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In this article, we look back on the massive restructuring of LHSC’s services. While state-of-the-art facilities are the obvious outcome of this work, hidden behind them is the incredible effort and dedication of so many, inside and outside of the hospital, who helped all of the pieces come together.
A message to the community
LHSC President and CEO Murray Glendining offers the following words of appreciation to the teams behind the scenes and to the community for its tremendous support.
After 17 years of openings, closings, construction challenges and triumphs, new faces, new spaces, farewells and welcomes, there is only one thing that remains to be said: thank you. Thank you for your support – and in many cases endurance – as the hospitals in London worked to build what has become a centre of excellence in health care, teaching and research for our community, the region and beyond.
Following the government’s Health Services Restructuring Commission directives issued in 1997, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London began what would become the most extensive restructuring project ever undertaken in provincial history. The sheer scope of the project was unprecedented, and it was long overdue. This project – accomplished in three phases – saw the creation of new space to replace outdated and aging facilities, the consolidation of duplicate programs and services to create efficiencies, and updates to our existing facilities to promote enhanced and state-of-the-art care.
In addition, I would like to thank all those involved in helping to build and enhance our facilities. In its entirety, the restructuring work created more than 600 construction jobs, which were performed almost exclusively by local companies. In many cases these workers had to accomplish the renovations while respecting the hospital environment and I extend my appreciation to all those who collaborated to ensure we maintained high-quality care while completing this important work.
Leadership and vision
None of this would have been possible were it not for a strong vision, extraordinary leadership, and true collaboration at all levels. From the outset, our Board of Directors set us on a solid path and ensured the necessary supports were in place to translate plans into reality. This work also required a great deal of cooperation with many system and community partners who were with us at every step.
In particular, I want to recognize our closest partner – St. Joseph’s Health Care London. Our collaboration going forward could not be stronger thanks to the genuine spirit of partnership established between our organizations as we worked together through the restructuring of health care in London.
Finally, I want to highlight the support of our community throughout this process, which has been integral to its success. Through your generosity and the work of London Health Sciences Foundation and Children’s Health Foundation, we have been able to create new, state-of-the-art facilities at LHSC.
I would also like to thank our government partners, as our new reality would not have come to fruition were it not for the commitment of provincial funding we received throughout the process. With the resulting new spaces—and having streamlined services that were previously offered at two hospitals – we have created centres of excellence in a number of clinical areas that we are confident will continue to attract new talent and where staff and physicians can continue finding innovative ways to enhance high-quality care.
Future of health care in London
The conclusion of our physical restructuring comes as we turn our focus to a different kind of redevelopment at LHSC. Our province is facing an aging population with growing health-care needs in the midst of a fiscally challenging environment. The journey ahead requires a different kind of restructuring – not one of bricks and mortar, but one of transforming the way care is delivered as our whole health system wrestles with how to manage these emerging challenges.
At LHSC we fully support the need for system transformation, which includes shifting where provincial health-care dollars are spent to strengthen community supports beyond our hospital walls. LHSC intends to help lead this transformation by working closely with all of our health-system partners to develop new ways of delivering care that better meets the growing needs of those we serve.
London Health Sciences Centre has been supported by a community that has always been there to help advance care and build a better future – and we are tremendously thankful. We have a lot to be proud of in London when it comes to health care: state-of-the-art facilities, an impressive legacy of care and innovation, an outstanding pool of health expertise, and an ongoing passion to improve the effectiveness of the system which benefits us all.
Thank you for your ongoing support towards a better system of care.
President and CEO,
London Health Sciences Centre
Q: Now that hospital restructuring has wrapped up at LHSC, where are the programs and services that I need?
A. Seventeen years of hospital restructuring have come to an end at LHSC and the health-care landscape in London has truely transformed. Here is where LHSC is today.