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Riverside Evolution

Early Days

1928 – Canadian Red Cross Society built an Outpost Hospital in Rainy River.

1941 – Order of the Grey Nuns built La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances.

1943 – Canadian Red Cross Society built a hospital in Emo.

1947 – Red Cross replaces its original Rainy River Hospital with a new building.

1952 – La Verendrye added an additional wing.

1969 – Red Cross replaced its original Emo Hospital with a new building.

1975 – Grey Nuns transfer ownership of La Verendrye Hospital to the community (new name is La Verendrye General Hospital).

1979 – La Verendrye completed a Chronic Wing.

1983 – Red Cross transferred ownership of Red Cross Hospitals in Rainy River and Emo to La Verendrye General Hospital Fort Frances Inc. The Corporation changed its name to Rainy River Valley Health Care Facilities Inc.

A New Era

1989 – Rainy River Valley Health Care Facilities Inc. changed its name to Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. 

1998 – Ongoing renovations to La Verendrye Hospital have been taking place over the last few years. A new front entrance, work on the rehab department, new nursing unit – St. Andrew’s and the moving of offices such as Payroll, Administration, Foundation, Health Records, Accounting and Systems into one area was done.

1999 – A new health centre was built and opened in Rainy River.

2001 – Renovations to the Emo Health Centre were completed and the newly renovated health centre was reopened in February 2001. 

2003 – LVGH saw redevelopment of the 1952 wing, which included moving the Sterile Processing Department into the area.

2004 – An extension to LVGH accommodated a new laboratory and operating room suites. The Dialysis Unit was also relocated there.

2005 – The Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care assumed control of the Rainycrest Home for the Aged in Fort Frances and approached Riverside to assume management. The Ministry’s independent consultant recommended that ownership, governance, and management of Rainycrest transfer permanently to Riverside.

2006 – Phase IV Expansion Project at La Verendrye is completed, after two years of construction following two years of planning and preparation. This $12.2 million project was financially supported by the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, Riverside Foundation for Health Care, Riverside Health Care, community members, organizations, services, clubs and businesses from across the Rainy River District.

2006 – Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc. acquired the assets of Rainycrest Home for the Aged, and officially changed the name to Rainycrest Long Term Care Home. This was another step in providing continuum of care for the residents in the district.

2008 – After nearly two years of fundraising and planning, the district's first CT Scanner was installed at LVGH.

2010 – Our new Comfort Care Room opened at LVGH, providing a place for patients nearing end-of-life to have comfort and dignity. 

2011 – Riverside is selected as one of Confederation College’s Employers of the year.

2012 – The $2-million renovation program at Rainycrest, started in 2008, was completed, improving accessibility, safety and comfort, including a 21-bed upgrade.

2013 – A new Philips MicroDose SD mammography unit was unveiled during Breast Cancer Awareness month in October. The unit uses significantly less radiation to produce clear images that are immediately transmitted to offsite experts for quick interpretation.

2013 – We implemented a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Line Insertion Program at La Verendrye General Hospital.

2014 – RHC implemented mobile personal computer carts to facilitate nursing documentation at all acute care locations. This included the installation of a wireless system across facilities and increased nursing time at the bedside.

2016 – Summer brought excitement with a visit from Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith. The NHLer and former resident of Fort Frances visited our facilities with the Stanley Cup, creating memories for patients, residents and staff members alike. He also generously donated $10,000 to local health care, with $5,000 earmarked for Rainycrest technology.

2017 – The Health System Navigator was introduced in partnership with Fort Frances Area Tribal Health Authorities to increase access to community-based withdrawal management services. This role ensures smooth and timely process and flow in the emergency department and assists with intervention and substance use issues.

2018 – Made possible by two successful grants, we were able to purchase a Triple Channel Infusion Pump and Wellness Chemotherapy Chair for the Cancer Program at LVGH. The pump and chair allow our patients to safely and more comfortably receive multiple medications during their treatments.

2018 – Our Information Systems & Technology Department was instrumental in implementing the RHC Guests WiFi network. With the launch of this new WiFi network, connecting our patients, residents, clients, families, and visitors at all our facilities.

2019 – Accreditation Canada awarded Riverside its highest honour — Accreditation with Exemplary Standing — for the period of 2019-2023, in recognition of our commitment to providing quality, innovative health care across the Rainy River District. Riverside met 98.7% of the 2,018 standards set out by Accreditation Canada.

2019 – A newly implemented Partnership with Ambutrans allowed for medically stable patient transports (formally known as non-urgent patient transfers) multiple times per week.

2019 – LVGH moved to a Centralized Registration model. This change enhanced patient flow, improved staff and patient safety and enhanced the Quality of patient experiences. This change also allowed for the Foundation to move their office onto the ground floor to increase their visibility and access to better serve the needs of current and future donors, supporters, and the community.

2019  Riverside’s MOREOB team achieved service quality recognition for the seventh consecutive year. The effectiveness of our obstetrical team demonstrates their commitment and is reflective of our broader nursing services across the organization.

2019 – Riverside introduced a new Community Services Lead to advance quality and the type of services provided.

Global Pandemic and Beyond

2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic touched all aspects of our organization and its operations. From the onset of the pandemic, teams from across our organization and across the region worked around the clock to prepare and continuously redesign and improve our programs and services with the singular objective: to keep everyone safe. As part of this extensive pandemic planning, Riverside purchased additional ventilators and anaesthesia machines. A new Safe Room was constructed at the LVGH emergency department and a new negative pressure system was installed in the trauma room to create a safer experience for patients, staff and physicians. Our district was approved two COVID testing Assessment Centres – one in Fort Frances and one in Rainy River. Our Assessment Centres operate seven days a week. In an effort to improve and shorten the testing process, thereby getting results quicker, we designed and rolled out the COVID Transportation Service from Rainy River to Thunder Bay.

2021 – In an effort to support the surgical service volumes of patients and healthcare partners during the pandemic, our surgical team handled a considerable increase of joint replacement surgeries at La Verendrye General Hospital.

2021 – Riverside and its partners launched the highly successful remote diabetes monitoring pilot project.

2022 – The Rainy River Health Centre installed new sprinkler and ventilation systems while Rainycrest brought in a new resident room air conditioning system and prepared for installation of a new sprinkler system.

2022 – The Riverside Foundation for Health Care fundraised more than $1.6 million for a new CT scanner, mammography machine, and upgrades to convert the x-ray machines to digital, as well as an elevation table for the fluoroscopy room.

2022 – Our surgical program managed increased orthopaedic activity, onboarded gynecological surgery, and advanced planning for the new urology program.

2022 – Funding for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in Fort Frances was approved; the initiative will require 2-3 years to complete renovations, necessary fundraising, and educational requirements.

2023 – Our new Code of Conduct focused on Care, Compassion, and Commitment to support our staff, physicians, patients and the public in providing a healthier culture at Riverside.

2023 – Our Mental Health & Addiction Ontario Structure Psychotherapy program, a new satellite program from St. Joseph’s Care Group in Thunder Bay, was introduced, providing treatment for people with depression, anxiety, and anxiety-related conditions.

2023 – Rainycrest LTC completed installation of the new sprinkler system.