ORILLIA SOLDIERS' MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
One of the most dramatic transformations to take place at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) since the redevelopment project in 2008 is now complete.
After five months of renovations, OSMH unveiled a redesigned, expanded and refurbished main lobby this week – thanks to a generous gift from the late Dora Vick Noy, whose family was on hand to unveil Dora’s Place, the new name for the coffee and gift shop that welcomes families into the hospital.
“Dora understood the importance of giving back, but she never wanted the recognition, preferring to be the silent benefactor,” said Dora’s cousin Jane Marshall. “Her affable personality is reflected and commemorated in this space, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be here today, to share in this special moment.”
“Often it’s the people, a friendly face or comforting gesture, that make you feel welcome and comfortable, but the environment is also very important,” said Pat Campbell, president and CEO of OSMH. “As a hospital our focus is always on ensuring the highest quality of care for patients, because of this we forget that it is our main lobby that establishes a first impression of the hospital for the hundreds of patients and families who visit each year.”
While the hospital has continued to invest in the clinical areas, the main lobby had not been updated since 1983 and was in need of major safety and quality improvements.
Last year the OSMH board of directors, led by former chair Greg Gee, and the OSMH Foundation set out to revitalize the space. Plans were put in place to remodel the main seating area and double the size of the coffee and gift shop.
“I was very passionate about this project and the need to revitalize the space because there were so few projects that could benefit so many groups of people,” explained Gee.
The main goal was to better serve the needs of patients and families and create a more welcoming and healing environment to help reduce anxiety and stress and make sure that patients and families feel at ease during their time in hospital.
“It was also important that our staff, credentialed staff and volunteers had a space that better represented the quality of work they performed every day,” Gee added.
The new lobby welcomes visitors with new flooring and paint colours that create an uplifting atmosphere, comfortable seating, a new visitor information centre, and an expanded coffee and gift shop that offer a greater selection of merchandise and food and beverage options, including a self-serve Tim Hortons kiosk.
“The new space upholds our commitment to patients and families and provides a comfortable atmosphere while they are visiting the hospital,” said Jeff French, current chair of the OSMH board. “The renovations have transformed the face of the organization and it is now a better reflection of the true nature of OSMH.”