A new phase begins: Patient Support Centre groundbreaking

By Tara MacPherson

A new SickKids is starting to rise.

After eight months of demolition, we recently marked a milestone moment for our campus redevelopment (known as Project Horizon) as we broke ground on the Patient Support Centre: a new 22-storey education, training and administrative hub, expected to open in late 2022.

Staff, donors and onlookers were feeling the buzz (and clang!) as performers clad in construction gear challenged traditional ideas of musical instruments with a lively performance featuring hammers, wrenches and more.

Ted Garrard, Chief Executive Officer, SickKids Foundation, opened the groundbreaking ceremony with a land acknowledgement. He then introduced a moving video featuring the new SickKids vs. This is Why campaign.  Mayor Tory was also in attendance, representing the City, and offered his congratulations on this exciting new phase, “I’ve had the chance to meet many kids at SickKids, past and present. Thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff and all those who provide care to those who need it. The new development has taken a lot of hard work, but the goal is on its way to being met!”

Dr. Ronald Cohn, SickKids President and CEO, brought the significance of this milestone home, “beginning to build a new hospital for precision child health significantly impacts the way we manage, treat and care for our people at SickKids. The new building will really represent our identity – who we are”, says Dr. Ronald Cohn.

A neutral palette featuring pops of colour accentuate the light-filled PSC lobby. Access to natural light was a major focus in building design.

The Patient Support Centre will house the SickKids Learning Institute, which will support over 1000 world-class trainees, students and learners annually. It will also include a Simulation Centre for hands-on teaching, allowing our healthcare practitioners to continue to provide leading-edge paediatric care to patients.

The aesthetic of the PSC will be inviting, with a modern and wellness-focused workspace for over 3000 professionals, management and support staff. The space will include a variety of collaboration and activity spaces that will be accessible for all staff from across the SickKids campus. Being housed under one roof will provide convenience and ease for professionals from different departments at SickKids – creating an inclusive environment for all staff.

The Patient Support Centre is the first of three phases in SickKids master redevelopment plan, situating staff in a shared location as the Hill and Black Wings are demolished to make room for the new hospital tower, the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower. The benefits of the new space include saving on costs for leasing purposes, compliance with new building standards and advanced work spaces to keep staff on the forefront of paediatric medicine.

Another key phase – The Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower – will house critical care and inpatient units. It will reflect the very latest in medical design: a renewed focus on privacy for patients and families, dedicated mental-health beds, a state-of-the-art blood and marrow transplant/cellular therapy unit, specialized operating theatres, advanced diagnostic imaging facilities, and a vastly expanded emergency department.

The project is the first step to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations with a SickKids’ plan to build a hospital of the future, transform how we deliver care in a world-class setting and empower patients and families to be partners in their care.

Tara MacPherson is a Communications and Public Affairs Intern at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).