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Emergency 560The outside of the new Emergency Department, which opened its doors January 11, at the Southampton Hospital.

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“It’s a pretty exciting day,” said Sally Kidson, Executive Director for the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation January 11 upon the opening of the new Emergency Department (ER) at the Southampton Hospital.

“It’s been going really well, everybody seems to be handling it great,” she added.

Kidson took Saugeen Shores Hub on a tour of the refurbished facility and was excited to show us the new space with all the features that will come to benefit patients and staff.

Each room in the ER contains all new equipment. “All these monitors, the stretchers, the chairs, everything hanging on the walls, everything is brand new so not only did donor dollars help to pay for the room, and of course the Ministry helped to pay for the room too, but all of the equipment in all of the rooms from chairs up, donor dollars paid for that,” said Kidson.

From trauma rooms to a decontamination room to infection control; a dedicated ear, nose and throat room and an overflow area for the hospital’s busier times, there is plenty in the new space for staff to get used to. “We’re lucky that it’s open now because we have time so when we get the summer patients here, and we get super busy, people will be used to the space and be really comfortable,” said the Executive Director.

Another room Kidson showed us was the new quiet room which she said was a nice touch. “If a family is in crisis for whatever reason then the doc can bring them in here... they don’t have to sit in the waiting room with everybody else,” she said, using the example of someone who is seriously ill or has been in a car accident. “So the families have a place to deal with their emotions.”

Kidson then highlighted a new surveillance system where, from the business office staff can see openings at the ER and at the main entrance. “If somebody’s doing something they shouldn’t do or if they’re carrying a weapon or if there is somebody in distress,” Kidson explained.

She then reflected on everything that has gone into the process, adding that first steps were taken by Dr. Billings in 2007. “That’s 10 years, from the people at the Ministry to the people at [Grey Bruce Health Services] who put in all of those reports after reports to get the approval, to the donors who came onboard and the fundraisers before me and the staff before me, I mean it’s been a long time coming.”

Construction on the new ER began in May of last year.

From defining a need by presenting statistics about the number of patients who are seen at the hospital, to making sure the fundraising component could be met by the community. “That’s where the [Josephine] Bevan Foundation gift came into play, that was really important, and then of course the Bruce Power gift that supported not just here but the Oncology suite in Owen Sound... we met that [fundraising] criteria,” said Kidson. “Then it was just process after process, drawings, plans, architects, and [Ministry] approvals every step of the way,” she added.

There are plenty of finishing touches still needed in the new ER but they are well on their way as Phase 2 gets off the ground in the old ER location that will see a new Laboratory and Gift Shop as well as two donor walls with a grand opening expected later in 2018.

Main Emergency EntrancesThe new main and emergency entrances at the Southampton Hospital.

Emergency Waiting RoomThe Emergency waiting room, no longer a hallway, and registration area.

ER Nurses StationThe ER nurses station offers lots of space opposite the treatment rooms.

Main RegistrationRegistration Clerk, Emma McLaren, behind the glass at the new registration area.

ER Treatment RoomThe treatment rooms are equipped with all new equipment, including monitors, chairs and stretcher.

Eye Ear Nose Throat RoomAn eye, ear, nose and throat room, one of several new specialist rooms at the Southampton Hospital.

Trauma RoomOne of the trauma rooms, they are spacious and well equipped.