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Health Sciences North Learners' Centre receives provincial green light

Sudbury hospital facility can now proceed to tender for construction
Health Sciences North (HSN) in Sudbury has received the green light from the Ontario government to build a Learners’ Centre, said a press release issued Thursday by the hospital. (Supplied)

Health Sciences North (HSN) in Sudbury has received the green light from the Ontario government to build a Learners’ Centre, the hospital said in an Aug. 24 press release. 

The new 28,000-square-foot facility will be built at the Ramsey Lake Health Centre and will include classrooms, lecture space, work stations and on-call rooms.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care notified HSN that the Learners’ Centre has met the ministry’s requirements and could now proceed to tender for construction. 

The hospital expects to have a contractor selected by the fall. Construction is slated to begin later this fall and be completed by December 2018. 

“The construction of the Learners’ Centre is an important investment in our hospital and our city,” said board chair Nicole Everest in the release.

“These learners become our future care providers. It is a vital component to quality patient care.”

The new Learners’ Centre will accommodate 2,000 learners each year. It will be used by medical students and other learners such as nursing students. It will also allow existing staff and physicians to advance their skills. 

The focal point of the Learners’ Centre will be the simulation lab which is now temporarily housed at the Sudbury Outpatient Centre on Regent Street. The simulation lab is designed to replicate medical settings such as an emergency or operating room. It provides training for procedures such as intubation, suturing, and medical scoping. 

Ontario Minister of Energy and Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault said he is pleased that the project is moving forward.

“The Learners’ Centre at HSN will ensure that every medical professional that trains in Sudbury has access to the latest equipment and facilities,” said Thibeault. “This new addition to Health Sciences North will continue to build on its reputation as a world-class teaching and training facility.”

The Health Sciences North Foundation has been working to raise funds for the project. The community has shown its support through generous donations. In late August, the foundation announced more than $1.2 million has been in support of the Learners’ Centre.

“The approval to proceed to tender is a great boost to our fundraising,” said Alex Patterson, chair of the HSN Foundation. “Our community and our donors have long recognized the importance of teaching our future doctors and care givers. It’s great to know that the government supports this, too.”