Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) wants to hear what is important to you as the organization works through Stage 1.3 of the Ministry of Health’s capital planning process to build two new hospitals in Muskoka.
In January, MAHC engaged with the community by hosting six in-person and two virtual community open houses to update our progress on the capital redevelopment planning journey to build a new hospital in Huntsville on the existing land, and a new hospital in Bracebridge on new land. Another key component of January’s community consultation was exploring land options in Bracebridge for a new location for the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital Site and discussing preliminary criteria for choosing the best location.
“It was great to spend time in so many parts of our community to talk about the future, answer questions and get feedback,” says Board Chair Moreen Miller of the 430-plus people who attended. “We hope to hear from more members of our community through our online survey as we continue through the site selection piece of our planning work to identify preferred land for a new hospital in Bracebridge.”
More than one dozen initial properties were identified in line with the Ministry of Health’s Site Search Capital Planning Bulletin Guidelines, including the size, shape and topography of the land, located within the Town of Bracebridge urban centre boundary, and access to a major road or highway and municipal services. Currently, three properties have been determined to meet the minimum criteria: the Fowler Construction Property at 300 Pine Street, the Muskoka Royale Lands at 1975 Muskoka Beach Road, and a property located between 580 and 690 Highway 118 West.
The online survey at www.mahc.ca/siteselection provides a mechanism for community input on the land options and the evaluation criteria that will be used to evaluate the different land/property options in Bracebridge before making a recommendation to the MAHC Board of Directors.
“The survey also provides a venue for people to volunteer to participate in a user group,” adds President & CEO Cheryl Harrison. “User groups will be an essential part of developing our Functional Program for the Ministry where MAHC team members, patients, family members, caregivers, community partners and stakeholders will help describe the future services, ensure models of care are up to date, innovative and sustainable, and assist in the detailed physical planning as the design process evolves.”
All materials from the open houses, including a video of the open house presentation, are available on the MAHC website at www.mahc.ca/planning-for-the-future.
The survey remains open until February 20, 2023.
In late March, a further round of Community Open Houses will provide an update on the site selection process and progress on MAHC’s Stage 1.3 deliverables.