M’Chigeeng ogimaa-kwe challenges Island to complete Mindemoya Hospital fundraising

MINDEMOYA—The excitement in the air is palpable as Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) CEO Paula Fields, Emergency Department manager Julia Fedec and Facilities Maintenance and Operations Manager Duane Deschamps conducted a tour of the ongoing expansion of the emergency department at the MHC Mindemoya site.

On hand for the tour were M’Chigeeng Ogimaa-kwe Linda Debassige and Enaagdenjged (band manager) Art Jacko who brought with them a donation cheque of $5,000 for the hospital’s Let’s Emerg Together fundraising campaign and a challenge to other Island First Nations and municipalities to step up to help take the fundraising tally over the top.

Mr. Deschamps began the tour by taking The Expositor through the downstairs portion of the expansion, which included a spacious and secure health records room. “Everything will be in one location,” said Mr. Deschamps. “This area will include a double desk for the records staff. It will provide better space utilization—things are cramped on the other side.” 

“This will provide roughly 2,200 square feet of additional space,” he said of the downstairs section which will include the heating system, ductwork and controls. A section of the wall has been opened to provide an access for the large equipment to be moved into the building.

One of the purposes of the tour is to provide those people who have been donating to the Let’s Emerg Together campaign an opportunity to see their dollars at work. “So far all the work has been taking place out of sight here in the back of the hospital,” shared communications officer Kelly Timmermans.

Upstairs, Ms. Fedec took over as guide, noting that “this is my favourite place right here” as she pointed out the central nursing square with a view of all of the emergency department.

The tour continued on to the doctor’s dictation room “with requested window,” laughed Ms. Fedec, before pointing out the dictation room is close by the nurses’ station. “This is very nice as well as before they were outside the unit. This will aid collaboration, before when you were in there you kind of felt you were in your own little world.”

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

“This is often an end of life room,” added Ms. Fedec, “so it is nice that there is a window. Before there were no outside walls to look out.”

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

A mental health room includes reinforced walls to aid in the protection of the patient, staff and facility.

A consultation family room includes spacious walls and windows to provide a quiet space for families to be briefed on their loved one’s status.

Ogimaa-kwe Debassige then announced M’Chigeeng’s intention to commission one of their community artists to create an appropriate artwork for the facility. The spacious walls of the family room were deemed the most appropriate location for the work.

Other rooms on the tour include utility rooms, isolation rooms with facilities to decontaminate and storage as well as separate washrooms for patients and staff.

Work on the facility will continue on into the spring.