THUNDER BAY, ON ---- June 15, 2015 --- On Monday, June 15th, St. Joseph's Care Group (SJCG) Thunder Bay, held its official ground breaking ceremony on the much anticipated East Wing of St. Joseph’s Hospital. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister Michael Gravelle (MPP Thunder Bay - Superior North), and Minister Bill Mauro (MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan) were in attendance to celebrate the beginning of this important project.
The East Wing will be home to the Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Program (SMHRP) and will include 38 inpatient beds, outpatient and outreach services. The SMHRP will serve people with serious mental illness and co-existing issues including substance use and development issues, dual disorders and/or geriatric psychiatric illness.
The care of people with mental illness has changed significantly over the years. Mental illness, like many chronic illnesses, has periods of intensity where symptoms are not manageable by the individual alone and professional assistance and care is required. This care may involve admission to acute care for stabilization, followed by mental health rehabilitation to regain the maximum functioning a person can achieve.
Ensuring client flow through the system is also part of the preparation for the new SMHRP - supporting persons with mental illness to make the transition to living in the community. Working closely with community partners, we will ensure the appropriate supports are in place when a client is ready for discharge. Our goal is to provide specialized support and skill development so clients can return to their homes and be successful in the community
The new East Wing design is the result of close collaboration with local architects, FORM Architecture Engineering, in partnership with Toronto architects, Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. User groups and healthcare staff provided input to the process, resulting in a usable and functional design that will meet the needs of clients and provide staff a quality work environment.
The East Wing will expand St. Joseph’s Hospital by approximately 100,000 square feet, for a total of 332,000 square feet. Administrative space, including Finance, IT/IS, and Human Resources will also be located in the East Wing. Construction is expected to be completed by the Spring/Summer of 2017.