Kenora hospital partners happy with premier’s support

By Mike Stimpson
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Thunder Bay Source

KENORA – Lake of the Woods District Hospital and Kenora Chiefs Advisory issued a joint statement Monday in response to Ontario’s premier confirming that a new hospital will be built in the province’s westernmost city.

“We are so happy to see that the provincial government is taking positive steps to strengthen its commitment to helping our communities gain access to much-needed medical services,” Chief Lorraine Cobiness, KCA board president, is quoted as saying in the joint statement.

Cheryl O’Flaherty, the Lake of the Woods hospital’s vice-president of operations, said partners expressed gratitude for the “unwavering support” the All Nations Hospital Project has received from Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford.

When asked by Dougall Media last Thursday in Oliver Paipoonge whether the province will build a new hospital in Kenora, Premier Doug Ford answered “Yes, we will.”

The All Nations Hospital Project is a partnership to replace the city’s current hospital, parts of which are almost a century old, with a larger and more modern hospital on a water-accessible site.

A site on Lakeview Drive has been selected, and the All Nations partners have prepared an in-depth plan.

Planned features of the new hospital include a larger campus, Indigenous services and seven more mental health beds.

Hospital CEO Ray Racette told Dougall Media last month that all patient rooms will be single-occupancy.

“Having single-patient rooms is really good from an infection-control point of view,” he said, adding that single-bed rooms also mean more privacy and less noise.

He also said the new hospital will have larger rooms for palliative care and birthing – “because at beginning and end of life there’s more people in the room that want to be there.”

A ceremonial room, Indigenous Resource Centre and sweat lodge are among the other features planned for the new hospital.