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First Impression - Diane Gauthier

DFM staff talk about the David Braley Health Sciences Centre

The Department of Family Medicine's administrative, IT and OSCAR EMR teams are getting accustomed to their new downtown offices, and the space has made a strong first impression.

Work continues in preparation of the May 15 grand opening, but the value of this new building is already being felt.

We sat down with Diane Gauthier, manager of the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Organization of Palliative Care Physician Services/Enhancements (HOPE) to get her thoughts on our new campus.


Diane is a born and raised Hamiltonian who has worked at McMaster University for 25 years. She has seen a lot of change in her time with McMaster and was eager for this new chapter in downtown Hamilton.

“I’ve been looking forward to being here ever since the building was announced” she said while boxes were being delivered to her new office on the sixth floor.

After delivering computers and office equipment on day one, movers spent day two delivering staff’s belongings from the Department’s former offices at McMaster Innovation Park.

Before talking about the new space, Gauthier focused on the actual location of the building.

“Hamilton has such a nice downtown, but there have been tough years” she said. “I’m so happy to be downtown now; to be part of the exciting redevelopment we see all around us here."

As for the building itself, recently named the David Braley Health Sciences Centre, Gauthier can’t help but smile when talking about it.

“It’s gorgeous” she said, “so much natural light, and wonderful colours and designs.”

With floor to ceiling windows, glass fronted offices and low-walled work stations, the Centre's office and clinical spaces have been designed to maximize the amount of natural light throughout the building. This light is combined with natural elements such as stone accent walls to achieve the goal of bringing the outside world into office and clinical spaces.

“In just these two days I’m already feeling more connected to my colleague” Gauthier says.

Collaboration is a key component of the design. With gathering areas and shared spaces for McMaster and City of Hamilton Public Health employees throughout the Centre, the goal is to not just allow, but to encourage collaboration.

Staff from the Department’s research and education teams, as well as all clinical operations of the Maternity Centre of Hamilton and McMaster Family Practice, will be moving to the David Braley Health Sciences Centre by the end of April. This will be in addition to staff from elsewhere in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Public Health. With such a diverse range of skills, education and experience in the Centre, we’re excited to see the results of this collaboration.

In the meantime, the Centre has already won over its first occupants.

“We’re going to be so happy here” Gauthier says as she rearranges one of the plants she’s added to her office.