South Muskoka Hospital Foundation

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Letter from Paul Hammond, Chair, South Muskoka Hospital Foundation
May 28, 2015


On behalf of the Board of the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation (SMHF), I am writing to share with you the decision that was made by the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) Board of Directors at its meeting last evening – May 27, 2015. As one of our valued philanthropic partners, you should receive this information from us directly rather than second-hand sources.

After two years of planning work and public consultations, the Master Program/Master Plan Steering Committee has unanimously recommended to the MAHC Board of Directors that the preferred model for delivering hospital care for our future generations is one acute care hospital on a single site that is centrally located to provide the best access to care to the population serviced by MAHC.

The Board unanimously voted to accept the committee’s recommendation in order to ensure safe, high-quality, sustainable health care for Muskoka and East Parry Sound. This model serves to best meet evolving health care standards, provides a stable environment that attracts and retains physicians, offers optimal working conditions that help to recruit staff, and protects the viability of core services all under one roof within a financially sustainable model both initially and from an operating perspective.

What does this really mean for South Muskoka?

  • The decision made by the MAHC Board of Directors is a preliminary one. The Plan must next be accepted by the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network and subsequently the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) in order to move to the next stage of the five planning stages. Each stage can take up to two years to complete, and some of these stages require approval by the Minister of Health as well. The plan may be revised or possibly rejected at any stage in the Capital Planning Process.
  • The reality of the one-hospital model is at least 15 years away. The model is planned for 2030 and beyond.
  • Most importantly, MAHC is committed to providing excellent health care in Muskoka and through each of its existing SMMH and HDMH sites will continue to provide excellent acute and emergency care services for residents, cottagers and visitors. Your ongoing generous support is critical to our ability to continue providing the excellent services on which you expect and deserve. Without your support, our investments in equipment and technology will be seriously compromised.
  • The Board has not considered any potential future location or site for the one-hospital model. This will be part of a future separate process that follows Broader Public Sector guidelines.
  • No decision has been contemplated with respect to the future use of the current sites. This won’t be contemplated until other decisions have been made and actions taken within the Capital Planning Process.
  • We applaud the planning efforts and foresight of the MAHC Board in regard to this very complex issue of how health care will best serve the needs of Muskoka in 2030 and beyond. In the meantime, your continued support and investment today is crucial to providing the necessary technology so we can continue to deliver the most comprehensive and high-quality patient care today, tomorrow, and in the near future.

As the equipment and technology needs of our hospital continue to grow, we want to assure you that your current investment in South Muskoka Hospital Foundation is one that is much-needed to look after our community health care needs now.

If you have any comments or concerns about what this means for you or your family, please contact Colin Miller, Executive Director at or 705-645-4404, ext. 3246. He would be pleased to answer your questions or provide further details.


Paul Hammond
Chair, South Muskoka Hospital Foundation