News / Ottawa

CHEO looking for one roof for families

Project aims to make it easier on families.

The Childrens' Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

File / Metro

The Childrens' Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

Families are traveling to multiple locations across the region to get health care services for their special needs kids, but staff at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) want to make things easier by bringing them all together under one roof.

They are calling it #1Door4Care. The idea is to build a single, integrated facility connected to the CHEO building on Smyth Road, allowing the estimated 40,000 families who make use of CHEO and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC) services to access developmental, rehabilitation, behavioural and mental health services all in one place, as opposed to the eight separate ones they currently deal with.

"There's a tremendous need in our community. Too many kids wait too long," said. Alex Munter, CEO of CHEO – OCTC. "These are some of the most vulnerable families in our city who have to do a tremendous amount to get care for their kids."

CHEO staff have been planning for this new facility for almost a decade. They created a plan outlining how the proposed facility would operate, which was approved by the provincial government in 2015. The next step is to await capital funding approval from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to help cover the projected $140 million building costs.

"We are currently giving money to commercial landlords, which we would rather be spending on the direct delivery of service," said Munter. "Having one door to access those services will simplify care for these families. The other advantage of having purpose-built space is you have better outcomes for those kids."

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