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St. Joseph’s Care Group gets approval for new hospital east wing (UPDATE)

THUNDER BAY -- A $52 million project is ready to go for St. Joseph's Care Group. While the site just East of St.
A model of St. Joseph’s new East wing. (Jamie Smith,

THUNDER BAY -- A $52 million project is ready to go for St. Joseph's Care Group.

While the site just East of St. Joseph's Hospital was prepared more than two years ago, SJGC was able to announce Tuesday that it received approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to award the contract for its new East wing to Bondfield Construction, based out of Concord. 

"We've been waiting for quite some time to be able to get moving on that project," SJCG president and CEO Tracey Buckler said. "We're really excited."

"Over the next month we should see some activity on site and it's a two year construction project."

The wing will house specialized mental health rehabilitation, including 38 beds. It will also have outpatient care and corporate services, which have been in the LPH for five years. Buckler said the wing is all about making patients feel at home.

"We want to help them achieve the best functional gains so that they can to be able to relocate into the community," she said.

Vice-president of infrastructure and CFO Scott Potts said at more than $50 million, the state-of-the-art-building will also spin economic activity.

"There are lots of construction jobs that get generated," he said.

The 100,000 square-foot addition could be open as early as spring 2017.

See the original news release issued by St. Joseph’s officials below:


Approval to Proceed with New East Wing at St. Joseph's Hospital

St. Joseph's Care Group (SJCG) is pleased to announce we have received approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to award the contract to proceed with construction of the East Wing at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The successful General Contractor through the open tender process is Bondfield Construction.

The new East Wing of St. Joseph’s Hospital is being built to house the 38-bed Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Program (SMHRP).  The addition has been designed to meet best practices in mental health care and will provide inpatient, outpatient and outreach services. The new wing will also provide space for many of SJCG’s corporate departments and services.

“This is an important milestone to meet our strategic priorities related to Addictions and Mental Health, and to improve the environment for mental health services we deliver to our clients,” said Tracy Buckler, President & CEO of SJCG. “Our vision to be a leader in client-centred care and to care for the body, mind and spirit of each client will be strengthened in this new environment.  By consolidating specialized mental health services at St. Joseph’s Hospital, we will create a site that provides both physical and mental health rehabilitation.”

When the East Wing is complete, people requiring inpatient rehabilitative mental health care will access the service at St. Joseph’s Hospital then be discharged back to the community with the appropriate community support. The provision of mental health care in a rehabilitation hospital setting at St. Joseph's Hospital supports the integration into "mainstream healthcare" and will reduce the stigma and discrimination often experienced by consumers of mental health services and their families.

We are excited to be part of this new era in mental health care for the people in our community and region. St. Joseph's Care Group will continue to work with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and our many community partners to reduce repeat visits to the Emergency Department and to improve system navigation, coordination of care and access to the appropriate level of care.

The East Wing addition to St. Joseph’s Hospital at 35 Algoma Street North will expand the site by approximately 100,000 square feet, to a total of 332,000 square feet.  The construction project is approximately two years in duration and will be completed in the spring/summer of 2017.

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