The Scarborough Health Network (SHN) Foundation has announced it has received $20-million donation — the largest financial gift in SHN’s history — that will fund upgrades at the network’s three hospitals.
In a statement released Tuesday morning, staff with the hospital network’s charitable arm said the Northpine Foundation‘s contribution to the Love Scarborough campaign will go to three specific areas: The emergency department at Centenary Hospital, a diagnostic imaging concourse at General Hospital and a centre for surgical quality excellence.
“Northpine views human health as a critical factor to support thriving communities, and we know the people of Scarborough deserve the same level of care and facilities as the rest of Toronto,” Aatif Baskanderi, the CEO of The Northpine Foundation, said in the statement.
To date, staff said the Love Scarborough campaign has received $85 million as part of its goal of raising $100 million.
The statement said the newly renamed Northpine Emergency Department would be the first “no-wait” emergency room as the model would bring a doctor to the front reception and triage area in an effort to better prioritize patients and reduce wait times. The Northpine Diagnostic Imaging Concourse would bring all imaging services into one new “state-of-the-art” area. The Northpine Centre for Surgical Quality Excellence would be home to “positive surgical outcomes, research and innovation” with staff noting SHN has the second-largest surgical program in Ontario.
Dr. Martin Betts, the corporate chief and medical director of critical care at SHN, previously told CityNews the hospitals are in major need upgrades — noting the operating rooms still being used were built in the 1950s.
“[Medical staff] are providing an incredible, even world-class, [level of] service to the community, but we’ve always struggled to attract the capital and the infrastructure to make it happen,” he said in January.
“Time has really changed since then and in order for us to provide the next level of service and innovations to our patients, we need the space and the equipment to be able to do so.”
Betts said the funds will be used for the expansion of SHN’s Birchmount and Centenary emergency departments, noting the facilities operating at more than two-and-a-half times above the intended capacity. He also said the funding will go to a community mental health hub, dialysis unit expansion as well as a diagnostic imaging “concourse” (noting it will allow staff to conduct “state-of-the-art” investigations and reduce invasive procedures).
SHN staff said the three hospitals — General, Birchmount and Centenary — service a catchment area of more than 830,000 people and that 59 per cent of the population is made up of new residents to Canada.
In an April pre-election announcement, the Ford government announced it would be spending more than $1 billion on several expansion and redevelopment projects across the network.