RVH Announces Location For Future South Campus

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Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) future South Campus will be located in Innsifil, south of Stroud.

Following a transparent, exhaustive search process and unprecedented community consultation, Charlotte Wallis, Chair,  RVH Board of Directors and Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO, made the announcement today on the 83-acre site at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Innisfil Beach Road, a location unanimously endorsed by RVH’s Board of Directors.

“This is a historic moment as we take this important step in bringing care closer to home for the people of south Simcoe County,” says Wallis, who was also joined by The Hon. Doug Downey, Attorney General, MPP Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte; MPP Andrea Khanjin, Barrie—Innisfil; Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin and Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman.

RVH searched a 225 square-kilometer area in Innisfil and south Barrie to find the right location for its South Campus. Centrally-located and adjacent to the Innisfil civic campus and the Rizzardo Health & Wellness Centre, where RVH currently operates a variety of outpatient clinics, this location meets all residents’ priorities identified through extensive community consultation.

“Ten technical expert reviews concluded this is the ideal location for a hospital,” says Skot. “RVH’s South Campus will bring significant economic growth, housing, new businesses and most importantly, enhanced healthcare services closer to home for generations to come.”

Broad community consultation was foundational to RVH’s planning and, since 2018, RVH has logged 30,000 engagement interactions.

“We consulted with diverse and vulnerable populations, Indigenous and Francophone partners, patients and families, staff, physicians and volunteers. RVH’s innovative ‘Street Team’ spoke with residents at Farmers’ markets, hospital waiting rooms, community events, grocery stores — even at the beach,” explains RVH’s Vice President Strategy, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Suzanne Legue. “Our goal was to ensure everyone had an opportunity to influence our plan and have their voice heard.”

Developing a hospital is a long, complex process and RVH’s “one system; two-site” plan will evolve over the next two decades. The first phase of the South Campus, to be built within ten years, will be a Health Hub, focusing on outpatient care, including an Urgent Care Centre. It will expand over time, becoming a full-service hospital, with a 24/7 Emergency Department, within 20 years.  At maturity, the South Campus will be about the size of the current North Campus on Georgian Drive, seeing 350,000 patient visits each year.

At the same time RVH will double the size of the North Campus, including a new nine-storey inpatient tower. The North and South Campus are completely interdependent; one can’t proceed without the other. Services within the two-campus plan are integrated, not duplicated.

“We are thrilled that Innisfil has been selected as the home of RVH’s South Campus – bringing healthcare closer to home for residents of Innisfil and south Simcoe,” says Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin. “We are excited to work with RVH on this endeavour as we continue to support the health and wellness of our growing community.”

RVH South Campus is essential to meet the needs of this booming region as more than 170,000 new residents are projected to move to south Simcoe County by 2041.

“RVH is already bursting at the seams. Prior to the pandemic its medicine bed occupancy rate consistently exceeded 115 per cent. Patients were routinely cared for in hallways,” says Skot. “The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we cannot go back to hallway medicine. We must move forward with our expansion plans as soon as possible.”

With today’s location announcement, RVH begins Phase 2 of its engagement plan with site-specific consultation.  Residents can share their thoughts by going to RVHPlanourfuture.ca and learn more by attending the virtual Community Listening Session on October 18 at 7 p.m. https://bit.ly/RVHCommunityListeningSession.

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