Dr. Geneviève Chaput says Montreal's Lachine Hospital has top-of-the-line staff but needs a top-of-the-line facility to match.
So she is among those elated to learn more than half the funding has been raised to fully equip the hospital's under-construction addition with everything it needs to properly serve the community.
"What we're going to have is the bells and whistles and all the extra equipment to help us do our job and serve in proximity to the community," said Chaput. "We're super excited."
In January 2022, the Lachine Hospital Foundation and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation launched the "Dream Big: Lachine Hospital" campaign to raise $5 million to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for the modernized hospital.
The campaign was launched in October of last year. On Wednesday, officials announced about $2.9 million has been raised so far, and that efforts to raise money will continue.
Officials say the Lachine Hospital still has rooms that haven't been updated since the 1950s. (Sara Eldabaa/CBC)
Construction of the hospital's seven-floor addition is still in the early stages and is expected to be complete sometime in 2026. The new addition will include an expanded emergency room, operating rooms, an intensive care unit, single patient rooms and a palliative care unit.
The construction project, largely backed by the Quebec government, is expected to cost more than $200 million.
The new MUHC Lachine Hospital will offer teaching for the faculty of medicine and health sciences at McGill University.
The current operating rooms haven't changed since the 1950s and the equipment on site isn't much younger, staff say. Some rooms aren't even up to code, cabinets gathering dust.
Lachine borough resident Jennifer Whitewick told CBC News it's about time the hospital gets a modern-day facelift.
"They should have done it a long time ago," she said. "People deserve to have a good hospital here too, not just in other sectors."
The addition to the Lachine Hospital is under construction, with the opening expected some time in 2026. (Sara Eldabaa/CBC)
Lachine mayor Maja Vodanovic is the fundraiser's co-chair. She said, over the years, health-care workers as well as community members have fought to keep the hospital open.
"We've been mobilizing for years and years and years because people want their hospital," she said.
"What's more important to a community than health services? And we have a lot of elders, we have a lot of vulnerable people, so it is very, very important that we keep our hospital alive."