Women’s College Hospital is closing the "Health Gap" as it cuts the ribbon on its hospital of the future
June 10, 2016 | Download Release
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory, together with other federal and provincial ministers, health sector leaders and philanthropic donors, gathered at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) on Friday, June 10, to celebrate the hospital’s ribbon cutting ceremony.
In 2010, Women’s College began its capital redevelopment with the goal of renewing the 105 year-old hospital and building the hospital of the future – Canada’s first independent, academic, ambulatory hospital, a hospital designed to keep people out of hospital. And now, with the official opening of this new hospital, it is delivering on the promise it made to its patients and community partners 5 years ago, to advocate for and advance the health of women and to deliver system solutions that will improve healthcare for all.
As part of that advocacy strategy, WCH launched a public awareness campaign to coincide with the hospital opening event. The “Health Gap” campaign draws attention to the fact that healthcare doesn’t always work the same for everyone. Marilyn Emery, President and CEO of WCH, spoke about the campaign explaining that from research and treatment options to access to services, many women are overlooked and underserved because healthcare has traditionally not considered the impact of sex and gender differences. Research shows that women’s needs, including physiology, cultural challenges and life circumstances, are often not taken into consideration.
“The Health Gap significantly impacts women’s health and their quality of life and we feel it is our responsibility to raise awareness of this important issue,” said Marilyn Emery. “With many health conditions, women present differently than men and require treatment and care that recognizes the differences between genders. This is often exacerbated by various societal factors that impact many women – family responsibilities, cultural biases or stigmatization – leading to additional barriers to accessing care and creating a Health Gap which must be addressed.”
WCH is working to close the Health Gap in a number of ways including groundbreaking research, innovative models of care, education and specialized programs and services. The campaign website – thehealthgap.ca – includes information about the gaps and how WCH is helping to close them.
Emery also announced the publication of a new “Thousand Voices for Women’s Health” report. This community engagement initiative was first started in 2010 when the hospital set out to build their exceptional new hospital. In order to ensure that they built a hospital that truly meets the needs and hopes of the diverse communities they serve, WCH asked more than a thousand women what they wanted from a hospital designed especially for women. Now, five years later, WCH wanted to explore what has changed and how women’s healthcare needs are being met today. So, once again, they spoke to women from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and lifestyles about their health experiences and invited them to share their thoughts on how the health system can be improved.
The Ribbon Cutting event closed with the unveiling of a commemorative stone and historic time capsule. The time capsule dates back to 1934 when Women’s College Hospital was established. This time capsule was never opened and in 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau re-embedded the capsule when the hospital’s new east wing was being constructed. And now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled that same time capsule which was laid by the Prime Minister’s father, in the same place, 45 years ago.
Women’s College Hospital
For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of health equity, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. The WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) is developing new, scalable models of care that deliver improved outcomes for patients and sustainable solutions for the health system as a whole.
Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) is tackling some of the greatest health challenges of our time. Its scientists are conducting global research that advances the health of women and improves healthcare options for all, and are then translating those discoveries to provide much-needed improvements in healthcare worldwide.