February 16, 2024

130th Around the Bay Road Race to Support Emergency Room Renos at St. Joe’s

Amidst many changes to the race, its charity partner remains the same.

Changes are afoot for the Around the Bay Road Race this year. New distances, new routes, and a new on-turf finish line inside Tim Hortons Field are just a few of the alterations race director Anna Lewis has been working on for an anticipated field of more than 8,000 participants.

“We’re doing our best to bring some new elements to the 130th anniversary of the Bay Race while staying true to the long and storied history of this event,” says Lewis.

“We’re grateful to our volunteers, our sponsors and our municipal partners at the City of Hamilton and the City of Burlington for their collaboration to make sure the landmarks our runners love to hate, like Tin Pan Alley, the rolling hills of Northshore Blvd. and Heartbreak Hill are still a part of the new 30k route. But it took a lot of planning, revising, and planning a little more.”

One element of the Bay Race that isn’t changing this year is its charity partner, with 2024 marking the 20th year St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation will be the recipient of funds raised by race participants. This year, donations made to support runners are helping to renovate the emergency room at the hospital’s Charlton Campus. St. Joe’s has long been home to the busiest ER in the city, with demand for care reaching unprecedented levels this winter.

“We’re seeing record numbers of patients in the ER – some for the things you might expect like COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory viruses that are prevalent during this time of year – but we’re also seeing a higher number of patients who are more medically complex, as well as an increase in visits relating to seeking help for substance use and mental health,” says Dr. Erich Hanel, interim chief of emergency medicine at St. Joe’s.

To help ease pressures in the ER and ensure patients are receiving the care they need as quickly as possible, St. Joe’s continues to focus on staffing and providing additional resources where possible while reminding the community of the various options available for seeking urgent care.

The emergency room at St. Joe’s is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – but after two decades, the current ER is showing signs of wear and is too small to keep pace with the growing demand. That’s why funds raised through this year’s race are earmarked to create larger waiting rooms, more patient care bays and a triage area that will provide greater privacy for patients and their loved ones.

“In the ER, while we strive to ensure the care we provide is second to none, we know that the environment could be better – and that matters to us and to our patients. That’s why our team is lacing up and taking part in the Bay Race, too. We want to be a part of raising the funds we need to create an ER that supports privacy, dignity, hope and healing for every patient who comes through our doors,” says Dr. Hanel.

Help support Dr. Hanel and the Emergency Medicine All Starts Team as they take on the Around the Bay Road Race or sign up today to walk, run and raise funds.

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