March 30, 2006 09:42 ET


Hospital Launches New Name, Builds for the Future, and Sets Sites on Continued Success Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 30, 2006) - In a special ceremony today, hospital staff, physicians, volunteers and patients celebrated the launch of the new Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

In August 2005, Minister of Health and Long Term Care, George Smitherman, announced a three point plan for the hospital which approved capital development on the Sunnybrook Campus to double the size of the Emergency Department and Regional Trauma Centre, add four new floors on M-Wing to house the Perinatal and Gynaecology program currently located at Women's College, and establish a centre of excellence in hip and knee replacements at Sunnybrook's Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre.

Minister Smitherman's announcement also put into motion the process of de-merging Sunnybrook and Women's College Hospital after an eight year amalgamation. Effective April 1, 2006, Women's College Hospital will become a separately governed organization.

"Our future as a new and vibrant organization begins right now," said Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, President and CEO, Leo Steven. "Sunnybrook plays a vital role in the Ontario healthcare system and we are here for people when it matters most. Our 10,000 staff and physicians care for nearly one million patient visits each year. We provide educational opportunities for more than 2,600 students annually and our 600 researchers are discovering new and innovative methods to prevent and treat some of society's most devastating illnesses."

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has strategic programs in cancer, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, perinatal and gynaecology, neurosciences, aging and population health, and trauma and critical care. Sunnybrook will maintain its commitment to being a leader women's health and will continue to be the country's largest veterans' care facility, with more than 500 of Canada's war heroes proudly calling the hospital their home.

"I am proud of the people in this organization and the untiring dedication they have to improving the lives of so many people each and every day," said Virginia McLaughlin, Chair of the Board of Directors, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "There is a culture at Sunnybrook that thrives on overcoming challenges and continually strives to set new standards of excellence. We have taken tremendous strides toward achieving our vision of transforming healthcare and now we are poised to move to the next level, quite literally. Our capital projects will provide our staff and physicians with the facilities they need to realize their goals."

Capital development for the Emergency Department and Regional Trauma Centre is about to get underway this spring. The four-floor addition on M-wing is moving ahead and is expected to break ground this fall. The hospital hopes to accelerate the relocation of the Perinatal and Gynecology program and have it relocated from Women's College to its state-of-the-art facility in M-wing on the Sunnybrook Campus by the fall of 2008.

Plans for expanding the Holland Orthopaedic and Arthritic Centre are well underway and should be submitted to the government for approval by early summer. The Holland Centre already performs the largest volume of hip and knee replacements in Canada at 1,800 per year, but through the government's announcement and a landmark $20 million donation from Susanne and William Holland, the hospital will more than double its capacity to provide more than 4,100 of these important procedures annually.

In addition to the Perinatal and Gynecology program, the M-wing development will house new facilities for leading-edge research in cardiac imaging and intervention, Canada's most comprehensive breast cancer centre, the Toronto Angiogenesis Research Centre, and world-leading research programs in regenerative medicine and neurosciences.
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