Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 12(1) January 2009 : 88-88.doi:10.12927/hcq.2009.20425

Celebrating Leadership: Marian Walsh, President and CEO, Bridgepoint Health, Toronto

Proud Newfoundlander. Advocate for home care and the prevention and management of complex, chronic disease. Can manage multiple complex healthcare organizations at the same time. Has a passion for Vespas and fast cars. Staff demonstrate their loyalty with low turnover rates and high levels of satisfaction. Her sense of fun is legendary; she is famous for her Christmas, Halloween and Easter revelry. She has danced with Santa Claus!
But we feature her so that you can follow her current passion: to build a new hospital in the core of Toronto.

The hospital - a reincarnation of Bridgepoint Health - is expressly designed to serve people in need of rehabilitation services and living with complex chronic disease and disability. It will be 10 storeys high, approximately 600,000 square feet in size and have a capacity for 472 beds. Incorporated will be the notorious Don Jail - a magnificent and imposing structure built circa 1862 looking over the Don Valley, nestled against great residential communities and only minutes away from the city's academic and research centres and the University of Toronto. The jail will be refurbished into the hospital's administrative and education centre and will be open to the public.

Marian's passion is driving a project that will help a diverse population - that is, her neighbourhood - discover how the world is changing for people living with complex chronic disease and disability.

The whole block will be redeveloped, reconnecting the site with the surrounding urban fabric and integrating the new hospital with the historic jail. A grid of streets will connect the site to the neighbourhood and includes multiple pedestrian connections to Riverdale Park and the extensive system of trails along the Don Valley's edge. This mix of uses will rejuvenate the streets, open up a new public park along the southern boundary and retain important heritage buildings.

The architects and planners promise a focus on wellness, spa space, a community centre, gardens and terraces, all designed so that the hospital is intimately tied to its community.

We'll keep track of their progress. Her progress.


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