Construction begins on state-of-the art rehabilitation hospital wing


People recovering from traumatic illnesses and life-changing injuries will soon have access to a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility equipped to deliver 21st-century rehab care.
In 2009, St. John’s Rehab Hospital began its first major construction project in more than 35 years. The centrepiece will be the John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Ambulatory Care, named in honour of a visionary $2-million donation. This facility will have the space and features to support the more than 40,000 outpatient visits the hospital sees each year.
Currently, St. John’s Rehab’s outpatient services are spread across three separate wings. The hospital’s aging infrastructure can no longer adequately support patients’ emerging rehab needs, nor today’s specialized rehab equipment. Treatment and assessment areas, waiting rooms and changing areas are too small for today’s highly specialized equipment. The existing therapy pool is antiquated and too small to meet current demand while providing patient accessibility and dignity.
An upcoming, dramatically expanded space will allow the hospital to rebuild the lives of survivors of traumatic car accidents, workplace injuries, severe burns, strokes, organ transplants and other life-changing illnesses and injuries.
The brand new, 49,000-square foot ambulatory care centre, located at the east side of the hospital, will bring our two outpatient centres under one roof. Once inpatients can safely return home, St. John’s Rehab Hospital’s diverse outpatient services will continue to be there to help with the transition back to work and the community.
The new facility will include a new modern therapy pool and a spacious gym to help patients return to everyday activities. There will be enhanced clinic space for face-masks, splinting and gait-training.
The redevelopment will also allow the hospital to spread its 160 inpatient beds from four to five floors. This will create additional treatment space and allow more room for modern rehabilitation equipment. The hospital will be able to treat more patients simultaneously, reducing wait times for treatment throughout Ontario.
The hospital also plans to develop and enhance a variety of features to enhance its existing building and 25-acre campus. As people recover from various conditions and thrive with their disabilities, it only makes sense to make the hospital’s property as accessible as possible. As patients are often in rehabilitation for weeks or even months, an improved physical environment allows each patient to remain positive and focused on their recovery.
New campus features will include additional, accessible and convenient parking for patients and visitors. An urgently-needed new main hospital entrance will incorporate the latest accessibility features, including a protective canopy, generous entrance vestibule and accessible drop-off/pick-up area. Floor-to-ceiling windows will overlook the hospital’s 25 acres of landscaped grounds and new therapy garden – a key element in the whole-person approach to care.
“In just 18 months, we’ll have an even better place for patients to work at achieving their goals,” said Malcolm Moffat, President and CEO of St. John’s Rehab Hospital at the June 2010 groundbreaking ceremony. “This exciting expansion will help St. John’s Rehab meet the challenges of an aging population, and the increasing numbers of patients with injuries and complex chronic diseases who require rehabilitation.”
The construction project is scheduled to continue until 2012, but the new ambulatory care centre will be ready and in operation by this fall.
The project has been made possible thanks to the efforts and support of patients, donors, staff and community members. St. John’s Rehab Foundation has raised $15 million during the Rebuilding Lives campaign to support the redevelopment project, rehabilitation research, educational programs for the hospital’s expert clinical staff, and specialized treatment equipment.
The success of the first campaign in support of the hospital since 1937 is thanks to the incredible commitment of the hospital’s donors, staff and the campaign cabinet committee which led the efforts for the fundraising. St. John’s Rehab Hospital thanks the Ontario government, our staff, our donors and our community for their support to rebuilding people’s lives.