Your sneak peek inside the new Peel Memorial

This week’s guest blog is from Ann Ford, Joint VP, Facilities and Redevelopment

If you’ve been following Matt’s blog, you’ve likely seen some updates from me on the incredible redevelopment progress at Peel Memorial and Etobicoke General. You’ve no doubt seen what the new Peel Memorial will look like on the outside. Now, we’re ready to unveil how the inside will look.

This past week, Osler staff, physicians and volunteers were invited to take a tour through a perfectly-scaled model of some key activity areas inside the new Peel Memorial at two special Open House events in our very own mock up space. There are plenty of reasons why we go through the trouble to mock up spaces before putting them into action.

  • We want to make sure we plan spaces that work by making sure they are accessible for patients and staff, and the right size to hold all of the equipment and furnishings needed;
  • We need staff to get a feel for their new workspaces so that they can identify any issues and suggest changes well in advance;
  • We want to envision how patients will move through these areas so we can be sure it is comfortable for them; and,
  • We want to avoid any costly mistakes and ensure the new Peel Memorial is the very best it can be!

There was great excitement in the room as people made their way through the spaces and engaged with members of our redevelopment team to learn more about each area and have their questions answered. The feedback we receive will help us refine our designs to ensure they are the best possible spaces for staff, patients and families.

PeelCubicles PeelOR PeelUnitDesks

The past few months have brought plenty of progress to Etobicoke General as well. As we continue to evaluate proposals to build the planned four-storey wing and Ancillary Services Building (ASB), we have begun to prepare the site through our Early Works project. This involves refurbishing our heating and cooling plants, upgrading the normal and emergency power distribution systems, providing structural modifications to support the mechanical system upgrades, and providing integrated building systems connections for the new addition.

There will be some exciting announcements made in the coming months about the growth at Etobicoke General so stay tuned. We look forward to keeping you posted on our progress!

Celebrating 100 blog posts (and counting)

I can’t believe that this is my 100th blog post to the community! Over the last 3.5 years I’ve had the privilege of sharing some of Osler’s most remarkable moments with you.


From the launch of our Strategic Plan to showcasing clinical innovations to highlighting our work with health system partners, we’ve had quite the ride and we can only go further from here. While we’ve touched on a number of topics over the years, a few have struck a real chord with readers. Here’s a little flashback to some of the posts that have resonated most with you:

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on the amazing work done by Osler’s staff, physicians and volunteers every single day. I take great pride in sharing these achievements with you and challenging some of the traditional thinking around the delivery of health care in the community.

I’m not the only one who thinks we have a lot to share. On the heels of another busy holiday surge, a crew from recently visited the emergency department (ED) at Brampton Civic to showcase our facility while exploring alternative care options for non-critical patients at Urgent Care Centres in the community.

As one of the busiest EDs in Canada, our teams are constantly working provide patient-inspired care to a high volume of patients in a fast-paced environment while making changes to improve the experience for everyone who receives or provides care.

  • Nurse Practitioners in acute areas of the ED and the addition of more physician hours are helping us to better manage patient volumes, reduce wait times and shorten length of stay.
  • With our community partners at Peel Regional Police, Osler is working to decrease offload times and transfer of accountability for Mental Health patients in the ED so officers can return to the community faster.
  • Displaying wait times at nursing stations in the Ambulatory Treatment Centres (ATC) is helping to improve collaboration and problem solving around patient flow.
  • Our new ED Patient Experience Team is a dedicated resource that offers comfort and enhanced communications to patients, families and visitors waiting for treatment.

While we continue to make improvements to the programs and services provided at Osler, we are looking forward to the opening of Peel Memorial in the not too distant future. This new facility will provide even more care options, including an Urgent Care Centre, for the Brampton community.

A record setting start to 2016

Happy New Year! After spending some quality time with family and friends, I’m ready to start off another exciting year at Osler. I hope you made some special memories with your loved ones this season, too.

While many people slowed down for the holiday season, the pace at Osler was ramping up as we set a new record for patient activity. On December 26, a record 455 patients come to the emergency department (ED) at Brampton Civic. That’s more than any other hospital in Ontario. Etobicoke General was also busy with significant volumes that peaked at 242 patient visits to the ED in a single day.

While the ED is often the first place we feel the surge, impacts are felt throughout the hospital. Our inpatient, diagnostic imaging, laboratory and support service teams – in collaboration with many others – also worked tirelessly to provide an exceptional experience for patients during this busy time.

By the official end of the two week surge period, we provided care to almost 24,000 patients. When we break it down, it looks like this:

Osler holiday surge infographic

High patient volumes are nothing new for us. Even though we are one of the busiest community hospitals in Canada, caring for this exceptionally large volume of patients is no easy feat. The way Osler staff, physicians and volunteers rallied in response should be acknowledged and commended.

In addition to managing the holiday surge, our teams have rallied to support the Syrian refugees arriving in Canada. There has been little impact to Osler from refugees arriving at Toronto Pearson airport but our surge planning ensured that we were ready to provide care to anyone who came through our doors.

I’m also pleased to report that we have received so many donations of winter clothing and personal hygiene items from staff that we are asking you to pause on further contributions at this time. As we take stock of the collected items, donations to support Syrian refugees can be made to United Way of Peel. Some hospital staff have taken donations one step further and fundraised to bring an entire family to Canada – a truly inspiring act of kindness!

The teamwork they displayed during this challenging time was tremendous. Thank you for going beyond to provide patient-inspired care without boundaries. Cheers to a job well done and to a successful new year!

Season’s Greetings from Osler!

With all the warm weather we’ve been having lately it may not feel like the holiday season, but it’s certainly here. At the end of each calendar year I can’t help but look back at the tremendous progress made at Osler over the last 12 months.

None of our achievements of the past year would have been possible without the inspiration and support from our patients and families; our dedicated staff, physicians and volunteers; our health care partners from across the region; and generous donors.

Thank you for making 2015 one of Osler’s most remarkable years yet!

This will be my final blog of the year. I wish you a very happy holiday season and I’ll see you again in the New Year!

How Osler is preparing for the holiday surge

This week’s guest blogger is Dr. Naveed Mohammad, VP, Medical Affairs

We expect it every year during the holiday season – a 10 per cent surge in patient activity across all our hospital sites. Last year, Osler had an exceptionally busy holiday season with more than 9,400 patient visits to our emergency departments (ED), over 1,300 patient admissions and 350 confirmed flu cases in just two weeks.

To help us manage these higher than normal patient volumes during this very busy time of year, we’re once again working with our health care partners across the region to provide more opportunities for care in the community and bringing in extra staff to ensure that our patients and families are receiving timely, patient-inspired care. We’re also preparing surge areas at both sites to meet the demand for services.

We’ve done our part, but how can patients prepare for the holiday season? It’s simple:

Once again, we’ll be posting important tips and information on Osler’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed to help educate patients about their health care options to receive the right care, in the right place this holiday season.

Osler is also ready to do its part in welcoming some of the 10,000 refugees from Syria. All refugees will undergo extensive screening before leaving Syria and will receive further medical examinations when arrive in Canada so we don’t expect to see many come to us for care. However, we will open our doors and beds to care for those few who may be triaged from the airport. Our extensive planning for the holiday season is in place and we’re prepared for any increased demand for clinical services.

In the spirit of helping others, we’re proud to announce a new ED Patient Experience Program that’s designed to improve comfort and enhance communication for patients and families waiting for care. Members of the patient experience team will be talking to patients and families in our EDs about how we can help make their experience a positive one by:

  • Providing updates on wait times
  • Alerting the clinical team if a patient begins to feel worse
  • Enhancing comfort with a pillow, blanket or other resources
  • Providing activities for children such as colouring sheets or small toys

We have no doubt that Osler staff, physicians and volunteers will continue to do a tremendous job of providing high-quality health care to all patients and their families during this busy time. Spending the holidays supporting the health care needs of the community is a true testament to the exceptional people that make Osler such an incredible place. Thank you in advance for your dedication!

Changing the face of Osler, one brick at a time

This week’s guest bloggers are Ann Ford, Joint VP, Facilities and Redevelopment and Ken Mayhew, President & CEO, Osler Foundation

We know that in health care, things are constantly changing – from adopting innovative clinical practices to using new digital technologies for patient care to upgrading the facilities that enable us to provide much needed programs and services to the community. Our ambitious redevelopment program continues to move forward and it’s changing the face of Osler.

Reaching another milestone at Etobicoke General

Excitement is building at Etobicoke General with the closure of the Request for Proposals (RFP) to design, build, finance, and maintain the hospital’s new four-storey wing. Over the next few months we’ll review the proposals before announcing the winning bid. Once a team has been selected, construction on the new facility is expected to begin in summer 2016.

As the winter months settle in, we won’t be slowing down. We’ve started an Early Works project to prepare the existing building for the new addition by replacing mechanical equipment, upgrading power systems and installing connection points that will link building systems between the two structures.

We’re also moving forward with plans to build a new Ancillary Services Building (ASB) that will be home to a number of outpatient programs and services. The ASB will allow us to bring much needed clinical services into the community, such as dialysis, and we plan to start construction in spring 2016.

Peel Memorial takes shape

It’s exciting to watch the progress at the new Peel Memorial. There is plenty going on outside the building as brickworks are nearing completion, the majority of the windows are now in place, and the metal siding that will cover the outside of the penthouses is ready to be installed. Meanwhile, work is proceeding on the building’s water lines, storm and sanitary connections to municipal services.

As the winter months approach, construction workers will finish all the jobs needed to make the structure weather-tight. Then, they will move inside where they’ll focus on the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, wall boarding, priming and painting, as well as the countless other tasks that will make this structure a wonderful health facility for this community.

Construction on the new Peel Memorial is on track to be completed by fall of 2016. Following a period of equipment installation, training and orientation we will be ready to open our doors in early 2017.

A strong show of community support

The community is playing an important role in our redevelopment projects. This past weekend, Canadian country stars Blue Rodeo and fiddling sensation Natalie MacMaster performed for a sold out crowd in support of Osler Foundation. The $610,000 raised, which was matched by Orlando Corporation’s generous $15 Million Matching Challenge, resulted in a $1.2 million contribution to redevelopment projects and the latest generation of medical technology and diagnostic equipment needs across all three sites.

If you missed the excitement on Saturday night, check out our photo gallery!

Why giving isn’t just for the holiday season anymore

We’re getting closer to the holiday season and for me, the act of giving becomes top-of-mind. But over the last few months I’ve seen that for many donors, giving is a year-round trend.

Osler is always improving. Whether it’s updating our patient care spaces through our ambitious redevelopment program or upgrading our equipment to help us provide more innovative patient care, it means that at Osler – anytime is the perfect time to give.

This summer was a perfect example of year-round giving as generous supporters raised more than $1.1 million for Osler Foundation through a number of exciting events. Thanks to the $15 Million Matching Challenge every dollar raised has been matched, doubling the impact of each gift:

  • Rain didn’t stop the fun at the Osler Open: Brampton Invitational as golfers hit the links to raise a record-breaking $672,000 for the new Peel Memorial.
  • Our sold-out Osler Open: Etobicoke Invitational scored a ‘hole in one’ by raising an outstanding $234,000 for redevelopment efforts while our newest event, Walk ‘n’ Roll for Healthy Kids, raised $68,000 for Etobicoke General’s women’s and children’s program.
  • Car enthusiasts revved their engines at the famous Canadian Tire Mosport Park in the Unforgettable Drive event to raise $190,000 for redevelopment projects at Etobicoke General.
  • Long-time Osler Foundation supporter Woodbine Entertainment Group announced a five-year $100,000 pledge to help build and equip the new emergency department at Etobicoke General.

Amid the excitement we learned of the passing of Ralf Jarchow, a true champion for Peel Memorial, who was killed in a traffic accident while completing an 11-day cycling quest to raise funds for the hospital. We send our deepest condolences to his family and are extremely touched by the continued support of his family, friends and colleagues as they rallied to exceed his fundraising goal.

Generosity comes in many forms. I recently blogged about the generous $1 million pledge from our Employee Giving Committee to support redevelopment at Osler’s three hospital sites over the next five years. We made significant progress by raising 80 per cent of our $200,000 target during our annual Employee Giving Campaign.

We’ve also had a year of unprecedented physician support that included a new $100,000 pledge from the EGH Professional Staff Association. The tremendous commitment that staff and physicians have for Osler is truly a wonderful thing to see!

And thanks to the $15 Million Matching Challenge, we’re looking to smash all previous records for our annual benefit concert One Night. Two Shows. Three Hospitals. This year’s star-studded lineup features Blue Rodeo and Natalie MacMaster. It’s one of the events I look forward to the most each year – I hope you will join us for a memorable night!

With all of these amazing events, Osler Foundation is getting closer to completing its $100 million capital campaign but we still have a long way to go until we reach our final goal. We’re looking forward to the many events that are still to come!