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New intensive care unit to provide substantial benefits, supporting better care for Waterloo Region patients

December 10 2010

Grand River Hospital will continue to focus on providing on-going high-quality critical care but in a vastly-improved environment. GRH’s new intensive care unit has officially opened in an expanded wing of the hospital’s KW Site. Patients will begin receiving care in the new space next week.

“The new intensive care unit will provide our critical care team with a state-of-the-art facility to treat our most ill patients,” said Malcolm Maxwell, Grand River Hospital’s president and CEO. “We appreciate the hard work of the physicians, nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists and many other professionals who have provided high-quality care in a temporary facility while this new unit has been under construction.”

The intensive care unit has nearly quadrupled in size from 4,010 square feet to 15,000 square feet. It’s located on a newly-built second floor of the hospital’s F wing, which runs parallel to Mount Hope Street. Some of the patient benefits of the new ICU include:
  • Private care spaces of 225 square feet each providing more room for patients, families and care providers and increasing infection control standards;
  • Large windows for every patient room offering plenty of natural light;
  • Ceiling-mounted articulating arms for instruments, monitors and supplies, reducing equipment on the floor and improving infection control practices;
  • Glass partitions in the rooms allowing for improved monitoring of patients; and
  • Five new isolation suites.

Further changes focus on family and friends who are key participants in patient care and recovery. Two new quiet rooms as well as washrooms, a shower and sleeper chairs will allow family and friends to be close to their loved one at all times.

“All the staff and physicians who’ve worked in the cramped quarters of our temporary intensive care unit are very happy to have this new unit available to us soon. A better facility can make major improvements for patient care and infection control. We know our staff do an excellent job; this unit will allow them to go that much further for their patients,” said Dr. Paul Hosek, medical director for the intensive care unit.

The new intensive care unit is part of the hospital’s $63.5 million patient care development, funded by the Government of Ontario and the Region of Waterloo. The overall project includes new and improved spaces for surgery, minor procedures, patient registration and mental health. GRH will continue to operate the new intensive care unit with 14 beds. The hospital is working with partner agencies to plan for the start-up of additional beds based on population needs.

“This ICU expansion will provide an important service for Waterloo Region patients,” said John Milloy, MPP for Kitchener Centre. “Our government has been pleased to invest in critical care enhancements such as this project as well as additional beds for Grand River Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.”

“Stronger critical care services in our region are vital, especially given the growth and development that we have seen in recent years. The Region of Waterloo’s contribution to the enhancement of Grand River Hospital’s KW Site recognizes the importance of the hospital as an acute care provider for families in our communities,” said Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

Community donors have also made substantial contributions to the project through the Grand River Hospital Foundation’s Architects of Care fundraising program.

“We are thankful for the strong support that our community has provided to the Architects of Care program, and acknowledge the significant gifts made from Home Hardware Stores Limited, the Huber Family of Piller Sausages and Delicatessens Ltd, and the late Fred Stork and his wife Ruth Stork,” said Theresa Fischer, chair of the Grand River Hospital Foundation.

“I appreciate all the help of the ICU staff in having saved my life, and I’m sure the new intensive care unit will very helpful for them in saving further lives in the years to come,” said Jerry Habash, a former patient of GRH’s intensive care unit. He and his wife Sue spoke on behalf of patients and families at today’s opening.

Grand River Hospital is the region’s largest acute care hospital, with a focus on 14 clinical programs and services. These include cancer care, childbirth, children’s services, complex continuing care, critical care, emergency, laboratory services, medical imaging, medicine, mental health and addictions, pharmacy, rehabilitation, renal/kidney care, and surgery.

For more information, please contact:
Mark Karjaluoto, Director of Communications: (519) 749-4300 extension 2788.
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