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SBGHC Celebrates 15th Anniversary April 1/13

A Look Back in Time for SBGHC

April 1, 2013 marked the 15th anniversary of the formation of South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC)!  It was in 1998 that Chesley and District Memorial Hospital, Durham Memorial Hospital, Kincardine and District General Hospital and the County of Bruce General Hospital amalgamated to form SBGHC.  Since that time, the SBGHC team has worked hard to create an effective, vibrant, and fully accredited health care system. The SBGHC team takes enormous pride in providing excellent patient centered care and fulfilling our Mission (delivering high quality health care to our rural communities), Vision ( to be an innovative and forward thinking health care organization) and Values to the best of our ability.  I am very excited about what the future holds for SBGHC and you have my pledge that we will continue to work towards our goal of becoming the leading rural health care provider in Ontario.

Paul Rosebush, President and CEO

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As you will see from reading the histories below, the four facilities which now comprise South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) are rich in a tradition of service, challenge and continual change required to meet the ongoing needs of their respective communities.

The creation (through amalgamation) of SBGHC on April 1, 1998, presented another set of changes and challenges which has been met with the same degree of dedication, enthusiasm and cooperation, which contributed in large part to the successes described below.

CDMH – Chesley and District Memorial Hospital                                                  DMH –   Durham Memorial Hospital

KDGH -  Kincardine and District General Hospital                                              CBGH –  County of Bruce General Hospital

 

Picture of original Chesley Hospital

Picture of original Durham Hospital

Picture of original Kincardine Hospital

Picture of original Walkerton Hospital

  

Early 1900’s - a 4 bed hospital and operating room was created by Nurse Victoria Carmount, who adapted a house in Durham. Due to the absence of physicians during World War I, that facility was forced to close.

1900 – CBGH evolved from an $8,000 legacy bequeathed by William John Moore and on June 8, the hospital was incorporated and the first patient was admitted on September 27, 1902. Until 1943, the Hospital directed a school for Registered Nurses.

1906 - A new addition containing 6 nursing wards was completed at CBGH.

1908 – KDGHwas founded by local resident Madame Josephine Gualco, who purchased the Grant property on Queen Street North and proposed to donate it along with $2,500 annually for the creation of a hospital to serve Kincardine and surrounding district.  It was incorporated by letters of patent in 1908.

1909 - The charter for the KDGH was procured on June 19.  From 1911 until the final graduation in 1932, the hospital served as a training school for nurses in affiliation with the Stratford Hospital.

1922 - Durham Red Cross Memorial Hospital was opened by the local branch of the Red Cross, which renovated an Anglican rectory to accommodate 10 patients. This facility was enlarged in 1925 and 1928 when X-Ray equipment was introduced.

1923 - Ross Robertson, a pioneer merchant, donated $2,000 toward a new wing at KDGH in memory of his mother who was the daughter of Allan Cameron, one of Kincardine's co-founders.

1933 – The DMH had served as a training school for nurses, continuing this service until 1933 when legislation limited training facilities to hospitals with 50 or more beds.

1944 - CDMHwas opened in the Elliot House, purchased by the Chesley Kinsmen Club for $3,800 and donated to the town. It was created to replace the Buckland Private Hospital, which had been forced to close in 1943 due to the wartime shortage of professional and domestic staff.

1944 -The latest phase of renovations at CBGH commenced,  resulting from the downsizing  to 62 bed capacity and have included the creation of a regional birthing centre, offices for physicians and enlarged Day Surgery facilities.

1946 – DMH was incorporated to provide service to the Town of Durham and the Townships of Bentinck, Egremont, Glenelg and Normanby.

1948 - Construction began in April for a 22 bed replacement facility for CDMH and the first annual board meeting was convened in 1950.

1956 - The Dr. John McCrimmon Wing was opened, increasing the KDGH's capacity to 68 beds. 

1959 - Plans were drawn and tenders let for a new facility for DMH. The plans were abandoned in 1960 due to the prohibitive costs involved. The community reacted to this setback by raising the necessary funds, and an $8,000 site was purchased.

1959 - A new medical wing was opened at CBGH, providing X-ray, surgical and obstetrical facilities and resulting in a revised bed capacity of 51 adult, 4 pediatric and 14 bassinets.

1962 - The new DMH opened with 34 beds and included an operating room, emergency/recovery room unit, laboratory, x-ray and auxiliary service departments.

1966 - The local ambulance service and equipment was turned over to DMH and coverage was provided by a combination of Hospital staff and community volunteers. In that same year, the Hospital received full 3-year accreditation following its first survey, becoming the first small hospital in Canada to accomplish that result.

1966 - Another wing was opened at CBGH changing the bed configuration to 105 adult, 9 pediatric and 8 bassinets. In addition, the nurses' residence was renovated to provide 3 classes and living facilities for a training centre for Registered Nursing Assistants.

1975 - Another wing was added at CBGH which contained a new Emergency Department, a Multi-Purpose Intensive Care Unit, staff offices as well as a Pharmacy and a Laboratory.

1976 -   DMH was faced with the threat of closure by order of the government of the day. Significant community support was forthcoming and subsequently, a court order was obtained whereby it was ruled that the hospital should remain open.

1976 - On April 15, the CDMH was officially closed by order of the government of the day, which had embarked on a program of health care spending reductions. Due to the public outcry, the government reversed its stand on hospital closures throughout the Province of Ontario.

1981 - A $2.6 million expansion was opened and since that date, the KDH has undergone many upgrades and renovations to maximize efficiency.

1983 - The CDMH Board of Governors commenced proceedings in 1980 to replace the existing facility and after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Health and extensive fundraising, the sod turning ceremony occurred in October, 1982 and the existing bed facility was officially opened October 12, 1983.

1983 - Renovations were made at DMH to provide office space for specialists and to create space for an Ambulatory Day Hospital facility. Later that year, a bequest was received from the Honourable Campbell Grant for the purpose of initiating a Stress Testing Laboratory, which was located in the Day Hospital together with a Holter Monitor Lab.

1986 - DMH was functioning at 35 bed capacity and other developments in that year included a new ambulance garage, a heliport and the purchase of the Hopkins property for future expansion possibilities.

1992 - A fundraising campaign for DMH for the purpose of renovating and re-equipping Diagnostic Imaging raised $600,000 and the new facilities were opened.

1992 – At DMH, the former OB wing renovated to provide expanded inpatient and outpatient physiotherapy and computerization introduced in Diagnostic Imaging. Also that year, the ambulance service was de-licensed and turned over to the Ministry of Health.

1994 - The latest phase of renovations commenced at CBGH, resulting from the downsizing of the Hospital to 62 bed capacity and included the creation of a regional birthing centre, offices for physicians and enlarging Day Surgery facilities.

1996 – Amalgamation discussions commence as restructuring of health and Ministry of Health mandates hospital services.

1999 - Planning began to connect the Sites utilizing state-of-the-art communication technology, and in 2000, the Grey Bruce Health Network's Wide Area Network was completed enabling instant communication for all staff at SBGHC.

2000 - The Walkerton Water Crisis (E-Coli outbreak) rocked the community, and the Hospital was instrumental in blowing the whistle and supporting families under difficult circumstances.

1998 – The four hospitals amalgamate and South Bruce Grey Health Centre was formed. 

SBGHC has maintained a vibrant, fully accredited, health care environment providing excellent primary care, fulfilling its Mission, Vision and Values to the best of its ability.

 Bringing four active Foundations and Auxiliaries together has ensured that SBGHC is able to procure and maintain up-to-date equipment right at the front line, improving the care experience for both staff and patients and providing a safe environment for everyone at South Bruce Grey Health Centre.

  

INDIVIDUAL HOSPITAL HISTORIES 

Chesley and District Memorial Hospital

Originally opened in 1944 in the Elliot House, which had been purchased by the Chesley Kinsmen Club for $3,800 and donated to the Town. The Hospital was created to replace the Buckland Private Hospital, which had been forced to close in 1943 due to the wartime shortage of professional and domestic staff. The Town of Chesley appointed a provisional Board and an architect was engaged to design the necessary alterations to the Elliot House.

In June 1944, a public meeting resulted in the establishment of a Board of Governors; a charter was applied for and received in September 1944. The Board, in December 1944, instructed an architect to prepare plans for a 22 bed replacement facility. Construction began in April 1948 and the first annual Board meeting convened in March 1950.

On April 15, 1976, the Hospital was officially closed by order of the government of the day, which had embarked on a program of health care spending reductions. Due to the public outcry, which had continued since the announced closures in November 1975, the government reversed its stand on hospital closures throughout the Province of Ontario.

In 1980, the Board of Governors commenced proceedings to replace the existing facility and after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Health and extensive fundraising, the sod turning ceremony occurred on October 6, 1982 and the existing bed facility was officially opened October 12, 1983.

 

Durham Memorial Hospital

Incorporated in 1946 to provide service to the Town of Durham and the Townships of Bentinck, Egremont, Glenelg and Normanby, was preceded, first in the early 1900's, by a 4 bed hospital and operating room created by a nurse named Victoria Carmount who adapted a house in Durham. Due to the absence of physicians during World War I, that facility was forced to close.

The present hospital was also preceded by the Durham Red Cross Memorial Hospital, opened in 1922 by the local Branch of the Red Cross, which renovated an Anglican rectory to accommodate 10 patients. This facility was enlarged in 1925 and again in 1928 when X-Ray equipment was introduced. During this period, the Hospital also served as a training school for nurses, continuing this service until 1933 when legislation limited training facilities to hospitals with 50 or more beds.

By 1956, 16 beds and minor surgical facilities were available but the X-Ray equipment and general facilities were in need of upgrade. Discussions and planning commenced, approaches were made to the Ontario Hospital Services Commission and in 1959, plans were drawn and tenders let for a new facility. However, in 1960, the plans were abandoned due to the prohibitive costs involved. The community reacted to this setback by raising the necessary funds, an $8,000 site was purchased and in 1962, the new hospital opened with 34 beds and included an operating room, emergency/recovery room unit, laboratory, x-ray and auxiliary service departments.

The local ambulance service and equipment was turned over to the Hospital in 1966 and coverage was provided by a combination of Hospital staff and community volunteers. In that same year, the Hospital received full 3-year accreditation following its first survey, becoming the first small hospital in Canada to accomplish that result.

Four additional patient rooms, which increased the capacity to 38 beds, increased emergency and storage space were added in 1972 and then, in 1976, the Hospital was faced with the threat of closure by order of the government of the day. Significant community support was forthcoming and subsequently, a court order was obtained whereby it was ruled that the Hospital should remain open.

In 1986, the Hospital was functioning at 35 bed capacity and was an active participant in a review of health care delivery through a District Health Council task force, which considered inpatient, outpatient and outreach initiatives. Other developments in that year included a new ambulance garage, a heliport and the purchase of the Hopkins property for future expansion possibilities.

New physiotherapy facilities were added in 1987 and a physical plant retrofit - roof and medical gases - was completed in 1988. A fundraising campaign commenced in 1991 for the purpose of renovating and re-equipping Diagnostic Imaging. The campaign raised $600,000 and the new facilities were opened in 1992. Also that year, the ambulance service was de-licensed and turned over to the Ministry of Health.

During the period from 1993 onward, a number of service expansions and changes to the physical plant have been undertaken to enable the hospital to stay abreast of the changing health care environment. Examples of these initiatives are:

1993:

  • Expansion of electrodiagnostic services to include cardiac stress tests, holter monitoring and scanning, pulmonary function tests and audiograms.
  • Retrofits of fire alarm, electrical systems, boilers and mechanical penthouse, asbestos abatement and overbed lighting.
  • Additional equipment and expansion of scope of service in the Laboratory.

1994:

  • The former OB wing renovated to provide expanded inpatient and outpatient physiotherapy.
  • Upgrades to building included staff smoking lounge, new flooring throughout the Hospital, exterior signage and automatic door closers.
  • Computerization introduced in Diagnostic Imaging.

1995:

  • Mammography received Canadian and American accreditation.
  • ENT and hearing clinics commence under Electrodiagnostic Services.
  • Cafeteria renovated.

1996:

  • Amalgamation discussions commence as restructuring of health and Ministry of Health mandates hospital services.

 

Kincardine and District General Hospital

Founded in 1908 by Madame Josephine Gualco, a wealthy, widely-travelled European lady who, between her many trips to Europe, made her home in Kincardine. She had purchased the Grant property on Queen Street North and proposed to donate it along with $2,500 annually for the creation of a hospital to serve Kincardine and surrounding district.

The Hospital was incorporated by letters of patent dated December 17, 1908 under the Ontario Companies Act and the original Directors of the Corporation were Andrew Malcolm, Hugh Clark, John Tolmie, John McCrimmon and Kenneth McKenzie, all of the Town of Kincardine. On May 21, 1909, the contract was let for conversion of the Grant property with financing being covered by public subscription and grants. The charter for the Kincardine General Hospital was procured on June 19, 1909, and the first birth in the 11-bed facility was recorded on March 10, 1910. From 1911 until the final graduation in 1932, the Hospital served as a training school for nurses in affiliation with the Stratford Hospital, the first graduation occurring in 1912.

Ross Robertson, a pioneer merchant, donated $2,000 in 1923 toward a new wing in memory of his mother who was the daughter of Allan Cameron, one of Kincardine's co-founders. On August 25, 1956, the Dr. John McCrimmon Wing was opened, increasing the Hospital's capacity to 68 beds. A $2.6 million expansion was opened in 1981 and since that date, the Hospital has undergone many upgrades and renovations to maximize efficiency, including:

  • Emergency Operating Room and Fracture Room
  • Decontamination Room designed to serve Ontario Hydro's Bruce and Douglas Point Power Plants (now Bruce Power), $40,000 being donated by Ontario Hydro
  • New Laboratory and expanded Physiotherapy and Radiology departments, the latter featuring 2 new imaging rooms and electrocardiography
  • New outpatient care facilities; and
  • Renovations to original and older parts of the Hospital and retrofits to air and power supplies, medical gases and other vital systems.

Due to health care cutbacks, the bed capacity has decreased over time and currently stands at 36 beds.

The Hospital still stands in its original location overlooking Lake Huron as a lasting memorial to Madame Gualco, Drs. John McCrimmon and John Ferguson who took over its guidance after Madame Gualco's final return to Europe, and also to the many civic-minded individuals and staff members who have contributed to its continued success.

 

The County of Bruce General Hospital

The County of Bruce General Hospital evolved from an $8,000 legacy bequeathed by William John Moore in 1899. On June 8, 1900, the Hospital was incorporated, building was started in 1902 and the first patient was admitted on September 27, 1902. Until 1943, the Hospital directed a school for Registered Nurses.

The Hospital continued to evolve to meet the needs of the community, with renovations and/or expansions occurring as follows:

A new addition containing 6 nursing wards was completed in December, 1906.

A new medical wing was opened in 1959, providing x-ray, surgical and obstetrical facilities and resulting in a revised bed capacity of 51 adult, 4 pediatric and 14 bassinets.

In June 1966, another wing was opened changing the bed configuration to 105 adult, 9 pediatric and 8 bassinets. In addition, the nurses' residence was renovated to provide 3 classes and living facilities for a training centre for Registered Nursing Assistants.

Another wing was added in 1975 and contained a new Emergency Department, a Multi-Purpose Intensive Care Unit, Staff offices as well as a Pharmacy and a Laboratory.

In 1983, renovations were made to the Community Health Centre to provide office space for specialists and to create space for an Ambulatory Day Hospital facility. Later that year, a bequest was received from the Honourable Campbell Grant for the purpose of initiating a Stress Testing Laboratory, which was located in the Day Hospital together with a Holter Monitor Lab.

As the result of a donation from Carl and Helen Larsen, a new lounge was made available for medical, surgical and chronic patients. The latest phase of renovations commenced in 1994 resulting from the downsizing of the Hospital to 62 bed capacity and have included the creation of a regional birthing centre, offices for physicians, meeting space which is available to the public, enlarged Day Surgery facilities and enlargement to the Auxiliary's Gift Shop, work and storage areas.

In 1999, planning began to connect the Sites utilizing state-of-the-art communication technology, and in 2000, the Grey Bruce Health Network's Wide Area Network was completed enabling instant communication for all Staff at SBGHC.

In 2000, the Walkerton Water Crisis (E-Coli outbreak) rocked the community, and the Hospital was instrumental in blowing the whistle and supporting families under difficult circumstances, a shining example of team work in action.

Over the next several years, many programs were added and expanded, and the Hospital boasted a full compliment of primary care services, as well as access to many specialty services.

The best of the four Sites has been brought together to form corporate care teams facilitating standardized care and best practice guidelines in a comfortable environment that has been continually enhanced technologically. An example of this is the expansion of IT services, in a move towards an electronic chart that will support timely access to patient information for physicians and staff and optimize efficient care. The PACS system has been successfully implemented across the sites, increasing access to results to almost instant.

Bringing four active Foundations and Auxiliaries together has ensured that the Health Centre is able to procure and maintain up-to-date equipment (including a new 64-slice CT scanner) right at the front line, improving the care experience for both staff and patients and providing a safe environment for everyone at South Bruce Grey Health Centre.

Active recruitment committees and Administrative staff have maintained an open relationship with existing professional staff, and together with a positive environment, have contributed to the Health Centre's success in recruiting and maintaining well-qualified human resources.

A joint Medical Advisory Committee ensures that access and care is consistent and of high quality. Frequent communication with Grey Bruce partners through the Grey Bruce Health Network expands this consistency to a regional level.

Solid financial performance has thrived at SBGHC since 2003, an achievement that has allowed the Health Centre to plan proactively and maintain appropriate services. A solid vision has led the way to a cohesive and well-run organization in which staff can be proud to work, and patients can be assured safe and high quality care.

Since 2008, SBGHC has maintained a vibrant, fully accredited, health care environment providing excellent primary care, fulfilling its Mission, Vision and Values to the best of its ability.