June 21, 2002
Theresa Gebrail, Director, Communications
London Health Sciences Foundation
Construction set to begin on the new Children's Hospital of Western Ontario and Grace Donnelly Women's Health Pavilion
(London, ON) "A proud and defining moment in the history of London Health Sciences Centre," is how Tony Dagnone, President and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) described the groundbreaking of the new Children's Hospital of Western Ontario and Grace Donnelly Women's Health Pavilion. "It has been a long journey to this moment and it means, that the aging facilities at the South Street Site will finally close."
The new Children's Hospital of Western Ontario and Grace Donnelly Women's Health Pavilion is a 10 storey, purpose-built tower being built at the north side of Victoria Campus, LHSC as part of the restructuring of London's hospitals. This facility will be one of a kind in Canada, uniting the unique health care needs of women and children in one facility.
"The Grace Donnelly Women's Health Pavilion will enable us to provide a comprehensive approach to women's health and consolidate the majority of women's care functions onto one site, in a facility constructed specifically for the care of women," said Dr. Alan Bocking, Chief, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. "It will benefit the women we serve as our health care professionals will have the advantage of working together in one location. Today's announcement will further enhance our community's reputation as a leader in health care." The Pavilion is named for Mrs. Grace Donnelly, the mother of philanthropist Terence Donnelly, who in 1999 pledged $5 million to LHSC in honour of Mrs. Donnelly's 90th birthday.
Dr. Tim Frewen, Chief, Department of Paediatrics said, "The vision for this facility is absolutely exciting. We will be able to offer women and children seamless, integrated care, in a way that recognizes and responds to their special needs." Children's Hospital of Western Ontario is the regional paediatric referral centre for Western and Northern Ontario, and home to the only specialized children's emergency department between Toronto and Thunder Bay. Founded as War Memorial Children's Hospital in 1921, Children's Hospital of Western Ontario now operates as a "hospital within a hospital" - an integral yet distinct unit within London Health Sciences Centre.
The building will also house The K.L. Sumner Centre for Health Learning. This Centre will become the focal point for health care knowledge and education activity for the people of southwestern Ontario.
The generosity of our donors, and the overall success of London Health Sciences Campaign played an influential role in the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's decision to increase funding to LHSC. "Community support had everything to do with making today's events happen," noted Mr. Dagnone. "The overwhelming support the London Health Sciences Campaign has received from our community is a powerful affirmation of the tradition of excellence our physicians and staff are noted for." The Campaign has raised $97 million toward its $104 million goal.
The construction tender for the Children's Hospital of Western Ontario and Grace Donnelly Women's Health Pavilion closes July 4, 2002. Construction will begin shortly thereafter and will take approximately four years to complete.