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Plans for new Kincardine hospital on track

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Replacement of the Kincardine hospital is still on track with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, according to South Bruce Grey Health Centre president and CEO Paul Rosebush.

The project is in Phase 1 of a five-phase capital approval process.

Rosebush said the ministry has reviewed the redevelopment plan and has asked for clarification of a few minor points, which should be done in the next week or two, he told the hospital corporation's board of directors last week.

“It didn't give us the go-ahead yet, but it didn't say no,” Rosebush said. “It was just asking for some clarification on our use of space and on some access questions regarding the site drawings. So these are very small matters and issues that we should be able to address really quickly, and our goal is to get that information back to them to answer their questions within the next week and hopefully have them move forward with a real decision.”

SBGHC is looking for the project to get picked up in the ministry's capital planning process for next year.

In 2012, the ministry pulled the plug on the project and told SGBHC to go back to the drawing board. The revamped plan, which slashes square footage by more than 12,000 square feet, was submitted to the ministry last fall.

Parts of the Kincardine hospital are more than 100 years old, and Rosebush said the facility needs to be replaced.

“The infrastructure from the boilers to the lead pipes for the water, to the air handling units, to the brick work, it's all time-expired,” Rosebush said. “That community deserves a new hospital, and we're going to commit to bringing one there.”

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New mammography equipment could be in place at the Kincardine hospital by October.

In May, breast screening was suspended at the hospital after a Cancer Care Ontario report said Computed Radiography (CR) was not as effective at detecting cancer as Direct Radiography (DR). The Kincardine hospital has a CR machine, while the Walkerton hospital uses DR technology.

Over the last couple of weeks, letters have been going out to patients who had mammography tests in Kincardine over the last two years, offering them new screenings in Walkerton.

So far, Walkerton has been able to handle the extra workload, said SBBHC president and CEO, Paul Rosebush. There have been no staffing adjustments in Kincardine as a result of the tests being suspended there.

Rosebush expects the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to pick up the tab for the new machine, and said the new machine is expected to be in place by October.

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Chris Cartwright has been appointed vice president of finance and corporate services at SBGHC and begins June 10.

Cartwright has masters degrees from the University of Windsor and York University, and is a certified management accountant. He has worked at Hydro One, in the private sector in senior financial roles and as a consultant, as senior director/vice president at the South East Community Care Access Centre, and as the senior director of member services with the Ontario Medical Association. He also also been a member of the board for Lakeridge Health for nine years.

Cartwright's position is a consolidation of what had been two vice president positions.

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Long-time SBGHC board member Don Bushell died May 17 at the age of 55.

The Kinloss man served as chair during the latter part of his 12-year tenure on the board.

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