• New view from Sande Overpass

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    A significant number of trees were recently cleared on Northern Health’s Mills Memorial Hospital site. Northern Health felled hazard trees for public safety. We also cleared necessary trees to ensure the construction of a new hospital could happen as soon as possible. While a design build agreement for the construction of a new Mills Memorial Hospital is still in the works, we are managing the project to ensure no delay.

    At this time of year, birds start nesting. Once a bird has nested in a tree, legally, to protect the bird and the nest, one cannot cut down that tree or those nearby. Clearing trees now will prevent potential bird nesting, which could have delayed the clearing of trees later, and as a result, delayed the start of construction. Any delay to construction, minor or major, would add significant costs to the project.

    Please be assured that plans for the new hospital include significant landscaping and revegetation.

  • Presentation to NW Regional Hospital District Board

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    On Friday, March 19, 2021, Northern Health gave a project update to the North West Regional Hospital District (NWRHD) Board. NWRHD is contributing $113.7 million to the project cost.

    Ciro Panessa (Chief Operating Officer, Northwest Health Service Delivery Area) and Michael Hoefer (Regional Director, Capital Planning and Support Services) presented a powerpoint that included a project timeline, as well as information about the new, proposed facility.

    Download a copy of the presentation here.

  • Final stages of procurement

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    Working towards a Design Build Agreement

    The MMH Replacement project is in the last stage of the procurement process. The procurement process started in May 2019 when the BC Government announced the approval of the business plan for Mills Memorial Hospital Replacement project. Since then, we've worked through the following phases of the procurement process.

    1. Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
      • Resulted in only one qualified bidder

    2. Modified Request for Proposals (RFP)
      • Design and financial negotiations happen in parallel
      • Significant oversight from the Province and the Project Board, which consists of senior executives from the Ministry of Health, health authority representatives and other stakeholders.

    3. Project Board Final Approval

    4. Financial Close => Design Build Agreement (We are here!)

    The final proponent will be formally announced and construction will begin when the Request for Proposals process is closed and fulfilled, and a final Design Build Agreement (DBA) is signed.

    Capital Projects Take Time

    A major capital project is a large undertaking that takes a series of planning steps to ensure the facility is:

    • designed appropriately;
    • tendered and constructed for the best value;
    • scheduled properly to ensure the continuity of health care at the existing hospital is maintained during the construction period.

    Hospitals are highly complex facilities with many interconnected systems, services and equipment. It’s in our best interest to work through the project thoroughly to ensure that we get the facility we need, in accordance with the financial scope the government has set.

  • Aerial view of proposed plans

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    Wondering where the new Mills Memorial hospital and the new Seven Sisters facility will be located?

    Both new facilities will be built on the same piece of land as the current hospital. The new hospital will be between the current hospital and the Sande Overpass, the majority of which is now a wooded area. The new Seven Sisters facility will be built just to the west of the hospital, close to Haugland Avenue. Currently, this is parking in front of the current facility's psychiatric unit.

  • New Mills will not have a helipad

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    Northern Health had a third party lead a process to review the development of a helipad as part of the Mills Memorial Hospital replacement project. The report concludes:

    • The airport is the optimal location for fixed and rotary wing emergency transportation
    • The current project is prohibitive for the development of a ground level helipad at this time
    • The risks associated with helicopters incidents at a healthcare facility helipad when compared to the short travel distance from the airport to the helipad are significant

    In addition, fixed-wing transport is a mainstay through the BC Ambulance system and requires an airport from which patients may be directly transferred. Ground ambulance is still required for patient transport no matter the location of the helipad.

    The full reports can be seen below:

  • Hospital Foundation designates $5,000 donation to new hospital

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    Western Financial Group has donated $5,000 to the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising money to expand and enhance healthcare at Mills Memorial Hospital and Terraceview Lodge in Terrace.

    And the Foundation has dedicated this money to support the expansion of emergency services at the new Mills Memorial Hospital, set to be built and completed in the next few years.

    The $5,000 grant comes from the Western Financial Group’s Communities Foundation, which donates to charitable causes in both B.C. and Alberta. Terrace Western Financial chose to put the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation into a draw for the money and they won.

    Thank you Western Financial and Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation!

    Photo Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation Chair, Ron Bartlett (far left) and Vice-Chair Dianne Rooker (next to him), accept a cheque for $5,000 from Terrace Western Financial’s Mila Gibson (far right) and Jesse Sheppard of on January 7, 2021.

  • Procurement process continues

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    Request for Proposal Process Continues

    The Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) project team continues to work through the modified Request for Proposal (RFP) process with a qualified bidder (the proponent). While a design build agreement is not yet in place, we continue to collaborate to move the project forward and in anticipation of a successful outcome.

    New Project Office

    A new MMH Replacement project office has been established on the second floor of the current hospital, and the project team has expanded to 11 members. Some of the team members work full-time on the project, while others also have other responsibilities.

    User Group Meetings

    Over the last year, several rounds of meetings have taken place between the proponent, MMH project team members, and facility user groups. The most recent meetings took place during the last two weeks of November 2020 and another round will take place in February 2021. These meetings are essential for the bidder to be able to draft a basic design and move through the RFP process that leads to a final agreement.

    These meetings are focused on clinical design. In the meetings, physicians and staff advise on essential and standard operational and clinical design elements, and raise concerns and offer suggestions based on best practices.

    It’s important to note that nothing at this stage of design is complete. Significant input still is and will be required for the final facility design.

    Communications & Engagement

    In September 2020, Northern Health’s Indigenous Health department contracted an Indigenous Engagement consultant to advise to help guide Indigenous engagement related to the Mills Memorial Hospital and future Northern Health capital projects. The MMH project team is working closely with Indigenous Health and the consultant to ensure proper and respectful engagement.

    In anticipation of a final agreement, the Project Team is busy planning and updating our communications and engagement plan. As a result of Covid-19 and restrictions on gatherings, we must be especially creative in our techniques, and take many activities online.

    After a proponent is announced, the Project Team will initiate public engagement. This includes sharing more detailed information, as well as seeking commentary and feedback from Indigenous partners, stakeholders and the community at large.

    Stay Tuned!

    We are pleased with the progress of the MMH project and RFP process to date. However, to maintain competitiveness in the process, we cannot provide further details until a successful proponent is announced.

  • Mills project continues through final stages of RFP

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    July 2020

    The procurement phase of the Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) replacement project continues to be on-schedule.

    Project Management is continuing to work through the modified Request for Proposals (RFP) process with a qualified bidder, and the final proponent will be formally announced when the RFP process is closed and fulfilled. In this portion of the process, the bidder has been meeting with facility user groups to ensure a draft design that can meet clinical needs, based in large part on best practices and input from the physicians, nurses, clinicians and many allied workers that use the facility to fulfill health care needs every day. If the design that results from this phase is approved, it will not be a complete and final work – input will still be required for many aspects of the final facility design to met and respect the cultural and healthcare needs of the public, specifically respecting local communities.

    After a proponent is announced, the Project management Office will initiate public engagement work, including more detailed information-sharing along with advisory sought for the next stages in design planning.

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  • Meet the team!

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    February 2020

    Check out who’s who, and what each member brings to the Mills Memorial Project team.

    Photo From left to right, are team members: Paul Rudecki, George Desjardins, Peter Sickert, Chris Simms, Andrea Palmer, Nathan Riley, Deb Taylor, Shirley Nichol and Nicole Demedeiros. Missing from the photo are team members Emily Reierson and Sarah Artis.

    Project Director - Paul Rudecki

    The project director is Paul Rudecki, M. Sc., P. Eng. As his credentials show, Paul is a Professional Engineer and Project Director with Northern Health. His expertise stems from a strong history managing projects in the hospital and healthcare industry as well as past experience in process control, inspection, gas and petroleum. Part of Paul’s work will also include any requirements in conflict resolution and negotiations. Paul has been with Northern Health for more than seven years and looks forward to helping build you a new hospital!

    Finance Lead - Deb Taylor

    Deb is responsible for the project’s financial budgeting and reporting and will review anything with financial impacts, including scope changes. All of our financial needs and wants will be analyzed by Deb. She holds her CPA, CGA designation, and has been in the accounting field for over 20 years, with 11 years at Northern Health supporting various areas such as Home and Community Care, Program Councils, and currently, Capital Projects. Along with spending time with her family, Deb enjoys coaching and playing volleyball, and is an accomplished pianist who once participated in an award-winning piano quartet.

    Information Management Information Technology Lead - Nathan Riley

    Nathan is the Information Management Information Technology Lead, which puts him in front of the design and construction of IT and BioMed design and construction. He’ll make sure that the hospital is built to and exceeding (in anticipation of future needs and technological upgrades) the many IT needs specific to a modern health care environment. Nathan has been responsible for the UHNBC 2nd floor PCMU renovation and the first two Urgent Primary Care Centres in Quesnel and Prince George. He also enjoys playing hockey year round and golf in the summer.

    Design & Construction Lead - Peter Sickert

    Peter has a complex job – he’ll be overseeing the architectural/civil/mechanical and electrical design and construction of the new facility, and making sure that these are progressing according to the project schedule, and remain within scope. Peter is an Architect with 30 years experience. His focus is health care design, with a special interest in facility planning and project delivery. Peter is also an artist and has recently completed his Masters of Fine Art at Emily Carr University (while working full time). Peter enjoys hiking, camping, and field hockey. He has also been hosting a radio show on CiTR (out of UBC in Vancouver) for the past 32 years.

    Clinical Lead - Shirley Nichol

    In additional to continuing her sporty explorations of the gorgeous backcountry of the Northwest, Shirley will spend the next few years using her front-country skills as a clinical lead heading up user group management, infection control, clinical planning, and ultimately leading the relocation to the new facility, along with the requisite staff training.

    Facilities Maintenance Lead - George Desjardins

    George has been involved in planning and adding new services to Mills Memorial Hospital, such as the MRI, CT, Spec CT, and a host of other changes to keep the existing Mills Memorial Hospital current and provide staff with the equipment and space they need to keep our clients close to home in time of need. As a 40-year employee, he has seen the health care industry develop into what it is today and embraces the future technology trends while celebrating and honouring the past in his home life. From spinning vinyl records from a collection that began in the sixties, making noise through Vintage Guitar amps, to massaging the property with a farm tractor four years older than him, he also credits himself as bringing back the peace sign and the term “feeling groovy.” Five children, six grandchildren, and a loving wife keep him smiling, and when asked about a problem, his retort is always, “There are no problems, just solutions.”

    Communication Lead - Andrea Palmer

    Andrea leads the planning and implementation of internal and external communications processes supporting the project. This includes public engagement, stakeholder and government relations, media relations, special events, online (social media and web) communications, and emergency communications. Marking project milestones will be high priority in this work. Andrea is based in Prince George and will be on-site in Terrace frequently. A communications professional for more than a decade, Andrea has held key positions supporting public affairs, media relations, issues management, government communications, and public engagement. Andrea spends her off-time cooking delicious things, running to burn some of it off, and has been known to DJ/MC for varied and sundry events.

    Liaison Officer - Sarah Artis

    Working with Communications Lead Andrea Palmer, Sarah supports the communications needs of the project. Her work includes strategic communications, partnership development, public engagement, and the promotion of awareness and understanding of the project in the community. Originally Sarah moved to Terrace to be a reporter at the local newspaper. Having worked in communications in Northern BC for close to 15 years now, she most recently ran her own communications company serving local First Nations and businesses.

    Operational Lead - Chris Simms

    As Operational Lead, Chris is integral in coordinating the many support services required within the scope of the project. He will also help lead us through relocation management. When he’s not helping his kids test out the snow on local Northwest mountains, Chris can be found coordinating Health Services as the Health Services Administrator for the Northwest communities of Terrace and Stewart.

    Equipment/Procurement Lead - Bonnie Tapanila

    You can’t just go to IKEA to furnish a new hospital with all its needs… Bonnie’s work will ensure that we procure the best equipment we can get, within budget, and also that there are people and processes in place to keep everything up and running (AKA, service contract agreements). Bonnie has been a buyer for Northern Health for 19 years – working on several hospital projects including those in Fort St. John, Burns Lake and on Haida Gwaii. Bonnie grew up in Prince George and loves camping in Northern BC as well as escaping to hot, sunny places from time to time.

    Project Coordinator - Emily Reierson

    As the Project Coordinator, Emily is involved in all aspects of the Mills Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Project. She organizes all meetings between the proponent, project team and the MMH physicians and staff. She’s also the keeper of documents, and creator of many of them too. Before taking her position with the MMH Redevelopment Project Team, Emily worked as the Administration Assistant for Chris Simms, Health Services Administrator (HSA) and Medical Staff. She has worked at Northern Health since 2012.

    Administrative Assistant - Nicole Demedeiros

    Nicole’s role may very well be the glue that keeps this team together. She’ll be handling external and internal correspondence, email management, and all project group scheduling and meetings. Nicole will be tracking action items as well as providing administrative support with bilateral negotiations.

  • Changes to procurement plan

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    November 2019

    We are working through some changes in the initial procurement plan because there were no acceptable bids for the Seven Sisters RFP (Request for Proposals). The bids received were higher than anticipated in the project budget and projected schedules longer than allowed for construction.

    The Seven Sisters replacement project has been added to the Request for Qualifications/RFP processes for the overall MMH redevelopment project, but we are still maintaining the project timelines. Adding the Seven Sisters project into the overall MMH redevelopment improves the likelihood that timeline and budgetary expectations are met by allowing one contractor to plan, schedule and construct both Seven Sisters and the new MMH.

    The Project Office for the MMH replacement will be located in Terrace (address TBD) and recruitment continues for dedicated roles. Additional roles are being added to Northern Health Careers over the next few weeks.