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Slaight family donates $10 million to Emergency Department renovation at St. Michael’s Hospital

Toronto, October 29, 2013

By Leslie Shepherd

Slaight Family Emergency Department
Rendering of Slaight Family Emergency Department
Related: Slaight Family Foundation announces $50M in donations to five Toronto hospitals

Slaight Family Emergency Department waiting room
Rendering of Slaight Family Emergency Department waiting room

The Slaight family gift of $10 million will help renovate and double the size of the St. Michael’s Hospital Emergency Department, making it a world-class facility that will be known as the Slaight Family Emergency Department.

The ED expansion is part of a larger project to transform St. Michael’s physical plant, which includes construction of a 17-storey patient care tower and renovations to much of the rest of the hospital. Completion of the project is expected by 2018.

The current ED was built to accommodate about 45,000 patients a year, but now sees more than 71,500 a year. The number is growing about four to six per cent a year, although 2011-12 alone saw an increase of 11 per cent over the previous year.

The ED will be renovated to meet the needs of St. Michael’s unique patient population – which ranges from trauma victims, to people with mental illness to homeless people and other vulnerable residents of the inner city—and to accommodate changes in technology since the department was last renovated in 2000.

“We have a tremendously diverse patient population and our Emergency Department needs to be very complex and sophisticated to serve that population’s needs. It has to be able to handle the broadest spectrum of health care issues imaginable,” said Dr. Robert Howard, the hospital’s president and CEO. “The Slaight family gift will help us do that by building a best-in-class Emergency Department for trauma, mental health and inner city health issues, among others.”

The expanded ED will include more patient treatment areas, diagnostic imaging inside the department (including a CT scanner and ultrasound) and a larger rapid assessment zone, a special section for more efficient diagnosis and treatment of patients with less severe problems.

Related: Slaight Family Foundation announces $50M in donations to five Toronto hospitals

One of the most notable changes will be the mental health area, a quiet, soothing and secure area, physically separated from the rest of the ED. It will be staffed 24/7 by dedicated, specially trained crisis workers and health care providers.

These renovations will allow the hospital to not just accommodate its growing volume of patients, reduce wait times and continue to fulfill our mandate as a regional trauma centre, but provide faster, more efficient care in a better-designed and more comfortable environment.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media contacts

For more information, contact:

Leslie Shepherd
Manager, Media Strategy
416-864-6094
shepherdl@smh.ca