M’Chigeeng ogimaa-kwe challenges Island to complete Mindemoya hospital fundraiser

MINDEMOYA—The excitement was in the air as Paula Fields, CEO of the Manitoulin Health Center (MHC), Julia Fedec, Emergency Department Manager, and Duane Deschamps, Facility Maintenance and Operations Manager, conducted a tour of the continued expansion of the emergency department at the MHC Mindemoya site.

M’Chigeeng Ogimaa-kwe Linda Debassige and Enaagdenjged (band manager) Art Jacko were present for the tour. They brought with them a $5,000 donation check for the hospital’s Let’s Emerg Together fundraising campaign and a challenge to other First Nations and municipalities on the island to step in to help push the tally of the fundraiser above.

Mr. Deschamps began the tour by guiding The Expositor through the lower part of the expansion, which included a spacious and secure health records room. “Everything will be in one place,” Mr. Deschamps said. “This area will include a double office for archive staff. This will make better use of space – things are cramped on the other side.

“It will provide about 2,200 square feet of additional space,” he said of the ground floor section that will house the heating system, ductwork and controls. A section of the wall has been opened up to allow access to large equipment that needs to be moved around the building.

One of the goals of the tour is to provide people who have donated to the Let’s Emerg Together campaign the opportunity to see their money at work. “So far, all of the work has been done out of sight here in the back of the hospital,” said Kelly Timmermans, communications manager.

Upstairs, Ms. Fedec took over as guide, noting that “this is my favorite place here” pointing out the central nursing plaza with a view of the entire emergency department.

The visit continued in the doctor’s dictation room “with window requested”, laughed Ms Fedec, before pointing out that the dictation room is close to the nurses’ station. “It’s very nice like before they were outside the unit. It will make it easier to collaborate, before when you were in there it felt like you were in your own little world.

The trauma room is one of the most important rooms in the unit and also includes windows. “We don’t always use this room for trauma,” Ms. Fedec noted. The trauma room will have a glass wall so that it is visible from the nurses’ station “so that our nurses can see our patients”.

“It’s often an end-of-life room,” Ms. Fedec added, “so it’s good that there’s a window. Before, there were no exterior walls to guard.

The bedroom will allow families to be in the bedroom with their loved one, while the windows will provide daylight and a view of the bush outside the bedroom. The room will also serve as a place to provide training.

A mental health room includes reinforced walls to help protect the patient, staff, and facility.

A family consultation room features spacious walls and windows to provide a quiet space where families can be updated on the status of their loved one.

Ogimaa-kwe Debassige then announced M’Chigeeng’s intention to commission one of his community artists to create a suitable artwork for the installation. The family room’s spacious walls were found to be the most suitable place for the work.

Other visitation rooms include ward rooms, isolation rooms with decontamination and storage facilities, and separate toilets for patients and staff.

Work on the facility will continue in the spring.