By: Laura Steiner
Approval for the Milton District Hospital expansion was announced during the 2011 election campaign. Deb Matthews, then Health Minister remarked that Milton should change its name to persistence. She was right.
This is one of those stories that has been around for 8 years. First there came a story on how the LHIN (Local Health Integrated Network) the hospital was nearing the end of its functional life. I remember covering the debate over a hospital levy at town hall. I was there for the Friends of Milton Hospital, and all the post-card writing campaigns. I watched as former MPP Ted Chudleigh presented petitions with thousands of signatures in the legislature, and councillors spoke on camera of the need for an expansion. As they fought, the population, and the need for it grew. There was an awful lot of arm twisting (or breaking, if you will) that went into this.
Groundbreaking was in 2013, and it was completed last year. Today I took my tour of the entire expansion. Around almost every corner was evidence of this persistence.
A new Maternal-Newborn unit, with its own entrance, and a special care nursery. An ICU located right beside the OR, and recovery rooms.
A new Emergency Room, with separate entrance for ambulances. Patient care beds that were 80% single rooms. And everywhere held the latest technology, and procedures. New MRI, and CT machines were in.
The new expansion feels like a real community hospital. Rolling digital boards displayed the donors and events, that went into fundraising. Patient rooms were named after supporters, benches on the property. The murals, and photos in the building brought the natural setting inside. It added a sense of ownership; this belongs to Milton. It’s testament to one town’s persistence. Milton’s population needed something, and we didn’t stop until we got it.