Hospital's Cardiovascular Surgery Program Receives Provincial Support


From left to right: Honourable Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan, Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, Executive Vice President of Patient Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and Laura Kokocinski, North West LHIN CEO.

July 19, 2017

People in Northwestern Ontario will soon benefit from increased access to important health care services and reduced wait times thanks to Ontario’s support for a comprehensive cardiovascular surgery program at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was at our Hospital on Tuesday, July 12th to announce new construction and renovations to house the new program. Once fully operational, the program will provide care closer to home for approximately 1,000 patients in Northwestern Ontario each year, meaning fewer trips to Toronto, Ottawa, London and Hamilton for the cardiovascular procedures they need.

“Investing in the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Cardiovascular Surgery Project is another example of our commitment to improving access to quality care for people in Northwestern Ontario. I look forward to continuing to work together with all of our regional health care partners to ensure the highest quality of care closer to home,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

This project, expected to be operational by 2020, involves new construction and renovation of more than 20,000 square feet at the hospital, and will include:

  • An ambulatory care and pre-admission clinic expansion

  • A new vascular laboratory

  • 14 new cardiovascular inpatient beds

  • 5 new step-down beds for transitional care

  • 1 new surgical suite, equipped with advanced imaging technology and a recovery area.

The Hospital is working in partnership with the University Health Network, who has been instrumental in our efforts to expand and improve our comprehensive cardiovascular care program. Working together, we can ensure access to the highest quality of care, close to home.

“We are committed to meeting the specialized acute care needs of the Northwestern Ontario residents. Access to comprehensive cardiovascular surgical care, closer to home, is essential in our region where the prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular conditions are well above the provincial averages,” said Jean Bartkowiak, President and CEO of the Health Sciences Centre and CEO of the Health Research Institute. “This will improve the breadth of specialized clinical services, the care outcomes, and quality of life for hundreds of patients annually. We are very grateful to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and to our partner, the University Health Network, for making this a reality.”

We Heart Our Donors

Northwestern Ontario donors have huge hearts when it comes to funding critical equipment purchases that allow for advanced closer-to-home care. Thanks to donations to the Northern Cardiac Fund, 24/7 angioplasty – the gold standard for heart attack treatment -  is a reality at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

With the incredible news that funding has been approved through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to bring cardiovascular surgery to Thunder Bay, it is imperative that our community continue to give. Let’s continue to take care of our hearts at home.


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