KGH and Hotel Dieu announce plans to form integrated academic health sciences centre

News / Partnerships
By KGH Strategy Management & Communications

Hospitals will operate as one organization to provide better care for patients and families

The Board of Directors of Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital announced today that they have agreed to create a new academic health sciences centre that will bring together the operations of the two hospitals. The new organization will operate as one hospital with one budget, on two separate sites, and will be overseen by one Board, Chief Executive Officer and Executive team. The two existing boards chose this direction as a way to provide better, more integrated care for patients and families.

The decision to move forward with the integration was reached by both hospitals after consultation with the South East Local Health Integration Network, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as well as the Roman Catholic sponsors of Hotel Dieu Hospital, Catholic Health International. With their support and with agreement in principle from Kingston Archbishop Brendan O’Brien, there is clear consensus to move forward with the integration.  

“The Boards, leadership teams, physicians and staff at both hospitals have increasingly been working in a more integrated way to best meet the needs of patients and families,” says Kingston General Hospital Board Chair George Thomson. “We know that the more closely we can work together, the stronger our health system will be for our community. This is an exciting, progressive approach to providing health care in our region.”

Over the next several months, the hospitals will begin formal planning to establish the legal and operational structures for the new academic health sciences centre. During this time, the Interim President and CEO at KGH, Jim Flett, and Dr. David Pichora, in his role as CEO at HDH, will work with a joint team to lead the transition process and seek input from the community. It is anticipated that it will take up to 12 months to form the new corporation.

Under the new entity, each site will continue to fulfill its unique role with the KGH site providing complex-acute and specialty care and the HDH site providing acute-ambulatory care, ensuring that all of the same services continue to be offered to patients and families. At the same time, the history and traditions of each individual site will also be respected.

“We remain committed to honouring the unique missions and cultures of both the sites as we move forward,” says Hotel Dieu Hospital Board Chair Michael Hickey. “The Hotel Dieu site will retain its Catholic identity and mission, and KGH will remain a secular site. The current missions of both Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital will be guaranteed in a binding Operating Agreement with oversight by a Partnership Council.”

As part of the announcement to integrate, the Boards also announced that the inaugural President and Chief Executive Officer of the new academic health science centre will be Hotel Dieu Hospital’s current CEO, Dr. Pichora.

“This is a historic step and signals our commitment to bring our two hospitals together to build on our strong history of high quality patient- and family-centred care,” says Dr. Pichora. “Many of our patients receive care at both HDH and KGH and we believe that by working together more closely, we will deliver a better experience for patients and families.”

Over the coming months, Hotel Dieu Hospital and Kingston General Hospital will be launching a consultation process to seek input from the community, as well as everyone who works, learns and volunteers at both hospitals, as we shape the future of acute hospital care in Kingston. For more information please read our Frequently Asked Questions. You can also read Dr. Pichora's biography or watch the video from the June 28 media conference.