TORONTO — On the brink of opening six new floors of the Frances Bloomberg Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health, Mount Sinai Hospital has come full circle.
Joseph Mapa, president and CEO of Mount Sinai since 2001, noted that the hospital opened its doors as a 33-bed maternity hospital in 1923. “Now the first major redevelopment project in recent history [involves] maternity,” he said in an interview.
With the addition, which will increase its space by 30 per cent, the Frances Bloomberg Centre, which sees an average of 6,700 births annually, including high-risk obstetrics, will have extra family spaces to care for more than 1,000 infants a year in the neonatal intensive care; labour and delivery rooms that will be bigger and better equipped to deliver babies of high-risk mothers; private and larger rooms to accommodate an inter-professional team that can meet with parents and consult quietly; five operating rooms for Cesarean births, and a new intensive care unit for mothers and babies.
Mount Sinai Hospital which includes the building’s six new floors.
On Sept. 21, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that the province would further invest in the hospital’s infrastructure to include upgrades to its surgical suites, emergency department, critical care unit and in-patient infrastructure.
The hospital – now a 472-bed, patient care, research and academic health sciences centre – has six main centres of excellence: the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, the Frances Bloomberg Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health, the Christopher Sharp Centre for Surgical Oncology, the Daryl A. Katz Centre for Urgent and Critical Care, the Centre for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and the Centre for Musculoskeletal Disease.
Lawrence Bloomberg, a banker, businessman and philanthropist who joined the hospital board 25 years ago and has been chair for 10 years, said he’s involved in other community non-profit organizations, but finds the health field most rewarding.
“The last eight to 10 years have been a period of profound transformation [for Mount Sinai.] There have been many milestones. Our budget went from $150 million to $500 million.
“When I was asked to be chair, I gladly accepted. I thought I could contribute to the hospital’s mission, because lay people bring in their own skills.”
The hospital’s focus has also changed to one of patient care, he said. “Instead of being doctor-centric, we look at how we deliver care from a patient’s point of view. A doctor’s work revolves around quality of care. Our two priorities are talent first and at the same time patients first.”
The Jewish community created Mount Sinai, he said, and since its inception, it has always reflected Jewish values. “You can’t have a great organization without community support, and our community has always been supportive. [The hospital] takes care of the community at large, but it cannot fulfil its mission without [our] community support. ”
Mount Sinai is a gift of the Jewish community to Ontario, he said. “Ontario is a great medical centre, and Mount Sinai stands tall against the others.”
Mapa said that Mount Sinai is the largest publicly funded organization in Canada founded by the Jewish community. “The ambassadorship of this hospital to the community is huge, and the symbolism is enormous. People identify this hospital with the community and [know] that it is dedicated to the public.”
Bloomberg, who is the hospital’s longest serving chair, called Mount Sinai a jewel. “It has taken 85 years to get here, but today we’re here.”