New CHEO care centre in Ottawa to bring disparate services under one roof

Kids with complex care needs could soon have a single destination in Ottawa for all of their treatments, thanks to a new facility coming to CHEO with funding from the Ontario government.

CHEO, the pediatric health and research centre serving eastern Ontario, announced plans Friday for 1Door4Care, a new building on its main campus that will jointly offer occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language pathology and autism services.

Right now, kids with multiple special needs are forced to migrate between up to eight different locations in the region for the above-mentioned treatments.

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The burden on families has only worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic, CHEO chief executive Alex Munter said in a statement announcing the new facility.

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“Children and youth with special needs, medical complexities and mental health challenges have deserved better, faster access to care for a long time,” he said.

“This new building is going to bring care teams, family supports and technology under one roof so 40,000 kids and their families get the care they need – when, where and how they need it.”

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The province is providing funding for 1Door4Care as part of its 2021 budget commitments and an additional $240 million recently announced to reduce wait times and improve the health system’s capacity to serve kids with special needs.

A spokesperson for Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s minister of children, community and social services, told Global News on Friday that there are currently no cost estimates for the project, which will be taken out to a competitive tender.

Final costs and a construction timeline are expected after the successful bidder is announced, according to the spokesperson.

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