The Northern Health Authority has assembled ten people, with more to be hired, to guide the massive Mills Memorial Hospital replacement project, to ensure the current facility keeps running and to plan for the move to the new hospital when construction is complete.
They’ll be doing everything from managing the overall project, ensuring design features meet specifications, keeping track of the finances of the $450 million replacement, making sure the new facility meets current and anticipated high technology requirements and setting up staff training.
Some of the group are already employed by Northern Health and others have been recruited specifically for the project.
The group includes senior Northern Health officials already in Terrace such as George Desjardins who has been in charge of recent medical equipment installations at the current Mills; Chris Simms who is Northern Health’s top administrator for Terrace and Stewart; and Shirley Nichol who has been in charge of overall patient care at Mills.
They’ll be working out of a separate office in Terrace while Northern Health looks for a more permanent space.
The new Mills will have 78 beds, including a doubling of its regional psychiatric unit to 20 beds and increasing the number of its intensive care beds from the current five, to eight.
The hospital will be designated a Level III trauma centre, making it just the second one in the north after the hospital in Prince George to offer high-level trauma care.
The new facility will be built adjacent to the current Mills and because of its physical footprint, the Seven Sisters mental health facility will be demolished to make room.
A new Seven Sisters will then be built close to the new Mills and it will have 25 beds, five more than the current one now has.