Local News

Expanding Pediatric Palliative Care in Hamilton: Ontario’s $2.5 Million Investment

Hamilton – In a significant move towards enhancing pediatric palliative care, the Ontario government has announced a substantial investment of up to $2.5 million to facilitate the construction of a new children’s hospice in the Hamilton region. This initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry of Health, aims to provide families with access to compassionate and dignified end-of-life care close to their homes.

The forthcoming facility, named Keaton’s House – Paul Paletta Children’s Hospice, is set to be operated by the esteemed Kemp Care Network. With a capacity of 10 beds dedicated exclusively to pediatric care, the hospice will serve as a sanctuary for children and their families facing life-limiting illnesses, offering comprehensive palliative support in a nurturing environment.

Expected to commence operations in 2026, Keaton’s House is designed to encompass a range of amenities and services tailored to meet the unique needs of young patients and their loved ones. These include 10 bedrooms where families can stay with their child, bright and accessible play areas, outdoor spaces for recreational activities, and dedicated areas for day wellness programs and therapies such as massage and music.

Integral to the hospice’s mission is the provision of specialized care services, including pediatric end-of-life nursing, personal support, respite care, and symptom management. Moreover, the facility will extend its support beyond its walls, offering at-home hospice services through visiting volunteers and comprehensive grief and bereavement support programs for families.

The initiative marks a significant milestone in Ontario’s commitment to expanding access to palliative care services. Through the 2024 Budget, Building a Better Ontario, the government plans to add a total of 84 new adult beds and 12 pediatric beds across the province, addressing the growing demand for palliative care.

Speaking on the occasion, Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, reiterated the government’s dedication to providing compassionate and specialized care for patients and their families. She emphasized the importance of the partnership between the Kemp Care Network and McMaster Children’s Hospital in delivering specialized pediatric palliative care as outlined in Ontario’s Provincial Framework for Palliative Care.

Paul Paletta, a transformational donor and President and CEO of Alinea Group Holdings Inc., expressed his commitment to supporting children with serious illnesses, urging others to contribute to the cause. Danielle Zucchet, CEO of Kemp Care Network, hailed the partnership’s potential to bring about positive change in pediatric palliative care in the Hamilton region.

The announcement has been met with widespread acclaim from local leaders and stakeholders. Bruce Squires, President of McMaster Children’s Hospital, lauded the collaborative effort to address a critical gap in pediatric palliative care, while Neil Lumsden, MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, reaffirmed the government’s dedication to supporting families during challenging times.

Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook, commended the partnership between local organizations, emphasizing its role in providing essential pediatric palliative care to families in the Hamilton region.

With this investment, Ontario is taking a significant step towards ensuring that children and their families receive the care and support they need during some of life’s most challenging moments. As Keaton’s House – Paul Paletta Children’s Hospice prepares to open its doors, it stands as a beacon of hope and compassion for families in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at samantha.deschamps@gtaweekly.ca.

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