Ontario Investing Nearly $48 Million for Specialized Mental Health Services at St. Joseph's Care Group in Thunder Bay
Ontario is investing up to $47.8 million to construct a new three storey building and renovate part of the existing hospital building at St. Joseph's Care Group's (SJCG) main hospital site in Thunder Bay.
When completed, SJCG will provide 38 specialized mental health beds and related outpatient programs that will serve people with serious mental illness.
The project is the final phase of SJCG's capital project to accommodate the transfer of the specialized mental health program from the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital site to the St. Joseph's Hospital site.
SJCG currently has 224 beds at its main hospital site and it has about 40 specialized mental health beds at the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital site. When the project is complete, it will have 262 beds at the main hospital site with all the specialized mental health beds collocated at the main hospital site.
This project is a major traditional capital project and is part of ReNew Ontario, the government's infrastructure investment plan. In June 2006, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care approved a planning and design grant of up to $3.39 million for this project. In April 2015, the ministry approved an additional grant of up to $44.4 million to support the implementation of this project. Construction is now underway at the site is expected to reach substantial completion in May 2017.
Patients who require inpatient and outpatient specialized mental health programs and services currently receive them in the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital, an aging building that supports an outdated model of care. When the new building is built, specialized mental health clients will have a modern facility that delivers specialized mental health programs and services in Thunder Bay.
The construction of a new building for the specialized mental health program demonstrates the integration of mental health treatment with mainstream health care. This project will improve access to high quality, specialized health care services for residents of North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) region.
The specialized mental health program at SJCG is a regional program which serves the catchment population of the North West LHIN, which includes all of Northwestern Ontario. This referral population is currently approximately 231,000.