McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster and Hamilton school board discuss downtown partnerships

Published: May 22, 2008
Peter George
Peter George, president of McMaster University
Judith Bishop
Judith Bishop, chair of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

McMaster University and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board plan to work with the City of Hamilton towards construction of a shared facility on the school board’s current downtown headquarters site.

Last night school board trustees approved unanimously the concept of a partnership to bring a Family Health and Education Centre to Hamilton’s downtown core.

In a letter of support, McMaster President Peter George said the University is pleased to explore the opportunity.

"The partnership would bring together two of the city’s leading institutions and their missions to provide the very best learning opportunities, community services and partnerships," he said.

The school board, McMaster and Hamilton Public Health will plan construction of a shared facility on a portion of the Education Centre’s current site between King and Main streets along Bay Street. For the past year McMaster has been examining opportunities to build a Family Health Centre which will combine a large primary care and learning centre with complementary research groups and related commercial activities.

 "We’ve always had a clear vision for a Downtown Family Health Centre and the many benefits it will bring to patients, downtown revitalization and the overall city," said John Kelton, dean and vice-president of the McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences. 

"Working together with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board significantly enhances that vision and the value that it brings to Hamilton. We look forward to our ongoing discussions with both the school board and the city to find ways to make the dream a reality."

McMaster’s Downtown Family Health Centre would establish one of the largest centres for primary care in Canada with more than 75,000 patient visits a year.   

"This partnership is a home-run for downtown Hamilton," said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. "This is the ideal opportunity to maintain the school board's presence in the core while developing a new facility that will create a perfect synergy between public health and McMaster University and, at the same time, improve health care for the people of Hamilton and revitalize the downtown."   

Judith Bishop, chair of the city’s school board, said the trustees are excited about the synergies the partnership could create.

"We believe that the business case we’re proposing addresses the needs of all parties involved," she said. "As trustees, we knew that we wanted to maintain a meaningful presence in the downtown core and I believe this decision solidifies our continued commitment to helping renew the vibrancy of downtown Hamilton."

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