$4.5M for K-W hospitals to repair and upgrade facilities

Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital in Kitchener are receiving funds from the provincial government for repairs and upgrades to facilities this year.

Ontario has committed funding for 131 hospitals through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund

Kitchener's Grand River Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital are getting $3,425,493 and $1,184,460 this year, respectively, for repairs and upgrades as part of the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund. The hospitals are two of 131 in Ontario receiving $175 million in total from the province.

Mark Karjaluoto, director of communications at Grand River Hospital told CBC News that some money will be used to upgrade patient care units in the Freeport campus.

"Specifically, many patients right now are being able to get care in brighter units that are refreshed, that have more up-to-date flooring, that are just a more comforting, welcoming environment," Karjaluoto said.

MPP of Kitchener Centre Daiene Vernile told CBC News that the funding will help hospitals provide patients with high-quality care in a safe and healthy environment.

"We often hear about investments in hospital programs and new equipment, and those are important, but those investments are little help if the roof is leaking, or if the windows are bleeding heat, or if the air conditioner doesn't work," she said. 

Germ reduction 

St. Mary's General Hospital will be replacing surfaces such as floors and wall coatings in areas that get a lot of traffic, like emergency wards and diagnostic imaging.

"Technology that will reduce the impact of spreading germs, and reduce the risk of infections to patients and staff and families that come to the organization, that's really where we're going to be utilizing this funding," the hospital's vice president Marco Terlevic said.

He said the upgrades involve using materials that can reduce the spread of germs, such as copper coatings.

Last week the Cambridge Memorial Hospital announced it will receive $978,068 to install firefighting sprinklers and service its boiler system.