Julia Suppa shares what the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital means to her
Julia Suppa’s otherwise uneventful pregnancy with her first child suddenly took a dramatic turn for the worse.
“No one expects or plans to have an emergency delivery 10 weeks before their due date,” recalls the Vaughan resident and RogersTV personality of the 2012 birth of her daughter, Isabelle. “An emergency caesarean section definitely wasn’t in my birthing plan, neither was a hospital stay for myself, or a nine-week stay for my baby.”
Once baby Isabelle was stable enough to be transferred from a downtown acute care hospital, Suppa and her husband, Donny Di Zio, were cautiously optimistic about their newborn baby being moved to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital — their local hospital. Receiving care so much closer to home meant shorter drives to visit Isabelle, more opportunities to cuddle and bond with her and to ask questions of her health care team.
“We learned that a hospital is much more than a building — it’s about the people needing care and the team,” Suppa says. “The team played a significant role in Isabelle’s recovery and early development and became part of our family too.”
Suppa was delighted to lend her support and share in the groundbreaking for the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, along with happy, healthy four-year-old Isabelle. “When we left the hospital, I could never have imagined our tiny baby would be part of the groundbreaking for the future hospital,” she says.
Mackenzie Health celebrated breaking ground for the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital last October with staff, volunteers, community leaders and elected officials. It’s the first hospital to be built in York Region in more than 30 years. Upon completion in 2020, Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will add 342 beds to Mackenzie Health’s current capacity on opening day, with the ability to expand to 550 beds at that hospital in the future. The new hospital will stand on the northwest corner of Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, easily accessible via Highway 400.
“We are not simply adding a new building — we are planning for the future delivery of health care within the walls of our hospital and beyond, through a two-hospital model of care,” hospital board chair Anthony Ianni said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
The transformation to become a two-hospital organization encompassing the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital requires changes and preparation today to ensure patients and families have better access to care in the future.
By evolving to become a “smart” hospital and better using technology, both hospitals will provide more efficient care and better co-ordinate with community care partners.
For families who find themselves in situations similar to Suppa, the state-of-the-art Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be the new home of Mackenzie Health’s expanded Woman and Child Program, including birthing, the NICU and pediatrics.
Now mom to a second daughter, two-year-old Madeline, Suppa knows the value of a hospital with a strong community connection. “It is so very important to have a local hospital where residents can feel at home, ask questions and be guided with outstanding medical care and support,” she says.
Suppa also confesses to crying the day she and her husband finally brought baby Isabelle home. “They were tears of joy and excitement, no doubt,” she says, “but bittersweet tears as we said farewell to the staff in the NICU who held our hands and guided us through the most difficult of times in the first few weeks of Isabelle’s life.”
A hospital, she adds, is much more than a building. “It’s a place where people feel safe and get the care they need when they need it most,” she says. “Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be a vital part of our community and I can’t wait to see it come together.”
For more information on the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, visit mackenziehealth.ca/mvh
– Stefanie Kreibe
Exceptional Care Belongs Here
Mackenzie Health Foundation is spearheading the $250-million Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign — the largest fundraising drive led by a community hospital in Canada — to help build and equip Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, as well as to enhance care at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital.
The multi-year campaign is being led by a team of passionate and dedicated volunteers who reflect our community’s enterprises and cultural diversity.
For more information about the campaign and how to get involved, visit mackenziehealth.ca/foundation.