Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston received one-million-dollars in funding for its intensive care unit (ICU).

The funding came from the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to support the creation of a Level 2 ICU.

“Having these Level 2 ICU beds available will enhance the high quality care that our patients already receive at SMH,” said Dr. Barry Nathanson, Chief of Staff, SMH. “This opportunity will allow us to keep and manage locally some of the patients whom we have traditionally had to send to other facilities."

Currently patients are transferred to Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie.

In 2017, a proposal was submitted to the Central LHIN and Critical Care Services Ontario outlining the need for ICU beds at the hospital to meet current and future patient needs.

Four Level 2 ICU beds will be available for patient care within the current facility.

The unit will include support for a patient with a single failed organ system, advanced levels of breathing support or post-operative care needs.

Stevenson Memorial Hospital’s President and CEO, Jody Levac, said in a news release on Monday that the funding will help to address the growing needs within the community. “This type of care, closer to home will alleviate the travel and stress faced by families in crisis. Patients who need critical care have a serious or life-threatening injury. With careful planning and implementation of these Level 2 ICU beds, we are setting a new standard for community hospital care.”

The ICU beds will not be in addition to the current 38 bed complement, but will be repurposed as existing beds with additional resources that will be used for any patient in need.

Project planning is currently underway including a staffing model, training and a timeline for implementation.

The ICU is expected to be complete by the end of the year.