Rethinking Rehabilitation

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When Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) opened the new Regional Rehabilitation Centre at its Hamilton General Hospital campus this past fall, it was truly an exciting day for the community.

Not only was the 100,000 square foot, three-storey project completed on time and on budget, the facility was designed to meet the needs of its unique patient population by incorporating principles of the Ontarians With Disabilities Act.

The Regional Rehabilitation Centre consolidated services offered by HHS throughout the City of Hamilton to one site and now gives patients access to expanded programs and services in a fully accessible, state-of-the-art healing environment.

The Regional Rehabilitation Centre provides 91 inpatient beds allowing staff to care for stroke, spinal cord injury, amputee, trauma, neurobehavioral and acquired brain injury rehabilitation patients.

The building has many unique features including an accessible bridge connection to Hamilton General Hospital allowing patients and staff better access to acute medical and clinical services and resources. There is a four-level pool for progressive, one-on-one therapy and onsite patient resources including an office of the Canadian Paraplegic Association.

Other unique features include Braille signs and distance markers around the perimeter of the outside walls so patients can measure their rehabilitation progress. Recycled materials of brick, stone and rare cast iron were incorporated into the architectural and aesthetic elements of the building.

A first of its kind in Canada, an outdoor therapeutic track allows inpatients to practice their therapy on different surfaces such as stone, wood and pavement in all weather conditions.

Construction of the Regional Rehabilitation Centre at Hamilton General Hospital began in November 2007 and at the peak of construction, there were more than 250 workers on site daily. Hamilton Health Sciences worked with Infrastructure Ontario to deliver the project under the Province’s Alternative Financing and Procurement model.