McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Ribbons cut to open Halton McMaster Family Health Centre

Published: November 28, 2014
Halton McMaster Family Health Centre ribbon cutting
Cutting the ribbon to open the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre (HMFHC) in Burlington were, from left: Eric Vandewall, president and CEO, Joseph Brant Hospital; John Kelton, dean and vice-president, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University; Patrick Deane, president, McMaster University; Gary Carr, chair, Halton Region; Eleanor McMahon, MPP for Burlington; Rick Goldring, mayor of Burlington; Sue Borden, alumna of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and physician at the HMFHC; Wes Stephen, chief of staff of Joseph Brant Hospital and David Price, chair, Department of Family Medicine, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.

With a flourish of ribbon cutting and applause, officials opened the new Halton McMaster Family Health Centre on Lakeshore Road in Burlington today.

The primary care clinic and education centre for future physicians and other allied health professionals, run by the Department of Family Medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University, is sited on Lakeshore Road, on the southwest corner of Joseph Brant Hospital.

"The new centre is bright, open and welcoming, just as we've found the community in Burlington and Halton and with our academic partner Joseph Brant Hospital," said John Kelton, dean and vice-president of McMaster's Faculty of Health Sciences. "This will be a fine centre of excellence for learning and health care."

The centre will have six full-time family physicians, along with eight family medicine residents. As the teaching headquarters for family medicine across Halton, there will be eight additional residents placed in community practices throughout the region who will use the centre for education sessions. McMaster students from other programs, including nursing, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, medicine and social work, will have learning based at the centre.

The Burlington Family Health Team within the centre currently has almost 9,000 patients on its roster, but has room for more. Besides physicians, the team includes a pharmacist, nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, nurses, social workers and a dietitian.

The 40,000 square-foot facility makes good use of its location with many large windows facing spectacular views of Lake Ontario. On the first floor, the large family health clinic is designed keeping in mind patients as well as a large professional medical team and health learners. There are 20 exam rooms, a team room for physicians and students with 23 workstations, prep areas and a large procedure room, along with a staff room and administrative space.  Two teaching rooms and a walk-out patio for McMaster faculty members and students are on the second floor. The building, a joint project of the university and Joseph Brant Hospital, also has administrative space for the hospital and a large parking facility.

The $7 million family health centre was funded by the City of Burlington and Region of Halton as part of a grant to the university; the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and McMaster's Department of Family Medicine.

Burlington mayor Rick Goldring said: "The opening of the Halton McMaster Family Centre brings to life the shared vision of McMaster University, Joseph Brant Hospital, Halton Region and the City of Burlington. Together with the redeveloped Joseph Brant Hospital, this campus and all it has to offer will play a vital role in providing leading-edge health-care services for the people of Burlington today and into the future."

Gary Carr, chair of Halton region, echoed the sentiment: "The opening of the Halton McMaster Family Health Centre represents a milestone achievement for Halton's health-care community. This partnership between McMaster University and Joseph Brant Hospital will help provide families in Halton Region with improved access to quality care. It will also allow future generations of physicians, nurses and other health-care professionals to train and work right here in Halton. We are very proud to have contributed to this investment in our community."

Joseph Brant Hospital is a clinical education campus of the university, providing clinical experience for students in emergency medicine, surgery and obstetrics, as well as family medicine.

Eric Vandewall, president and CEO of the hospital, welcomed McMaster's family medicine department to the site: "We are excited to work in partnership to further establish our hospital as a clinical education campus and help increase our ability to recruit and retain new physicians and health-care learners in Burlington."

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon said providing access to a primary care provider for every Ontarian is a key priority for the government.

"The Centre will help us achieve this goal by creating more convenient access to care for Burlington residents, and by allowing McMaster University to train additional family medicine practitioners. This investment will benefit our community today and well into the future, providing quality care, close to home."

David Price, chair of the department of family medicine, said his department is thrilled to partner with Burlington and Halton, along with the physicians and staff of the Burlington Family Health Team and the hospital.

"Our residents will benefit from training both with an outstanding family health team and an excellent community hospital. We know that graduating family physicians are more likely to stay in the community in which they are trained," he said.

Amie Davis is the Halton site director and an assistant professor of family medicine. She pointed out that the state-of-the-art teaching hub is located in a welcoming and busy community setting.

"The teaching hub will allow us to train future family physicians and health professionals in patient-centred, multi-disciplinary care, and offers patients and clinicians excellent continuity in their health-care experience."

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