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Exterior view of the Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre
McMaster Children’s Hospital’s Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC) celebrates five years in the community. Construction started May 2014, with patient services beginning late November 2015.
November 23, 2020

Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre celebrates five years in the community

A typical birthday party for a five-year-old might include balloons, pizza and a bouncy castle. But these are not typical times. So this year, it’s a low-key congratulations to McMaster Children’s Hospital on celebrating Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre’s (RJCHC) five years in the community.

The birth of a state-of-the-art centre

In June 2011, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced funding had been approved to construct a new, fully-accessible, purpose-built building to house three McMaster Children’s Hospital programs: Autism, Child and Youth Mental Health, and Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation, as well as the Prosthetics and Orthotics service for both children and adults.

RJCHC was designed to provide a new experience for families and the opportunity to better integrate services under one roof. Construction began in May 2014. Staff transitioned to the building in late November 2015, with clinical services beginning to operate from on November 23, 2015.

The building design and planning process included robust involvement from the Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) community. Over 160 individuals representing RJCHC program staff, HHS, and Family and Youth Advisory Councils participated in at least one of 26 working groups to assist in the planning.

“At the time of its launch five years ago, the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre represented a dramatic leap forward in our ability to provide a patient- and family-centred environment, with state-of-the-art equipment and spaces, where interdisciplinary teams can work cooperatively with children and youth to reach their highest potential,” says Bruce Squires, McMaster Children’s Hospital president. “We have continued to realize that vision, and the centre – and more importantly its people, services and culture – are the envy of the rest of Canada.”

A clear vision

The goals for the Centre were clearly defined at the outset:

  • be a reassuring setting that is responsive to individual special needs, enables participation, engagement, and promotes wellness
  • be open and supportive and create a sense of community and conviviality
  • be a bridge between the hospital campus and the neighbourhood, contributing to the habitability of both realms
  • be a place that inspires
  • be a place that is inclusive
  • be a place that enables
  • be a model for accessibility and sensitivity to occupation
  • be a space which is welcoming to children and adolescents, but is not childish
  • be a place that inspires pride on the part of staff, families and clients, and that promotes a sense of ownership and engagement
  • be a facility where attention is paid to the smallest detail
  • be a place you can be your best self

A wealth of achievements

Five years later, RJCHC is now home. Here are ten things to celebrate as we reflect on this milestone:

  1. Our steadfast commitment to serving patients and families
  2. Our evidence-based service offerings and outstanding commitment to service excellence
  3. Our work to integrate research into clinical services
  4. Our welcoming Centralized Registration and Scheduling staff, Sunnyside Café staff, clinical staff, and administrative staff
  5. Our visits with Santa and Halloween family nights
  6. Our welcoming playground
  7. Our art tours, cheer squad, supercrawl and Kids Extravaganza Gala
  8. Hosting countless conferences and workshops
  9. Our barbeques, potlucks, milestone celebrations, and pizza parties
  10. Our commitment to train and supervise students

Here’s to the next five years and continued growth!


Art and Healing at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre

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