McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Landmark McMaster building opens in downtown Hamilton

Published: May 15, 2015

Engaging collaborations are at the heart of the new David Braley Health Sciences Centre at the McMaster Health Campus in downtown Hamilton.

The 192,000-square-foot centre, opened May 15 with a ribbon-cutting event, is to be partly a community space open to the public with a café, public meeting and lounge space as well as family health, maternity and public health clinics. It is also the home for major research and education initiatives of McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences.

The six-storey building is purpose-built with co-location and shared space to enhance the growing partnership between Public Health Services for the City of Hamilton and the Department of Family Medicine of McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Other researchers, educators, students and clinicians of the Faculty of Health Sciences will also be co-located at the centre, including the faculty development and the continuing health sciences education programs. It is anticipated 450 McMaster and 110 Public Health Services employees will move in this year.

The $84.6 million project has been funded by McMaster University, the City of Hamilton, the Province of Ontario and Hamilton businessman David Braley.

"The university has a commitment to deepen its relationship with the community," said Patrick Deane, McMaster president. "By putting down roots in the city centre, and integrating the excellence of the city's public health services with McMaster's celebrated learning and discovery in primary care, we will enhance the future of health care in Hamilton and far beyond."

John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the university's Faculty of Health Sciences added: "This is a beautiful landmark reflecting Hamilton's growing importance in the provincial and national health sectors. We're known for our excellence and innovation in health sciences education and research, and this building is designed to support those initiatives."

David Price, professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, said: "By purposefully integrating clinical care, research and administration of both family medicine and public health in this downtown location, we will be ideally positioned to both anticipate and respond to the health needs of the community."

The lower floor has parking reserved for patients of the clinics. The first floor of the building has a large lobby with floor to ceiling windows and a staircase that provides seating, as well as the café and a pharmacy. Several other health-related services are also expected as tenants.

Besides 11 classrooms and two meeting rooms, the second floor has a large multi-purpose room, overlooking city hall, which will be the location of public events.

The third floor has the large McMaster Family Practice with 48 exam rooms, and offices and collaborative space for physicians, nurses and other health professionals. The waiting room features large windows, an aquarium and an outdoor garden. The clinic for 15,000 Hamiltonians will have integrated primary health care provided by family doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, occupational therapists and physiotherapists and McMaster students of those professions. All of the clinic facilities will also be used by the Hamilton Maternity Centre as well as Hamilton Public Health Services, which holds clinics for sexual health, breastfeeding, immunization and tobacco cessation.

Unique in Canada, the fourth, fifth and sixth floors are designed to provide many opportunities for collaboration between the staff, educators and researchers of Hamilton Public Health Services, McMaster's Department of Family Medicine and the other health science programs.

The building was designed by architect David Clusiau of NORR of Toronto, and constructed by Ball Construction of Kitchener, ON.

Architect David Clusiau said: "We wanted to create a building that connects with Hamilton, a city that resides between the lake and the escarpment with its layered stone, forest and waterfalls — a building that supports and reinforces both the unique combination of health care programs it houses, as well the cultural and civic centre of the city."

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