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Baby girl Hazel, the first patient that will access the new Pollard Family Special Care Nursery.

Guelph General Hospital Enhances Care to Tiniest Patients

Made possible through $6M in donations from the Together, We Care campaign

Over the past 17 months Guelph General Hospital has transformed space on the 6th Floor to enhance the care experience for the tiniest of patients accessing the Special Care Nursery. This $6M redevelopment project was fully funded by the Guelph-Wellington community with donations from The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital’s Together, We Care campaign including a $1M donation from the Pollard family.

Baby girl Hazel will be the first patient to access the new Pollard Family Special Care Nursery when it officially opens today. Hazel was a Thanksgiving surprise arriving 5 weeks early at just 5 pounds and 10 ounces.

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Dad Tony from Mount Forest said, “It has been difficult not being able to stay with Hazel at the hospital. We have two small sons at home and have been torn between wanting to be with them and not wanting to leave Hazel. In the new nursey one of us can stay in the room with Hazel while the other stays with our sons. That will be huge for us.”

The newly renovated space features ten private patient rooms and one room designed to accommodate twins, keeping infants close to their loved ones and care teams. Two of the ten rooms are specialized for the sickest babies close to the nursing station which allows for close care. One of the ten rooms is a dedicated isolation room to support babies requiring a higher level of care.

“The most important improvement to the space by far is the integration of families, who now are able to be part of their infant’s care journey. Those are precious moments in their lives, filled with both fear and excitement, we want to do everything we can to keep them connected through it all,” shared Melissa Skinner, Vice President, Patient Services and Chief Nursing Executive.

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In addition to new specialized spaces the nursery boasts improved patient safety, meeting best practices related to neonatal care, medication and feeding preparation, storage, and nursing workflows.

Guelph General Hospital has also fully renovated the Family Birthing Unit Operating Room and newborn resuscitation area, where C-sections and high-risk deliveries are performed. These spaces are immediately adjacent to the new Pollard Family Special Care Nursery for easy access.

From left to right: Scott, Ryan, and Kristi Pollard join family and donors at the official ribbon cutting to open the Pollard Family Special Care Nursery.
From left to right: Scott, Ryan, and Kristi Pollard join family and donors at the official ribbon cutting to open the Pollard Family Special Care Nursery.
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Hazel’s mom Brooke said, “Both our sons were born by C-section in the old Operating Room and when Hazel arrived we were rushed to the new Operating Room. It was comforting to watch the care team complete their checks and to know it was new equipment they were using.”

Both mom and dad expressed their deep appreciation for everyone who has supported their new bundle of joy, sharing that even during times of great stress the team remained calm and professional. While Hazel has a journey ahead of her, she will be able to grow stronger and stronger in the Pollard Family Special Care Nursery.

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“I am grateful to our nurses, obstetricians, midwives, paediatricians, and family practice physicians who worked incredibly hard in temporary spaces during construction. Years of planning and fundraising helped make this moment possible, and I want to thank the Pollard Family for their support. We are truly fortunate to have such a dedicated team providing care and such a generous community investing in our work,” shared Mark Walton, President & CEO.

The Pollard Family Special Care Nursery is one of many steps the hospital is taking to transform care in Guelph-Wellington. Larger projects will continue over the coming year, with renovations to existing areas in the hospital as well as master planning for a new hospital in Guelph.

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