HHS initiates “functional program” work for WLMH

By Mike Williscraft
NewsNow

The “functional program” planning process for the new West Lincoln Memorial Hospital has been kicked off by Hamilton Health Sciences.

The first formal meeting of the planning group was held last Thursday at WLMH with consultants from RPG Inc., which will generate the functional program document, on hand.

“This is a very important step in the redevelopment process. It’s critical that we have the right people around the table to provide advice, ask the right questions and make sure we create the best program for the new hospital,” said Kelly Campbell, HHS vice-president of corporate services and capital development in a release on HHS’s website.

“The team from RPG has tremendous experience working with hospitals across Ontario and we’re glad to see so many of our staff and physicians wanting to get involved.”

According to the release, the functional program will include details about the programs and services in the new facility, as well as describing workload, equipment and operational processes.

This will be done through 19 unique “user groups” made up of hospital staff and physicians over the coming weeks. User groups will focus on matters in specific clinical services and departments, like emergency care, diagnostics, obstetrics and more.

Another key aspect to the overall plan for WLMH was the government’s approval to work on Stage 2 and Stage 3 simultaneously.

“This is not business as usual and we’re very pleased to see this flexibility. It will, however, mean a lot of work needs to get done in a shorter time frame which will require a focus and extra efforts from the user groups, the hospital and our team. I know that we’re all up for the challenge,” said Chuck Wertheimer, senior principal at RPG Inc and project lead on the WLMH rebuild.

The functional program will also profile design and spatial requirements, a project budget and a project schedule which is looking to be submitted to the ministry by early fall 2020.

For Save and Rebuild WLMH Committee Co-Chair Tony Joosse, that is music to his ears.

“At Christmas we took a hugh step forward with the government approving Stage 1 and allowing the start of Stage 2,” said Joosse.

“The recent update giving HHS the approval to fast track the planning process by overlapping some parts of Stage 2 and Stage 3 work is fantastic news. This is a very unique exception to the normal practise and should shorten the overall planning process. Although no dates have been confirmed, the Save & Rebuild committee’s goal remains shovels in the ground fall of 2021.”

The functional program will also profile design and spatial requirements, a project budget and a project schedule which is looking to be submitted to the ministry by early fall 2020.

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