Every year, more than 1,000 Niagara residents who have cancer must travel to Hamilton and Toronto for radiation treatment. More than 800 Niagara residents have to leave the region for cardiac diagnostic services. Patients in need of long-term mental health services must look for it in London, Hamilton or Toronto because services aren’t available close to home.
All of that will change in 2012 when the new, $730 million state of the art Healthcare Complex and Walker Family Cancer Centre opens its doors.
Building centres of healthcare excellence for strong communities
The healthcare centre will replace aging hospitals in St. Catharines, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Thorold. It will include centres of excellence for cancer treatment, mental health, cardiac and maternal care services to everyone living in the Region.
“Our focus is on building strong communities. It’s not often that we are able to make a contribution that will strengthen every community we serve in a region. Supporting the new healthcare centre gave us that opportunity,” Meridian President and CEO Sean Jackson said.
“We respond to the unique needs of each community that we serve, and we currently serve more than one quarter of the total population of the Region.” Sean added.
Meridian in the forefront
When the Niagara Health System Foundation began its campaign to raise the $40 million local contribution needed for the new healthcare centre to proceed, Meridian was at the forefront.
“From the moment we approached Meridian about the campaign, they were supportive and expressed an eagerness to contribute,” Mark Sherk, Campaign Co-Chair and Niagara Health System Trustee said.
Meridian committed to contributing a total of $300,000 over six years to the 375-bed healthcare centre, which is now under construction. When it is finished, Niagara will be home to one of the most up-to-date healthcare facilities in the province, with infrastructure to care for and treat the unique needs of all Niagara residents. A section of the new maternal and child centre of excellence will be named after Meridian.
Keeping our communities strong
“Helping to build a new healthcare centre and bring much-needed healthcare to Niagara residents, many of whom are our Members, is part of what we mean by building strong, vibrant and inclusive communities,” Sean said.
In addition, the new healthcare centre will also strengthen the community by bringing more than 225 doctors, specialists and medical professionals to Niagara.
“They will make a lasting contribution here, not only to the health of every person living in Niagara but to the social and economic fabric of the entire region,” Sean said.