McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

St. Peter’s, Hamilton Health Sciences join together

Published: April 29, 2008
St. Peter's Hospital
St. Peter's Hospital

St. Peter’s Hospital and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) are joining together to ensure that seniors in this region receive the care and attention they need and deserve.

This amalgamation will enhance services for seniors and those with lifelong, complex medical conditions now looked after at St. Peter’s, by creating a combined system that builds on the strengths of both hospitals. This will also complement current programs at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

"Today, we are ensuring that St. Peter's long tradition of caring and advocating for seniors will continue," says Mark Rizzo, Chair of St. Peter’s Board of Directors. "This amalgamation with Hamilton Health Sciences will enable us to advance the mission of St. Peter’s beyond our walls -- to expand and strengthen our efforts to build a health care system that is well positioned to meet the needs of seniors and those with chronic illness today and in the future."

Dr. Peter Dent, associate vice-president, clinical services for McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences, said the move is not expected to impact opportunities for students or researchers.

"Both St. Peter’s and Hamilton Health Sciences are excellent academic partners of McMaster University, and provide exceptional patient care," he said.

The needs of seniors are expected to grow dramatically in the future. The Hamilton area is home to more seniors than any other region in Ontario and those seniors will increasingly require highly specialized and dedicated health care services for their complex health issues.

"The fact is our population is aging and, while modern medicine has done a wonderful job of prolonging life, more people are doing so with one or more chronic health conditions," says St. Peter’s President and CEO Donna Cripps. "Through the sharing of expertise, knowledge and skills, we can enhance the lives of these individuals and strengthen our entire health care system. We look forward to sharing our approach to care with our colleagues at Hamilton Health Sciences. Getting to know the person behind the illness is what we do best." 

A strong partnership already exists between St. Peter’s Hospital and HHS. The two organizations care for many of the same patients: approximately 84 percent of acute care discharges to St. Peter’s Hospital are from HHS and approximately 75 percent of St. Peter’s Hospital patients requiring acute care are admitted to HHS. 

Through this amalgamation, patients in this community will benefit from a continuum of expert care ranging from acute care, to chronic care, to rehabilitation. For staff, this means a broader range of career opportunities as well as a single organizational structure that encourages and supports collaboration and innovation.

Although some staff roles may change over time, there will be no job losses as a result of the amalgamation. "Everyone will have a job," says Ms. Cripps. "In fact, we believe that this partnership will enable us to recruit and retain more staff in the future."

The Boards of St. Peter's Hospital and Hamilton Health Sciences have both voted unanimously in favour of the amalgamation. This comes after months of deliberation and due diligence led by a steering committee made up of representatives from both Boards. The formal legal requirements for this amalgamation are underway and will be completed this summer and the full amalgamation of the two organizations will take place gradually over time.

"We are proud of the excellent services and programs for seniors that already exist at Hamilton Health Sciences and we’re excited about having the opportunity to build on them and improve the care that seniors in our community receive," says Barbara Sullivan, Chair of Hamilton Health Sciences Board of Directors. "We admire the hard work St. Peter’s has done over many years to keep issues associated with aging and chronic illness at the forefront of service, teaching and research."

"Coming together with St. Peter’s just made sense," says HHS President and CEO Murray Martin. "Hamilton Health Sciences recognizes that the demand for an integrated system of seniors’ care is urgent. We look forward to collaborating with the experts at St. Peter’s Hospital and filling this gap in our community together. Our goal is to ensure the best support for patients, optimize resources and enhance access to the specialized care that our parents and grandparents need."

Donna Cripps will remain President of St. Peter’s and will assume other clinical leadership roles across HHS. "We will benefit tremendously from Donna’s passion for seniors’ care and her extensive experience in this specialized field," says Mr. Martin.

St. Peter’s Hospital specializes in enhancing the lives of seniors and those with chronic illness. A 250-bed complex continuing care hospital on Maplewood Avenue in downtown Hamilton, St. Peter’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, community-based programs and services that focus on dementia, aging, palliative care and rehabilitation. St. Peter’s is committed to finding ways to minimize and manage the daily effects of lifelong illness by getting to know the person behind the illness.

Hamilton Health Sciences is a family of health care facilities serving more than 2.3 million residents of Hamilton and central west Ontario. With almost 1,000 beds, Hamilton Health Sciences is the second largest hospital in Ontario and the regional centre for burns, trauma, cardiac, stroke, neurosurgery, pediatrics, digestive diseases, high-risk obstetrics, cancer, orthopedics and rehabilitation services.
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