Planning Journey To Date

Look back to see the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s redevelopment planning journey over the past decade and more.

2012-2015

The Pre-Capital Submission marks the initial phase of the Ministry of Health’s comprehensive capital planning process, leading into a series of well-defined stages. In preparation for this pivotal phase, MAHC established multiple planning teams in 2013, composed of MAHC staff and key stakeholders from community-based care sectors. These teams were instrumental in guiding the development of programming requirements aimed at shaping our future health care vision.

Throughout 2014 and 2015, engaging with hundreds of staff and community members through three significant touchpoints proved essential. This extensive stakeholder engagement was crucial not only for consulting with the public but also for gathering valuable community feedback, which helped refine our strategic direction.

In the fall of 2015, with full endorsement from our Board of Directors, MAHC submitted the Pre-Capital Submission to the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN and the Ministry of Health. This submission thoughtfully evaluated three different models, ultimately advocating for a single, centrally located hospital to best meet the future health care needs of our community. Throughout 2016, we continued to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Ministry, providing clarifications and additional information as required to support our proposal.

This proactive and collaborative approach underscores our commitment to enhancing healthcare services through thoughtful planning and community involvement, ensuring that our initiatives align with both local and regional healthcare objectives.

2017-2019

In 2017, the Ministry of Health awarded MAHC a planning grant and granted approval to commence Stage 1.2 planning. This approval was based on substantial community input favoring a unified hospital model and required MAHC to rigorously evaluate the various models initially proposed. Specifically, MAHC was tasked with considering the utilization of one or both existing facilities more thoroughly.

To effectively oversee this critical stage, MAHC established a 25-member Capital Plan Development Task Force. This diverse group included both internal and external stakeholders as well as municipal representatives, ensuring a broad range of perspectives in guiding the planning efforts.
The Stage 1.2 planning process was marked by deep and extensive consultations. Internally, it involved clinicians and hospital leaders, and externally, it engaged community care providers such as primary care, public health, paramedic services, mental health, and home & community care. Through workshops and focus groups, the task force meticulously outlined the services MAHC would continue to provide and identified those that could be transitioned to community-based care. The team also explored three different service delivery models and examined potential infrastructure redevelopment strategies, including renovation, expansion, or complete replacement of facilities.

Community involvement was a cornerstone of this stage, with nearly 50 information sessions held, engaging thousands of stakeholders and collecting critical feedback to shape the planning.

In November 2019, after months of comprehensive engagement and detailed analysis, MAHC submitted its Stage 1 Proposal to the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN and the Ministry of Health. This proposal advocates for a redevelopment approach that maintains two acute care sites and proposes the construction of new facilities: one in Huntsville on the existing site and another in Bracebridge on a new site. The executive summaries of the Stage 1 Proposal are available for review, highlighting our continued commitment to enhancing healthcare infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of our community.

View the Executive Summaries of the Stage 1 Proposal.

2022-2024

In April 2022, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced significant provincial government support for the modernization and expansion of MAHC’s two hospital sites in Bracebridge and Huntsville. This pivotal announcement reaffirmed the government’s dedication to establishing two new acute care hospitals, ensuring that future generations in Muskoka and East Parry Sound will benefit from state-of-the-art health care facilities. In addition to endorsing the project, the government also allocated grant money to MAHC for progressing to the next planning stage. Read the news release and watch the announcement made on April 24, 2022.

The subsequent planning phase, Stage 1.3, commenced in the fall of 2022. The objective for this stage was to finalize and submit the Functional Program to the Ministry of Health by September 30, 2023. Due to the necessity of continued engagement the date for submission has been postponed to the fall of 2024. This document will outline in detail the services and facilities planned for the new hospitals.

Throughout 2024, we have actively engaged with the community and health care professionals to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive planning process. We’ve conducted public town hall meetings, as well as meetings with physicians, internal staff, other health care providers, community organizations, and public officials. These interactions have been instrumental in gathering diverse perspectives and addressing the needs and expectations of all stakeholders involved.

This is an exhilarating period as we maintain our momentum towards the realization of two new hospitals that will provide exceptional care for the residents of Muskoka and area. We are committed to keeping our community informed and involved every step of the way as we move closer to transforming health care in our region.

What’s Next? 2024 and beyond…

As we look forward to 2024 and beyond, the completion of the Stage 1.3 submission to the Ministry of Health marks a pivotal advancement in our redevelopment project. With this significant milestone achieved, our focus will shift towards the development of detailed architectural models for the new hospital facilities. These models will serve as the blueprint for the design and functional layout of our future hospital sites.

To ensure that these models reflect the needs and expectations of our community, we will engage in a collaborative process with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. This will include ongoing consultations with health care professionals, patients, community members, and local officials, each bringing valuable insights that will inform and enhance the design and functionality of our two new sites. By working closely with these stakeholders, we aim to create facilities that are not only state-of-the-art but also tailored to the unique health care requirements and challenges of our region. This inclusive approach is fundamental to our commitment to delivering a multi-site regional hospital that is truly community-centric and built for the future.