Regional hospital group now called Brightshores

A name change to Brightshores Health System was announced Sept. 6 by the regional hospital group.

The intention is to make clear that “we are one organization and one health system,” CEO Gary Sims explained in a video release.

That group has a budget that’s grown almost 25 percent in the last four years, he said, from $200 million to $250 million.

“We’re at a point where we need the province to see us differently – where we need to draw funding from not just the Ministry of Health but also from the private sector into our research facilities.”

The local hospital in Markdale is part of the group formerly known as Grey Bruce Health Services. The regional hospital is in Owen Sound.

CEO Gary Sims was quoted in the written media release saying that the hospital group had “outgrown” the GBHS name, describing the present as a pivotal time of rapid growth with new services, facilities, and initiatives.

The name signifies one vision and a better, brighter future, he added.

The chair of the board Jo Flewelling said the system has strong leadership and partnerships that will allow it to create a more comprehensive system under the Brightshores name.

The rebrand is “just the start of an exciting fall season,” Brightshores said.

A new hospital will be opened this month in Markdale. Nearing completion in Owen Sound is a new and unique Mental Health and Addictions Wellness and Recovery Centre for up to 45 patients with multiple services.

Brightshores has also launched an Office of Research and Innovation to focus on rural health care.

The name change took place across the system immediately on the announcement, although it will take time to fully complete the process.

“We are excited to introduce the Brightshores name and will keep our communities informed and engaged as we continue to provide exceptional healthcare in our communities,” the media release said.

In answer to a question from the Herald/Advance about the firm in charge of the re-brand and the budget, the hospital communications department did not share the name.

About the cost, it said that “we have worked well within our budget for rebranding, there is no impact on services, staffing and other operations.”

To control costs, the colours were kept the same as the old logo, which has been around since amalgamation in 1998, the hospital said. And with so many documents being electronic, the cost to change the logo and name is “extremely manageable.”

Brightshores is a name with a regional flavour, similar to Headwaters Health Care in Orangeville. The local public board of education for Grey and Bruce is known as Bluewater. Grey and Bruce are surrounded by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

Brightshores Health System consists of hospitals in Owen Sound, Saugeen Shores, Wiarton, Lion’s Head, Meaford and Markdale. The Markdale intake area is the only

In addition to the sophisticated care at the regional centre, the rural hospitals also are being given special roles in various types of care that match area needs. For example, a brand new “state of the art” Cataract Suite has been added in Meaford.


-this fall a new CT will be installed in Saugeen Shores, with a community fundraising campaign of $3 million;

-Wiarton’s emergency department has been renovated, adding two new examination rooms;

-this year Markdale hospital acquired its first portable x-ray machine, which means less movement of patients, and better-quality images;

-a pico-microscope in Meaford will allow exams, treatments and outpatient surgeries not available there before;

-Wiarton and Lion’s Head each has a new x-ray machine, improving images, lowering radiation dose. Future integration with AI is possible, the hospital says. These machines also have a mobile component.

Five foundations work on fundraising in the community to purchase all equipment, make capital improvements and support other aspects of medical care.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald