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Sunnybrook to double size of ER and trauma unit

TORONTO – Sunnybrook & Women’s Emergency Department and Regional Trauma Centre received word that the proposed expansion of the Emergency Department and Regional Trauma Centre has been approved by the provincial government.

The project will create a state-of-the-art department which will double its current size, add a CT scanner, and increase stretcher capacity from 27 to 48 bays.

“This is incredible news for our staff and patients,” said Dr. Paul Hawkins, Acting Chief of Emergency Medicine at Sunnybrook & Women’s. “The additional space will allow us to increase our capacity to treat the most acutely-ill patients in the GTA and decrease off-loading times for ambulances.”

Expansion of the department will occur between the existing B and C wings. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2006 and should be fully-complete by early 2009.

The project, which also includes upgrades to the central utilities plant and infrastructure that will support the four new floors on M-wing, has a total project cost of about $58 million. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care will provide a grant of up to $35 million for the project with the balance of the cost coming from the hospital through its fundraising initiatives.

Sunnybrook & Women’s Emergency Department was originally designed for 20,000 visits per year and now treats more than double this volume including those needing care for traumatic injuries, burns, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurological disorders and other serious conditions.

“Given the level of acuity and volume of patients our staff and physicians are treating, it has become clear to us for quite some time that we need a larger facility,” said Virginia McLaughlin, Sunnybrook & Women’s Board Chair. “We are grateful to the government and to our generous donors for helping to get this project underway. This expansion will provide us with an environment that is better able to meet the current and future needs of the many communities we serve and enables our staff to continue providing the best patient care possible.”

Expanding the department will also provide much needed space for the Regional Trauma Centre. The Regional Trauma centre is Canada’s first and largest. Each year it cares for more than 1,200 patients who are referred from 80 hospitals across the province.

“As part of a team working in an environment where seconds count, it will be a huge boost to our staff to have a space with increased functionality and efficiency,” says Dr. Fred Brenneman, Sunnybrook & Women’s Trauma Program Chief. “Patients from across the province, who require life-saving treatment, arrive on our doorstep every day and even though we provide them one of the best trauma teams in the country, we will soon be able to offer them care in one of Canada’s best facilities.”

Much of the financing for the ER and trauma unit expansions will be generated through the hospital’s own fundraising activities.

“Donors to Sunnybrook & Women’s understand the central role that the Trauma and Emergency programs play in the hospital and their importance to the community and province. They want to see this project move ahead, and are excited by this announcement,” said Terry O’Sullivan, Chair, Sunnybrook & Women’s Foundation. “We have early support for this project from RBC Financial Group, Pyarali & Gulshan Nanji, BMO Financial Group, CN and Margaret and Lee Lau.”

Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre is transforming healthcare through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff members, physicians and volunteers. Sunnybrook & Women’s proudly provides care for nearly 1 million patients each year.

As well as housing Canada’s foremost residence for our country’s war veterans, Sunnybrook & Women’s offers world-class programs in cancer, cardiac, musculoskeletal, neurosciences, perinatal and gynaecology, trauma and critical care, and aging and population health.

Sunnybrook & Women’s has a special emphasis on improving women’s health and patient safety throughout all of its programs and services. A full affiliation with the University of Toronto and proven track-record of conducting leading-edge research and teaching the latest advances in healthcare, distinguishes Sunnybrook & Women’s as one of Canada’s premier academic health sciences centres.

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