Posted: April 24, 2024

For Immediate Release

Grand River and St. Mary’s plan to join together as a single hospital organization

Kitchener, ON – April 24, 2024 – Building on a long history of partnership and collaboration, Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital have agreed to explore a voluntary merger into a single new hospital corporation. The proposed new organization would operate existing hospital sites and services, while continuing to move forward with their joint Building the Future of Care Together capital redevelopment project.

The hospital boards independently voted in favour of creating a new, single hospital organization to care for our communities which would replace both current hospital organizations. This change has also been supported by Board of Directors at St. Joseph’s Health System Corporation, of which St. Mary’s is a division. The hospitals will now undertake a due diligence process regarding the details of the planned, voluntary merger in consultation with the Ontario Ministry of Health.

“Our goal in joining together is to provide our communities with faster, improved access to modern, fully integrated care,” says St. Mary’s Board of Trustees Chair, Tim Rollins. “While we initially intended to maintain separate governance structures, it has become increasingly clear that leveraging our combined strengths as a single organization will put us in the best position to navigate the changing health care landscape.”

“Our hospitals have incredible strengths and we are excited to learn from each other, bringing together the best of both hospital cultures to provide an exceptional patient experience,” says Grand River Board Chair, Sandra Hanmer. “This decision is about meeting the needs of our rapidly growing communities to provide better care today, and for generations to come. This is an evolution of our partnership as we work together to build our future hospital system.”

The planned merger builds on a decades-long history of partnership and collaboration between the hospital organizations that has included a joint medical staff, shared clinical support services, collaborative COVID-19 responses, a shared health information system, and joint fundraising campaigns.

In consultations last fall we received input from patients, team members, physicians and community members urging us to consider the benefits of merging to make it easier for patients to access care. Building on these discussions, we will continue to engage with hospital teams, partners, donors, patients and the public to gather input on the due diligence process and how we can best serve our communities.

If approved by the hospital and corporation boards, as well as the Ontario Ministry of Health, transition to the new organization is expected to take about one year, with the launch anticipated in spring 2025. A decision on the name and identity of the new organization will be made later in the planning process, based on consultation and input with our teams and communities. Regular updates on progress will be provided over the months ahead.

As we explore this proposed merger together, the capital redevelopment project – Building the Future of Care Together – to build a new acute care hospital in Kitchener-Waterloo and modernize two existing hospital sites (the Kitchener-Waterloo site and Freeport site) – will continue to move forward. The current hospital sites will remain operational, with no immediate changes or impacts on patient care as a result of the integration.

St. Joseph’s Health System will lead an engagement process to explore future opportunities for the St. Mary’s site to support the needs of the community with patients, community members, municipal planning bodies, academic, research and innovation partners, and health and social care partners.

"St. Joseph’s Health System is excited to work with partners to adapt, innovate and continue to support the community, guided by our legacy of mission-based care through compassionate care, faith and discovery,” says St. Joseph’s Health System Corporation Board Chair, Roger Fulton. “Together, we are responding to the community’s call to revitalize services, advocate for change and transform the health care system.”



Victoria Ott

Director, Marketing & Communications

Grand River Hospital


Dayna Giorgio

Director, Strategic Communications

St. Mary’s General Hospital


Nicole Vaillancourt

Senior Communications and Engagement Officer

St. Joseph’s Health System


About Building the Future of Care Together

Grand River Hospital and St. Mary’s General Hospital have been partners for over 20 years sharing services such as labs, a health information system, pharmacy, a 690-person medical staff, and leadership in KW4 OHT.

Between our two organizations, we offer a regional cardiac centre, a regional cancer centre, a stroke centre, a chest program, a renal program, and specialized ophthalmology. We accommodate 335,000 patient visits, 101,110 emergency department visits, 31,570 surgical procedures, and 4,130 births. Together, we provide 82% of patient care services in Waterloo Region.

We are supported by our foundation partners – the Grand River Hospital Foundation and St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation – in Building the Future of Care Together.

Stay connected and sign-up to receive updates and learn more about the project at

Grand River Hospital

Grand River Hospital is building a world class health system for all in the communities we serve. One of Ontario’s largest community hospitals, we’re delivering exceptional, patient-focused quality care by a team of dedicated health care workers and volunteers. Situated in one of the province’s most diverse and rapidly growing regions, we provide services and support to more than 840,000 residents of Waterloo Region and Guelph Wellington at our two campuses (KW and Freeport) and satellite locations. Driven by innovation, we’re proud of our partnerships and collaborations with health system partners, our region’s academic and innovation communities, and diverse community stakeholders.

Learn more about our Mission, Vision & Values, and review our Aiming High Strategic Plan.

St. Mary’s General Hospital

Located in the heart of Kitchener, St. Mary’s is home to the Regional Cardiac Centre, Regional Chest Program and Regional Eye Program. As leaders in our field recognized globally for world-class, innovative healthcare, our vision of “Inspiring Excellence. Healthier Together” is not just about our approach to patient-centred care, it’s also about our commitment to our staff.

Celebrating a century of care this year, St. Mary’s provides compassionate care to our community serving over 1.4 residents locally and beyond each year. We are the second-largest acute care hospital in the St. Joseph’s Health System with a team of over 2,000 staff, physicians and volunteers dedicated to ensuring patients receive the highest-quality care possible.

Learn more about Our Mission, Values & History

St. Joseph’s Health System

St. Joseph’s Health System is one of Canada’s largest healthcare corporations serving more than two million Canadians. Our six-member organizations bring unique strengths and services, from acute care, long-term care, home and community care, to rehabilitation, hospice and community support services. We are home to a number of regional and provincial programs, including mental health and addictions, cardiac care and renal care, and are one of the largest providers of not-for-profit long-term care in Ontario with more than 1,000 long-term care beds.

Rooted in the 172-year legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph, we believe in the transformative power of mission-based healthcare. Through a system-wide commitment to caring for the whole person — body, mind and spirit — we are advancing our shared mission of compassionate care, faith and discovery.

Together, our 10,000 healthcare workers are leading the future of integrated care to Advance Care Beyond Boundaries, Amplify our Impact, and Invest in the Teams of Today and Tomorrow.

Click here to learn more about St. Joseph’s Health System.