Community Checkup

Leading up to its opening in 2019, Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital creates thousands of jobs and boasts an innovative approach to health care

President and CEO Altaf Stationwala of health-care provider Mackenzie Health spoke to more than 80 members of the Vaughan business community and a few local politicians who gathered on May 9 for a project update on the Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. Held by the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce at the Venetian Banquet & Hospitality Centre, the Business at Breakfast event focused mainly on the employment opportunities and potential business partnerships related to building and staffing the much-anticipated hospital, which is projected to open its doors in 2019.

According to Mackenzie Health, the hospital is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs and approximately 1,900 various health-care and medical positions that include nurses, maternal health specialists, emergency-trained doctors, occupational therapists, social workers, volunteers and more, as well as 100 new physician positions. The new hospital will be the first one built in Southwest York Region in almost 50 years.

With a focus on technology and four first-in-Canada innovations created by Mackenzie Health, the hospital is being touted as a “state-of-the-art” facility that will cater to the health and medical needs of Vaughan citizens in an innovative way. Some of the advancements in care include an innovation unit with smart beds and badges to improve patient-to-nurse communication, electronic screens that monitor patients and provide real-time status updates, smart hand-hygiene stations to prompt doctors and nurses to scrub up, as well as an automated discharge call system to ensure that patients are doing well once discharged from the hospital.

Core services such as emergency, surgery, intensive care, medical and surgical in-patient care will be offered at the hospital, which will also be the site of the York Region District Stroke Centre, and provide specialized services in birthing, pediatrics and mental health. The hospital anticipates approximately 350 beds, and has developed “significant shelled space for future growth,” says Stationwala. At the present time, Mackenzie Health is well into the third phase of its five-stage planning process.
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It’s no secret that the progress of the massive hospital has been shrouded in controversy since the province started preliminary planning in 2007. A public dispute between the now-defunct Vaughan Health Care Foundation and Mackenzie Health, which was given official mandate to lead the hospital in 2009, made headlines. While the official project approval for the coming hospital was given in July 2011, the land allocated for the hospital just north of Canada’s Wonderland continues to sit empty. Stationwala’s resolve was put to the test when a query read during the event’s Q&A segment questioned Mackenzie Health’s headway on the hospital. Projected to occupy over one million square feet at Major Mackenzie Drive and Jane Street, the highly anticipated hospital is “no small feat,” explains Stationwala.

As well, the over $1-billion project requires an excess of $200 million from the community to take off.
Construction on the hospital is expected to begin late 2015. For more information, visit

In the print version of this story (page 42 of the June/July issue of City Life), it was stated that the coming Vaughan hospital was “given the green light for development by the provincial government in 2007,” when in fact the official project approval was given in July 2011. It was only the preliminary planning that began in 2007. Also it was stated that the Vaughan Health Campus of Care initially headed the project, when in fact it was York Central Hospital that was given the official mandate to lead the Vaughan hospital in 2009. Prior to 2009, the Central Local Health Integration Network was in charge of the planning process for Vaughan hospital services.

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