Posted by: In: AHF, alternate health facility, Canada, Coronavirus, COVID-19, KHSC, Kingston, kingston health sciences centre, Kingston News, Providence Care, Queen's University, St. Mary's of the Lake

Kingston Health Sciences Centre has identified the former St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital site as the location of an alternate health facility that could be quickly activated in the event of hospital capacity challenges due to COVID-19.

This is a change to the plan KHSC, initially announced in April, in which the INVISTA Centre would serve as a temporary facility to help handle surging patient volumes due to the pandemic.

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Providence Care and Queen’s University have been involved in getting patient care space ready at the Union Street location instead of INVISTA. The facility is expected to be operational by mid-February.

Queen’s University purchased the site in 2017 and is now leasing the former Gibson Wing to Providence Care for a new transitional care centre that is scheduled to open in 2021. KHSC will use a portion of the main floor for the 70-bed, 24,500 square-foot alternate health facility (AHF).

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“We are busy preparing this facility so it will be available to us as the need arises,” says Dr. David Pichora, president and CEO of KHSC. “We are always trying to stay ahead of the pandemic, and this step involves working with our partners to create capacity to provide acute health care in our region.”

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KHSC and Providence Care’s shared planning team is now working to ready the Gibson Wing, and through Infrastructure Ontario, KHSC has also engaged a project management team that specializes in standing up patient-ready units.

“The decision to co-locate the AHF at the new Providence Transitional Care Centre makes a lot of sense,” says Cathy Szabo, Providence Care president and CEO. “While the AHF will help ensure capacity for the pandemic response, we will fill a gap meeting the health care needs of our aging population through restorative programs. This is about health partners working together to ensure people have access to the care they need in our region, when they need it.”

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“Queen’s University is pleased to be able to partner with KHSC and Providence Care to provide the space needed to develop new patient care space for the Kingston community and surrounding region,” says Patrick Deane, principal and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University. “It is also a good example of how public institutions can work together to deliver positive results for our community.”