Mills Memorial Hospital Replacement - Terrace, BC

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Project Overview

We are building a new, state-of-the-art hospital in Terrace, BC, to address current and future patient care needs in Northwest BC. More than double the size of the existing facility (approximately 356,500 square feet), the new hospital will be a centre for trauma services, orthopedic surgeries, pathology, radiology, and pharmacy services. Similar to now, the hospital will also be a training site for medical students in the Northern Medical Program.

A new hospital will…

  • Benefit patients and families
  • Benefit physicians and staff
  • Strengthen existing services
  • Offer new and expanded services
  • Strengthen the regional network of health-care services
  • Increase

Project Overview

We are building a new, state-of-the-art hospital in Terrace, BC, to address current and future patient care needs in Northwest BC. More than double the size of the existing facility (approximately 356,500 square feet), the new hospital will be a centre for trauma services, orthopedic surgeries, pathology, radiology, and pharmacy services. Similar to now, the hospital will also be a training site for medical students in the Northern Medical Program.

A new hospital will…

  • Benefit patients and families
  • Benefit physicians and staff
  • Strengthen existing services
  • Offer new and expanded services
  • Strengthen the regional network of health-care services
  • Increase access to care, closer to home, for all Northwest BC residents
  • Support recruitment, retention and engagement of health care workers
  • Bring local economic benefits


  • Starting to prepare for the big move

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    We are getting ready to open the new hospital in November 2024 - just a few months away! To ensure a smooth move and operations, many details need to be in place. All hands are on deck, working hard to ensure the transition to the new hospital is as positive and comfortable an experience as possible for all patients and staff.

    Planning for the actual physical move is just getting underway. We are working closely with Health Care Relocations (HCR), a company that specializes in healthcare facility transitions. The company will support with operational readiness, the physical move between the facilities, and the activation of the new hospital.

    MMH managers will be meeting individually with company representatives to discuss department-specific details. For example, some departments will have equipment that requires the help of a vendor. Items from the hospital can be moved in various phases. The goal is to move as few items as possible when patients are moved.

    For a hospital the size of MMH, the move will likely be completed within one week and the actual patient move in one day. To help with the transition, and with the support of regional staff and other hospitals, we will aim to reduce activity and patient levels at MMH leading up to the move. Stay tuned for more info as we continue to get ready!


  • FAQ: What will be the name of the new hospital?

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    A photo of the current Mills Memorial Hospital with the new hospital, still under construction, in the background.

    We understand that the name of the new Terrace hospital is of significant interest and importance to many. For this reason, the naming process cannot be rushed and requires careful consideration.

    Some may have noticed that in early February, letters spelling out ‘Mills Memorial Hospital’ were affixed to the exterior of the new facility. This signage, which faces Tetrault Street, was installed as part of the original project schedule.

    We have not yet made any decisions around the naming of the new Mills Memorial Hospital, however. We are still working through the naming process which will include input and engagement with local First Nations, community members, staff and physicians, and community leaders.

    Until the naming process has been unfolded, the letters on the outside of the new hospital will be covered. And until a final decision has been made, the project and Northern Health will continue to refer to the current hospital as ‘Mills Memorial Hospital’ or "the existing hospital" or "current Terrace hospital", and the new hospital as ‘the new Mills Memorial Hospital”, “the new hospital”, and/or “the new Terrace hospital”.

    Stay tuned! We will share more info as it becomes available.


  • New Seven Sisters is open!

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    Northern Health gets the ‘golden key’ to the new Seven Sisters from representatives of PCL Constructors Westcoast. Seven Sisters staff and residents have successfully moved into the new site! Staff and residents are settling into their lovely new space, having spent their first night in the new facility last night.

    Read the Northern Health news release below about this exciting milestone.

    And check out a video tour of the inside of the new facility.

    New, bigger mental health facility opens in Terrace

    People with serious mental health challenges in Terrace and the surrounding communities are benefiting from better care at the new Seven Sisters facility at Mills Memorial Hospital.

    “People living with ongoing mental-health challenges need dedicated care in a space equipped to meet their daily needs as they work on their long-term recovery,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister for Mental Health and Addictions. “This newly expanded facility in Terrace will benefit patients, families, and the entire community by helping more people get the help they need to lead their best lives.”

    Located in Terrace, Seven Sisters is a regional mental-health facility that provides long-term rehabilitation and recovery programs for adults living with serious and persistent mental illness. The new facility is nearly twice as big as the previous one and has 25 patient beds, an increase from 20.

    “I am absolutely thrilled that the new Seven Sisters mental health facility in Terrace ia now open and operational. Our aim, as always, is to continually strengthen and improve health-care services for patients and residents, as well as the physicians and staff who provide care,” said Colleen Nyce, chair, Northern Health board of directors. “The new Seven Sisters is one more example of our commitment to ensuring high-quality support and care close to home for those who need it most.”

    Along with new, modern furniture and equipment, staff and patients will benefit from the building’s many new features, including a multi-sensory room, various recreational spaces, more treatment rooms, staff and meeting spaces, and enhanced security features. Five of the residential rooms in the facility are also located in apartment-type spaces. These will allow residents to experience and better transition to independent living.

    “Both staff and residents are excited to be in the new building and look forward to settling in,” said Clare Hart, Director of Specialized Services, Northwest Health Services Delivery Area, Northern Health. “We will continue to cultivate spaces of compassion, resilience and transformation, where every individual’s journey towards wellness is honored and supported.”

    The new Seven Sisters is part of the Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) replacement project. The new facility is located on the same site as the new and existing hospital, as well as the former Seven Sisters building, which will be removed to make room for part of the new hospital.

    From left to right, in photo

    • Brent Ponsford, Assistant Superintendent, PCL

    • Brad Leier, Manager, Specialized Services – Acute/Tertiary, NW HSDA, NH

    • Clare Hart, Director, Specialized Services, NW HSDA, NH

    • Anne Chisholm, Lead – Health Services Administrator, Terrace & Stewart/Activation and Move, MMH Replacement Project, NH

    • Rachel Rosales, Project Manager, PCL

    • Michael King, Construction Manager, PCL

    One of two residential eating areas in the new Seven Sisters.


  • January 2024 - Quarterly Project Update

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    Download a copy of the January 2024 Quarterly Project Update.
    Note: images are included in the pdf version of the update.

    WHERE WE’RE AT

    Take a (virtual) tour of the new buildings!

    Click on the video links below to check out progress inside the new hospital and the new Seven Sisters in Terrace. Learn more about the project and what staff have to say.

    Note these videos are from fall 2023 so many areas of work are further along.

    Recent milestones and activities

    • Construction on all five floors, Levels 0 to 4, is almost 100% complete.
    • Testing of major systems is ongoing – for example, air handling units, heat recovery chillers, heating boiler and the steam boiler.
    • Equipment, furniture and millwork continue to be delivered and installed.
    • Recruitment efforts, including social media campaigns, are ongoing. Check out the new Terrace and MMH recruitment video.
    • Staff and physicians continue to prepare for moving into and operating the new hospital, for example, planning new workflows, coordinating training for new equipment and technology, deciding on priority items to move, and much more.
    • We are getting ready to open in late 2024!

    WHERE WE’RE GOING

    New hands-free communications technology coming to MMH & Seven Sisters

    This past month, more than 150 staff at Mills Memorial Hospital and Seven Sisters received training to use Vocera, a hands-free communications technology. The new system has staff wearing a small badge – on a lanyard or on their uniform – that enables them to communicate instantaneously with each other and staff in other Northern Health facilities which utilize the technology.

    “The technology is meant to help make work easier for staff, to help save time,” said Darci Paice, the NH employee who facilitated the training. “Staff have been really engaged. Once they see all the features and benefits of the Vocera system, they get pretty excited.”

    With the newer hospital being so much bigger, Vocera will allow staff to work together more effectively. Instead of relying on less direct communications techniques– for example, physically seeking someone out, paging them through the overhead call system, or phoning them and leaving a message - staff will be able to call each other immediately through the badges. And after pressing the button once to ‘wake’ the badge, all the communication is hands-free!

    Vocera also integrates with regular telephone services, so users can place and receive regular phone calls with their badges. It will also integrate with the nurse call system at the hospital, so through their badges, staff will receive and be able to respond to alerts more easily.

    MMH Medical Lab Technologist Brennan Bantle has used Vocera at previous work sites and is pleased it’s coming to MMH.

    “It’s great, really helpful,” he said, “especially when fewer staff are on site, for example, on night shifts.”

    By helping staff do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, the technology benefits patients too. A staff person who needs support with a patient can stay with the patient and call for help using the Vocera system, rather than leave the patient in search of help.

    Staff will start using Vocera in early February.


    HIGHLIGHT: THERAPEUTIC MULTI-SENSORY ROOMS

    Mind and body therapy

    Both the new Seven Sisters and the psychiatry department in the new Terrace hospital will feature a multi-sensory room. Multi-sensory rooms are therapeutic tools that are becoming increasingly important in supporting individuals experiencing mental health and substance use challenges.

    Multi-sensory rooms have specialized sensory equipment and materials that help clients recognize and adapt their responses.

    These types of rooms are particularly effective in mental health settings since they provide therapeutic interventions in a controlled setting. Research shows that multi-sensory rooms help empower individuals that use them, support emotional regulation, as well as decrease the use of restraints and seclusion in inpatient settings.

    “We’ve wanted to incorporate multi-sensory rooms into client care for a long time,” said Brad Leier, NH Manager, Specialized Services. “With the extra space in new Seven Sisters and hospital, clients now have the chance to benefit from these calming and engaging spaces that are specially designed with their care needs in mind.”

    Big thanks to the REM Lee Hospital Foundation who fundraised to help pay for the rooms!


    FAQ: WHAT DOES A NEW HOSPITAL IN TERRACE MEAN FOR SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES?

    When a community gains a new hospital, the entire region benefits.

    Northern Health takes a regional approach to providing health care across Northern BC. The new hospital in Terrace will work in partnership with and complement other facilities in the region. A new Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) will provide a foundation for services to grow in, and outreach programs to serve, surrounding communities. Learn more about how all of Northwest BC will benefit from a new hospital at by downloading the MMH regional benefits flyer.


    YOUR MMH STORIES

    Over the past 80 years, MMH has been part of many families’ stories – stories of joy, hope, change, and loss. As we look forward to the new hospital, we want to honour special moments that occurred at MMH. Here's some of stories we’ve received so far. The stories are truly special and we thank everyone who’s shared so far!

    Lance Stevens - “I was a patient in the ICU and I remember the nurses. The were the sweetest most caring nurses ever. They were always understanding and compassionate regardless of uncomfortable, uncooperative incidents. I will be forever grateful for their dedication and the devotion they showed me. I am here today due to the MMH staff and I thank them.”

    Chris Hansen - “I was president of the candy stripers in the early 1960s. I worked for the auxiliary and took tea and cookies to the patients.”

    Fran Watson - “My niece Wanda was sick with cancer and another lady was there. I had a baby bear that my husband and I took care of. To cheer up some of the palliative care patients, we brought the baby bear into the hospital. The bear’s name was Echo. My daughter Bernadine, who was born in MMH, helped take care of Echo.”

    Rani Parmar - “I started working at MMH in 1978. I worked in the kitchen as a cook. I was there for 20 years. I loved working there. The staff, the supervisor and the dietician were all great – friendly and fun! I miss that time.”

    Carol Lomas - “In 1990, I had broken my leg. From my hospital room I could see the Bavarian Inn on fire. Wow. What a view!”

    Heather Gurnsey - “I started working at MMH in September 1973 and retired in 2021! I worked in pediatrics and Halloween in the 1970s, we would dress the children up and take them trick or treating around the hospital. So much fun!”

    Marilyn Ringdal - “I was doing my preceptorship in nursing at MMH in November 1989. I was told on day one that the elevator was temperamental and sometimes stopped short of the floor. Sure enough, on day one, the elevator doors opened about 3 feet short of the floor I was trying to get to. So nimble me scampered up with some difficulty, did a bit of a tuck and roll and got to my intended floor. I still laugh at what it must have looked like.”

    Pete Nahirny - “When I was about 10 years old, Carl Pohle who had a mill on Keith Avenue, picked me up and I picked rocks for the hospital to make a lawn. Later, he hired me at his mill.”

    Got a story to share? Go to Celebrating MMH through stories.


    EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

    A number of positions need to be filled at the current and future hospital ranging from clinical, support services, administration, and more! Get more info and a list of job opportunities at the new Terrace hospital and download a the MMH employment flyer.

    Go to Northern Health Careers to search for current openings and positions for the existing and new hospital that are already posted.


    Download a copy of the January 2024 Quarterly Project Update.

  • Videos: Virtual tours of new buildings

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    Click on the video links below to check out progress inside the new hospital and the new Seven Sisters in Terrace. Learn more about the project and what staff have to say.

    Note these videos are from fall 2023 so many areas of work are further along!

    These videos are also available on the Let's Talk MMH home page, on the right side, in the videos section.

  • Your MMH stories - part 1

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    Celebrating MMH through stories

    Over the past 80 years, MMH has been part of many families’ stories – stories of joy, hope, change, and loss. As we look forward to the new hospital, we want to honour special moments that occurred at MMH. Check out some of stories we’ve received so far. The stories are truly special and we thank everyone who’s shared so far!

    • Lance Stevens
      “I was a patient in the ICU and I remember the nurses. The were the sweetest most caring nurses ever. They were always understanding and compassionate regardless of uncomfortable, uncooperative incidents. I will be forever grateful for their dedication and the devotion they showed me. I am here today due to the MMH l staff and I thank them.”
    • Chris Hansen
      “I was president of the candy stripers in the early 1960s. I worked for the auxiliary and took tea and cookies to the patients.”
    • Fran Watson
      “My niece Wanda was sick with cancer and another lady was there. I had a baby bear that my husband and I took care of. To cheer up some of the palliative care patients, we brought the baby bear into the hospital. The bear’s name was Echo. My daughter Bernadine, who was born in MMH, helped take care of Echo. My daughter Virginia was a paramedic. She just retired.”
    • Carol Lomas
      “In 1990, I had broken my leg. From my hospital room I could see the Bavarian Inn on fire. Wow. What a view!”
    • Heather Gurnsey
      “I started working at MMH in September 1973 and retired in 2021! I worked in pediatrics and Halloween in the 1970s, we would dress the children up and take them trick or treating around the hospital. So much fun!”
    • Rani Parmar
      "I started working at MMH in 1978. I worked in the kitchen as a cook. I was there for 20 years. I loved working there. The staff, the supervisor and the dietician were all great – friendly and fun! I miss that time!”
    • Marilyn Ringdal
      “I was doing my preceptorship in nursing at MMH in November 1989. I was told on day one that the elevator was temperamental and sometimes stopped short of the floor. Sure enough, on day one, the elevator doors opened about 3 feet short of the floor I was trying to get to. So nimble me scampered up with some difficulty, did a bit of a tuck and roll and got to my intended floor. I still laugh at what it must have looked like.”
    • Pete Nahirny
      “When I was about 10 years old, Carl Pohle who had a mill on Keith Avenue, picked me up and I picked rocks for the hospital to make a lawn. Later, he hired me at his mill.”

    We want to hear your story!

    Help us honour the existing Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace and all those who have worked and received care there. Learn more at Celebrate MMH.

  • Highlight: Therapeutic multi-sensory rooms

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    Sample ‘underwater theme’ multi-sensory room from Snoezelen.

    Mind and body therapy


    Both the new Seven Sisters and the psychiatry department in the new Terrace hospital will feature a multi-sensory room. Multi-sensory rooms are therapeutic tools that are becoming increasingly important in supporting individuals experiencing mental health and substance use challenges.

    Multi-sensory rooms have specialized sensory equipment and materials that help clients recognize and adapt their responses.

    These types of rooms are particularly effective in mental health settings since they provide therapeutic interventions in a controlled setting. Research shows that multi-sensory rooms help empower individuals that use them, support emotional regulation, as well as decrease the use of restraints and seclusion in inpatient settings.

    “We’ve wanted to incorporate multi-sensory rooms into client care for a long time,” said Brad Leier, NH Manager, Specialized Services. “With the extra space in new Seven Sisters and hospital, clients now have the chance to benefit from these calming and engaging spaces that are specially designed with their care needs in mind.”

    Big thanks to the REM Lee Hospital Foundation who fundraised to help pay for the rooms!

  • Highlight: New, hands free communications technology

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    MMH Medical Lab Technologists Paola Galang,left, and Brennan Bantle, show off their vocera badges during training.

    In January 2024, more than 150 staff at Mills Memorial Hospital and Seven Sisters received training to use Vocera, a hands-free communications technology. The new system has staff wearing a small badge – on a lanyard or on their uniform – that enables them to communicate instantaneously with each other and staff in other Northern Health facilities which utilize the technology.

    “The technology is meant to help make work easier for staff, to help save time,” said Darci Paice, the NH employee who facilitated the training. “Staff have been really engaged. Once they see all the features and benefits of the Vocera system, they get pretty excited.”

    With the newer hospital being so much bigger, Vocera will allow staff to work together more effectively. Instead of relying on less direct communications techniques– for example, physically seeking someone out, paging them through the overhead call system, or phoning them and leaving a message - staff will be able to call each other immediately through the badges. And after pressing the button once to ‘wake’ the badge, all the communication is hands-free!

    Vocera also integrates with regular telephone services, so users can place and receive regular phone calls with their badges. It will also integrate with the nurse call system at the hospital, so through their badges, staff will receive and be able to respond to alerts more easily.

    MMH Medical Lab Technologist Brennan Bantle has used Vocera at previous work sites and is pleased it’s coming to MMH.

    “It’s great, really helpful,” he said, “especially when fewer staff are on site, for example, on night shifts.”

    By helping staff do their jobs more efficiently and effectively, the technology benefits patients too. A staff person who needs support with a patient can stay with the patient and call for help using the Vocera system, rather than leave the patient in search of help.

    Staff will start using Vocera in early February.

  • FAQ: What does a new hospital in Terrace mean for surrounding communities?

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    When a community gains a new hospital, the entire region benefits.

    Here's what a new hospital in Terrace means for other Northwest BC communities.

    Download the MMH Regional Benefits flyer.

    Stronger regional health care

    Northern Health takes a regional approach to providing health care across Northern BC. The new hospital in Terrace will work in partnership with and complement other facilities in the region. A new Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) will provide a foundation for services to grow in, and outreach programs to serve, surrounding communities.

    New and expanded services

    The new Terrace hospital will offer specialty care not currently available in the region, benefitting all Northwest BC residents. The new hospital will have an expanded level of neonatal and maternal care. This means some mothers and babies who previously would be transferred to bigger centres will be able to receive care in Terrace, closer to home. Similarly, with an enhanced trauma care program, many trauma patients who would be stabilized then transferred to Vancouver or Prince George will now be cared for at MMH. Terrace is also where Northwest BC psychiatry patients receive care, and the number of psychiatry beds at the new MMH is doubling, increasing from 10 to 20.

    The new hospital will attract new specialists and physicians who will be able to engage with patients at other sites, for example, patients in Dease Lake, Stewart, and Haida Gwaii. The benefits of new staff, services and programs at the new MMH expand beyond Terrace.

    Increased demand at other facilities

    Contrary to concerns of the new MMH taking away from other facilities, the demand for services at other facilities may increase.

    For example, the new MMH will offer orthopedic surgeries to support the enhanced trauma program. The demand for orthopedic surgeries is high enough that with more trauma-centred surgeries happening in Terrace, more elective surgeries will likely need to happen in Kitimat and Prince Rupert, where they are already taking place. Likewise, the need for services supplied to MMH by surrounding facilities may increase. The hospital in Kitimat provides laundry services to MMH, and the demand for this service will increase with a larger facility and more patient beds in Terrace.

    Continued renovations, upgrades, and new builds

    A new hospital in Terrace doesn’t stop renovations and new construction from happening in surrounding communities. Planning new facilities, as well as major and minor renovations and upgrades is an ongoing, comprehensive and regional process. For example, a new primary care clinic opened in Smithers in January 2024, and in recent years, several major pieces of equipment at Wrinch Hospital in the Hazeltons have been upgraded. We are committed to maintaining health care services and facilities throughout the region. New facilities and services, and major and minor renovations and upgrades will continue to be planned and take place throughout Northwest BC.

    Regional recruitment

    While a new hospital can be a significant draw for new employees, Northern Health aims to recruit equitably for all communities, especially those with higher vacancies. Candidates also have personal preferences when it comes to career opportunities and where they want to live in the region.

  • Celebrate MMH. Share your story!

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    As part of the Terrace Festival of Trees, visitors put their stories on paper decorations and hung them on an 'MMH Story Tree'.

    Let's celebrate MMH together through stories!

    Help us honour the existing Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace and all those who have worked and received care there.

    Over the past 80 years, MMH has been part of many families’ stories – stories of joy, hope, change, and loss. As we look forward to the new hospital, we want to honour special moments that occurred at MMH.

    Win a prize!

    Names of all those who submit a story will be entered into a draw for ten $20 Tim Hortons gift cards!

    The draw will be January 31, 2024. but we will continue to collect stories after this date.

    How to submit

    Share your story. Share a memory or what you will miss most. Share a sentence or a whole page. It's up to you.

    Please include

    1. First and last name*
    2. Email
    3. Phone number
    4. Community you live in
    5. If you are Northern Health staff
    6. Photos (if you have some)

    *Let us know if you don't want your name shared with your story, but we still need your first and last name, and contact info for our records.

    Where will the stories be published?

    Northern Health hopes to share these stories on various platforms, such as:

    By submitting a story and/or photos, you are giving Northern Health permission to share these.

    We look forward to reading and sharing your stories, and celebrating the hospital together!

Page last updated: 29 Feb 2024, 10:42 AM