|New Children’s Treatment Centre to be located in Lower City Hamilton|
|March 20, 2012 - McMaster Children’s Hospital has chosen a location in the Lower City of Hamilton to build its new Children’s Treatment Centre. The location – in the Barton and Wellington area –will bring a children’s healthcare service to one of Hamilton’s most vulnerable neighbourhoods.
The Children’s Treatment Centre will house outpatient services, and be the base for in-home and community services, for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Child and Youth Mental Health, Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Programs, and Prosthetics and Orthotics. These programs are currently located at the Chedoke site of Hamilton Health Sciences. The buildings currently being used are old and have been renovated from their former uses as an inpatient hospital.
Last summer, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced about $100 million in funding for a new state-of-the-art Children’s Treatment Centre that would be purpose-built to suit children requiring these unique services.
“McMaster Children’s Hospital recognizes the need to ensure that children and families with the most need should have the easiest access to services,” said Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, president of McMaster Children’s Hospital, explaining the choice for the location.
The Lower City location is surrounded by neighbourhoods identified in the Spectator’s Code Red series, and other community data, showing higher rates of child poverty, lower rates of high school completion, lower “readiness to learn” scores and higher rates of emergency room visits by children and youth.
“We want to help all families, and believe it is our responsibility to particularly address the area identified as housing the most vulnerable families,” Dr. Fitzgerald said.
The new Children’s Treatment Centre will be located closer to the downtown and near major public transit routes.
The Wellington/Barton site offers unique opportunities to build synergies with organizations located in the downtown core which serve children and youth. It presents opportunity for collaboration with the nearby Regional Rehabilitation Centre, particularly in helping transition youth to adult therapies. In addition, the healthcare infrastructure of the Hamilton General site presents opportunity for sharing services.
Planning for the new building has begun. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, with completion in 2016.