we need to improve upon,” Ms. Daub said.

She said citizens resoundingly expressed a desire for more medical services closer to home.

Cancer care, mental health, and addictions services are among the areas of care people hope would be available closer to home.

Ms. Daub said Headwaters isn’t allocated provincial funding to provide those health care services. And hospital staff have been spending a lot of time referring local patients to other facilities that provide such care.

“We are seeing very significant increases in volumes,” she said.

Ms. Daub said urology services will be returned to the community for the first time in about six years. She said that was one of the primary care services people expressed a desire to have in the region.

“There are unprecedented changes happening at all levels of health care in Ontario,” she said. “Every way that was structured and organized to delivery care in the province seems to be changing.”

At Headwaters, priority areas include palliative care, mental health and addictions, better integrated care and better transitions from hospital to hospital, and health equity.

“Without an intervention in the hospital in the next year, we are facing a significant deficit,” said Daub.

And that’s particularly troublesome given the facility needs to last at least another 30 years. Two major renovations to begin this fall include the removal of the main entrance circular staircase and improvements to the Emergency Department.

She said money for those renovations will come from donations.

“It was a very unique building when it was built,” she said. “Aesthetically, it’s beautiful. But we have had quite a number of significant issues structurally. It’s a challenge.”

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