Roof Leaking Issues at SLMHC

The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre board of directors has approved legal action against the hospital’s designer and builder in order to protect the corporation from the costs of repairs for the roof problems which have been encountered since 2010. Board co-chair, Kai Koivukoski, stated: “We want to make sure that these problems get solved once and for all. The leaks cause a lot of problems for staff and force us to move patients and shut down patient rooms. We need to do what is best for patient care and for the people of this area for the long term. That is why we gave management the go ahead to commence legal action.

”Dave Murray, CEO added: “During the first winter the hospital experienced a variety of leaking problems. The building designer and the building constructor did a lot of warranty work in the summer of 2011 to fix the problem. We were not sure all of the fixes that they did would work but, during the second year we had very minor leaking problems, however, that was not a normal winter. This winter seems to be a more traditional winter and we have the ice damming and leaking problems again.”

It is not known exactly why the original fix didn’t work. Therefore, SLMHC is moving ahead, with different architectural and engineering professionals, to determine causes, design solutions, and ultimately fully and finally construct fixes which eliminate ice damming and leakage permanently. Legal counsel has provided advice throughout the building of the hospital, and has been very involved in helping to guide the warranty efforts and resolve the outstanding issues. Murray indicated “This is frustrating for everybody and given that we experience problems in the winter and can only address them in the summer make this process quite long and drawn out. We also had to give the original designer and contractor the opportunity to fix the problem under warranty. They tried and do not seem to have been successful so we will look elsewhere for a solution and seek compensation through the courts.”

The current leaking has forced the hospital to close down three patient rooms. The hospital has seen an across-the-board increase in activity of over 30 percent since it opened its doors in the fall of 2010. The inpatient unit is often running at 100 percent capacity, so any closures have an impact on patient care. Dr. Teresa O’Driscoll, Chief of Staff at SLMHC said “to date the roof problems have not impacted patient care. We have our full complement of beds available and have been able to work around the affected areas. We hope that there will be a speedy resolution to the problems so that all areas of the hospital remain accessible to our patients and staff.”

Mr. Murray stated that “the board of directors and I are extremely grateful for the hard work and the efforts of Ms. Marsha Hamilton, infection control practitioner, Doug Lawrence, engineering consultant, Bill Brazier, facilities manager and his maintenance staff and the housekeeping staff who have, and continue to, work so hard to minimize the problems for so that we can continue to provide the best patient care we can.”

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Doug Lawrence, Engineering Consultant
Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre
Ph: 807-737-6599