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Community Engagement Group helps build ownership for the new campus

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Paul Johanis, President of the Greenspace Alliance

Paul Johanis, President of the Greenspace Alliance, co-chairs the newly-established Campus Engagement Group, which is examining all the issues that have been consistently rated as most important by the public.

Building a new, modern health and research centre in the heart of Ottawa is about health care and about the community. Public involvement is essential in planning the new campus of The Ottawa Hospital – it means stronger health outcomes, collaboration on publicly-accessible spaces, and integration into the community.

A key part of involving the public is creating the new Campus Engagement Group, which met for the first time in May. This group will take a deep dive into issues like access and transportation, greenspace, parking and design, which have been consistently rated as most important by the public.

These issues are rooted in individual values and are too complex to solve using traditional consultation methods like town halls.

“The hospital has hit upon a great idea for getting the community more deeply involved in this project,” said group co-chair Paul Johanis, who is the current Chair of the Greenspace Alliance. “As members of the Campus Engagement Group, we will have an opportunity to debate first-hand key issues facing the hospital and the community and to make our voices heard at the most senior levels of the organization. Together, we can find solutions that really work.”

The group’s 18 members include community leaders from local neighbourhood associations and groups that advocate for seniors, greenspace, heritage, the Central Experimental Farm, patients, and people who have disabilities.

The group was created based on recommendations in the third-party engagement report Setting the Stage, Turning the Page. The group will make recommendations to the hospital’s Board of Governors by deliberating, comparing perspectives and identifying possible compromises together.

The Campus Engagement Group is one of three ways the hospital is engaging the public on the new campus, alongside online activities and in-person events such as community town halls.

“Hospitals in the 21st century need to be integrated into their communities, and The Ottawa Hospital is fortunate to be part of a passionate community with leaders who want to be involved,” said Bernie Etzinger, Chief Engagement Steward with the Campus Engagement Group. “Their work on the Campus Engagement Group will be critical in making sure we build the best possible health-care facility.”

To learn more about The Ottawa Hospital’s new campus, visit the Greater Together website.

 
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