Hospital Awaits Imagine Project Approval

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Sydenham Campus ER in Wallaceburg. (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Officials at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance are still waiting on Ministry of Health approval to move onto the next stage of planning for the Imagine Project.

The Imagine Project would see a completely new hospital surrounded by a campus of care built in Wallaceburg and several upgrades at both of the CKHA’s Chatham sites.

“We think the Wallaceburg community, the campus of care could be around $85-$100-million and then there’s multiple different options around community share and what the ministry would fund,” says Chief Operating Officers Sarah Padfield, who notes right now they need approval to even hire a planner or architect. “The ministry has confirmed that they continue to put our project forward and that we continue to be on the table for consideration and that’s about the best we’ve got so far.”

Padfield tells BlackburnNews.com they do not have a timeline for approval, but aging hospital infrastructure is becoming a concern.

The Sydenham Campus no longer has any continuing care beds, the site operates as a retirement home with an emergency room and other select services. Officials say the building is in disrepair and a new site is needed in the Wallaceburg community.