WINCHESTER — Ten years ago, local communities celebrated the official opening of the new and renovated Winchester District Memorial Hospital. And they had a lot to celebrate!
The $60 million project included new services and expanded spaces to support care close to home. Innovations included a new Emergency Department, a state-of-the-art CT Scanner, the second digital mammography unit in the region, and other new technologies.
“Many people said this couldn’t be done, but we did it,” noted Bill Smirle, who presided over the event. “Many, many people have been part of this journey, including elected officials, Ministry staff, past Hospital CEOs and Board members, Chiefs of Staff, physicians, staff, students, volunteers – and of course the incredible and supportive communities throughout our region. I’m proud that we can come together today to celebrate.”
In fact, local supporters raised approximately one-third of the total cost, making it one of the most successful fundraising campaigns in eastern Ontario.
While the official ceremony took place on March 27, 2009, celebrations also took place a month earlier as WDMH coordinated the big move day. Mrs. Audrey Ennis led the way as the first patient transferred from the old wing to the new hospital. At the time, Lynn Hall, Senior Vice President, Clinical Services noted: “Mrs. Ennis was happy to play such an important part in the celebrations. She was a former WDMH employee and worked as a health care aide until her retirement in 1980.”
The festivities continued later in the spring with a WDMH Garden Party on June 27. Close to 500 community members enjoyed entertainment, kids’ activities, health displays by WDMH staff and local health partners, as well as guided tours of the new hospital.
Happy Anniversary WDMH!