Mindemoya chemo room renovations on pause

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MINDEMOYA – The chemotherapy room renovations at the Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC)’s Mindemoya site have undergone a change of scope based on recommendations from the Ontario College of Pharmacists which pointed to best practices by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA).

“When we were initially planning the renovations, we mapped out what we felt would meet the standards at the time. We learned more about the standards from a recent visit by the (Ontario College of Pharmacists),” says MHC VP of clinical services and chief nursing officer Paula Fields.

MHC VP of corporate support services and CFO Tim Vine adds that the NAPRA standards mandated an additional segregation room, whereas the original plan was only for the addition of an anteroom. An anteroom is a sterile space where supplies and equipment are disinfected and prepared to be taken into the treatment zone.

The segregation room also requires automatic doors but because of the tight space requirements at the Mindemoya site, they had to opt for glass sliding doors rather than conventional swing doors. This was a considerable part of the cost.

Phase one of the project is adding the ante and segregation rooms onto the current mixing room, in accordance with the NAPRA standards. Phase two will be tied into the Mindemoya Hospital expansion/renovation project and involves expanding the treatment room.

The treatment space will be able to accommodate a second chair for possible future capacity expansion, but an extra chair for treatment purposes will not be explored as part of this phase, according to Ms. Fields.

At the recent MHC board meeting, Mindemoya Hospital Auxiliary president Judy Miller asked what the status of her group’s donation was, since they had previously contributed an amount to the project that would have covered the costs.

Mr. Vine said the project costs have surpassed the donation amount, though a final value has not been determined since some components are still being costed. The hospital is exploring other fundraising options and the project has been placed in a holding pattern pending that funding.

The renovations will require the chemotherapy services to be shut down for a period of time and the hospital may hold off the project until the spring to prevent patients having to drive to Sudbury over the winter.