After more than two years of focusing mainly on pandemic-related issues, Windsor Regional Hospital’s Chief of Staff is delighted to discuss plans for a new, state-of-the-art hospital.
“This is going to transform hospital care for people in our community,” said Dr. Wassim Saad. “It’s very reassuring for people to know they’ll have access to top tier clinical care in a modern facility that is already generating interest from health professionals across the country.”
With construction set to start in 2027, planning is well underway for the New Windsor/Essex Acute Care Hospital, which will replace two aging regional hospital campuses that serve about 400,000 residents.
Saad said the new hospital will be constructed to meet modern infection control standards and equipped with cutting-edge technological capabilities. It is expected to attract medical students and professionals, as well as anyone considering a move to the Windsor-Essex region.
“This area is already becoming a retirement hotspot because of its warm climate, lower cost of living and its proximity to Detroit,” he said. “By adding a world-class, acute care hospital, Windsor-Essex checks off all the boxes for people thinking of moving here.”
The future facility is expected to bolster the local economy with more than 12,000 full-time equivalent positions – direct and indirect – over the course of planning and construction with as many as 1,200 workers on site at peak construction.
The project is already strengthening the community’s culture of education and research.
In partnership with the University of Windsor, the hospital is exploring development of a new Health Innovation Park with research and training space as well as opportunities for innovative health startups and collaborations between government and private sector health service providers.
This would be a boon for students in the University’s Faculty of Science and School of Nursing as well as the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry – Windsor Campus.
Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) is Ontario’s seventh largest community teaching hospital, and expects to recruit more top applicants in a modern, world-class facility.
“I love the talks we’ve been having. This new hospital will have space for learning, for teaching and for simulation activities, and that is very exciting for our students, residents and staff,” said Dr. Larry Jacobs, Associate Dean for the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry – Windsor Campus.
The facility will accommodate a significant increase in learners from all health disciplines, and students have been at the table throughout the planning process.
“Students, teachers and clinical leads have been invited to every discussion about what needs to be integrated into the building for the best education and training experience,” Jacobs said.
Community members are also invited to provide input throughout the planning process, which has been moving quickly since October 2021 when Premier Doug Ford announced $9.8 million to fund ongoing planning of the project.
Community engagement ensures the hospital stays true to its patient- and family centred approach, which is evident in early design documents that incorporate plenty of private spaces with comfortable seating for loved ones and caregivers.
“We know when patients’ family members are with them, healing is improved,” said Saad. “So when you create comfortable spaces that make it easier for families to stay close to their loved ones in hospital, that makes a big difference.”
They will also have space in patient rooms, which will mostly be private, with private bathrooms to help prevent infection spread and improve recovery.
The $200 million provincially required local share towards the cost of “bricks and mortar” for the project has been secured thanks to political leaders and residents of the City of Windsor and County of Essex. In addition, generous community members eager to see the project become a reality continue to support the ongoing modernization of hospital equipment through the WRH Foundation.
Learn more and subscribe to the project email list at windsorhospitals.ca or visit the WRH Foundation website at wrh.on.ca/WRHFoundation