Mark Preece was a young, respected physician working in the Intensive Care Unit at Hamilton Health Sciences until his untimely death in 1997. While undergoing specialized cancer treatment in the United States, Mark’s family and friends experienced first hand the value and support of a welcoming, affordable residence during such a difficult time.
In honour of Mark, friends and colleagues worked for years to bring The Mark Preece Family House into existence. It’s an honour to commemorate his life by supporting families in need.
The organization, Hospital Family Houses of Ontario was incorporated in 2001 and received charitable status in 2002. Registration 86700 9615 RR0001
The Mark Preece Family House is located close to the Hamilton Health Sciences’ General Hospital site, a prime focus site for Critical Care, Trauma Services, Burn Unit and a full range of Cardiac Surgery and Services. More than 37% of inpatients who are cared for at Hamilton General come from outside of Hamilton and more than 225 patients are air-lifted to the hospital each year. As a regional centre for trauma, burns, and cardiac surgery, the General site provides critical care to the most seriously injured and ill patients. It is also the referral site for Neurosciences.
Until now, there has been no affordable place for patients’ families to stay near to their bedside. This creates an unnecessarily stressful situation for those involved. Our hope is that others will use this project as a model to be replicated and build a network of family homes across the province and country. The Mark Preece Family House, at 191 Barton Street East, occupies the former Smart Turner Building. The stone building was built in the 1870s and served as a malt house and later a machine shop, manufacturing engines and boilers.
In 1996, manufacturing operations ceased at the site and was vacant until Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) acquired the building in 2003. In 2004, Hamilton Health Sciences agreed to a long-term lease of an 1870s stone building at 191 Barton Street East. The structure was to be adapted for use as a hospital family house. Construction began in earnest in the spring of 2007 and was near completion when in December 2008, a fire caused by arson destroyed the building.
Undeterred, the Mark Preece Family House Board of Directors and Staff, with the assistance and support of HHS remained steadfast, and with community support, insurance claims and continuation of capital fundraising have made the revitalization of the project possible. The Mark Preece Family House officially began welcoming families to their “home away from home” on April 6, 2011. Ten more rooms were added for a total of 24 in April, 2014.
Friends and colleagues of the late Dr. Mark Preece formed the organization, Hospital Family Houses of Ontario to achieve their goal of opening The Mark Preece Family House, which opened in April 2011. The organization is incorporated and has attained charitable status.