Among the thrilled attendees at the new Portage District General Hospital presentation at Stride Place Wednesday night was Foundation Executive Director Tara Pettinger. She says it's great to see the designs and all their plans come to fruition.

"I was excited to listen to these architects and how much care they put into the design of the facility to fit with the setting it's in, and really make it not feel like a hospital, but kind of like a Wellness Health Centre for people to go," says Pettinger. "Then, obviously, with our local team like Karen and the team at the hospital, there's just unbelievable input and that's probably the part that excites me the most. It's the amount of input our local team has had. Those are the people on the floor. Those are the people that know how this operates and this facility needs to work for them."

Tara PettingerTara Pettinger

She adds to see the collaboration in the multipurpose room of Stride place where the presentation was made was mind-blowing. 

Mayor Sharilyn Knox says it was nice to see some visuals about what's going to happen at the hospital location beyond what we've already seen.
"I think we had a really good turn out," says Knox. "I'm pretty pleased with the questions that were asked and, also, the fact that there wasn't an abundance of questions. I feel that they've done a good job of communicating up to this point. The question I asked was about future expansion because we do hear that other hospitals are currently expanding and they're fairly new hospitals. We know that that might be something that happens in the future, but I'm really happy to see that they've planned for that, that they know that it could happen in the future."

She adds having the doors open, hopefully, in 2025, sounds good. 

Portage MLA Ian Wishart notes it's great that people are able to see the progress that's not only been done, but what is planned.

"And it's great to see the final finished product sort of mocked up for everybody," says Wishart. "Everybody's really excited about what this will bring us in the future and the facilities that we'll have in the city of Portage and for the region. So, we're really happy to see this."

Ian WishartIan Wishart

He adds, as the progress continues, he's receiving fewer calls and questions in his office.

"People are curious and some of them are really good questions," notes Wishart. "Someone asked the other day how many dialysis units would be there, and we were able to get an answer for them very quickly. And, you know, we can provide answers to the questions and the design side of things."