We believe that every person deserves to have access to quality end-of-life care. Hill House is committed to leading the charge in making this vision a reality. Our goal is that by 2026-2027, residents and their families will be welcomed into a new 12-bedroom Hill House Hospice at our current 1-acre site. This new home will continue to be offered at no cost to our residents and families.
Right now there is an unmet need in the community. The province recommends that for every 100,000 people, there should be 5-6 hospice beds available. Hill House currently serves a population of almost 600,000 in Eastern York Region, with only three beds and with a waiting list in excess of 10 potential admissions on most days. The municipalities of King, Markham, Stouffville, Aurora, Georgina and East Gwillimbury do not have a local residential hospice.
Our population is also aging. Richmond Hill and the surrounding area have the largest and most rapidly increasing senior population in York Region. It is expected that all boomers will be 85+ years of age by 2051. That's a 400% rate of growth over the next 25 years!
• 10-12 bedrooms with a private washroom and the ability to host loved ones overnight
• Family dining and living room spaces
• Kitchen area for family and friends to prepare meals together
• Complementary/music/art therapy room
• Massage therapy room
• Quiet family rooms
• Non-denominational spiritual room
• Children’s play area
• Garden space with outdoor dining and meditation areas
• High staff-to-resident ratio providing 24-hour care
Special innovations include:
The Grief and Bereavement Counselling Centre will enable Hill House to provide enhanced on-site grief and bereavement counselling for residents and their loved ones, emphasizing open discussion around individual experiences, reactions, and feelings about death.
Multi-Lingual Services will be offered to make hospice care more inclusive to the mosaic of cultures that make up our community. To accomplish this, we will be implementing digital translation services as well as expanding our team to include staff and volunteers that can speak the languages spoken by many of our residents and their families.
The new Hill House Hospice will be the first of its kind to offer healthcare professionals with a place to receive specialized hospice mentorship and hands-on training. Recognizing the need for better education and training in delivering palliative care, we are committed to sharing our knowledge with nurses, PSWs, and physicians, who want to better understand end-of-life care so that they feel more comfortable following patients with a serious illness. The House will also serve as an educational hub in the community, providing information and resources on palliative and hospice care.
The total project costs for our new home totals approximately $15 million. We hope the Ministry of Health will support with some funding and we are turning to our community to help support raise the remaining $13 million.
Each year, Hill House Hospice admits over 120 residents, bypassing unnecessary hospital admissions and helping end "hallway medicine" and emergency room overcrowding. Hospice leads to better health outcomes and costs approximately 1/3rd the cost of a hospital stay. This translates to currently saving close to a million dollars of savings for the province and as a 10-12-bedroom hospice, that savings will turn into approximately $4 million in savings annually.
Our dedicated Campaign Cabinet is working with trusted leaders from the City of Richmond Hill and York Region to move the plans for expansion forward and to raise the necessary funds to build a new home on our current home at 36 Wright Street in Richmond Hill.
In addition to his role at Hill House as Medical Director, Dr. Berger is the Physician Leader in the Department of Continuing Care, Rehabilitation and Palliative Care at Mackenzie Health. He led the project to establish and expand a palliative care unit at Mackenzie Health. He developed holistic programming at the hospital with shared resources from Hill House Hospice. He is a designated Palliative Care Expert and Former Chair of the Ontario Medical Association Palliative Medicine Section. Dr. Berger has facilitated many training courses and lectured at numerous conferences, nationally and internationally on Palliative Care. He oversees palliative care fellows and residents and is a lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Division of Palliative Medicine under the Department of Family Practice. In 2020, he received the Ontario Medical Association Palliative Care Physician Award of Excellence.
Reza’s career spans academia, research, corporate and public service. He has extensive business, technical, scientific, strategic planning and political experiences gained in Canada and internationally. He is a former MPP, representing the riding of Richmond Hill, for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and was appointed Minister of Research, Innovation and Science and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities for the Government of Ontario. Prior to entering into politics, he has over 20 years of experience in the fields of Physics and Engineering and held a 17-year position at the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada where he was the Vice-President and Chief Scientist. Reza is a dedicated community leader and has received numerous awards and recognition for his extensive volunteer and humanitarian work.
Dr. Chung has almost 50-years of experience as practicing family care physician and over 25 years of palliative care expertise. He is certified with the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and operates within the Hospice Palliative Care Network of York Region. He has hospital privileges at Humber River Hospital, Mackenzie Health, North York General Hospital and Scarborough Hospital Birchmount. Dr. Chung is a Lecturer at the University of Toronto in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. In 2006, he was a Founding Member of the Etobicoke Palliative Medicine Association for Community Physicians on Call. He has received several recognitions for his work including the 2003 Recipient of Excellence Award from the North York Family Health Group and the 2004 Faculty Teaching Award from Sunnybrook Health Centre.
Nahid was born in Tehran, Iran. A current resident of Richmond Hill, she moved to Canada in 1991 where she studied Kinesiology at York University and Medical Office Administration at Seneca College. Nahid lost her father four years ago to cancer. He spent the last few days of his life at Hill House Hospice. The care and unconditional love that Nahid and her family and her father experienced at Hill House was unforgettable. Nahid is forever grateful and has committed to giving back to Hill House as a Campaign Cabinet member.
Heather has worked in the bereavement sector for over 30 years. She is currently the Managing Director of the Highland Funeral Home in Markham (Arbor Memorial Services Inc.) She is passionate about educating and training the next generation of bereavement care providers. Heather has always exhibited a high degree of sensitivity and compassion regarding end-of-life care. She knows firsthand the difference that personalized care has on a grieving family following the death of a loved one. Throughout her professional career, Heather has volunteered for a number of different organizations, most notably Second Wind Dreams and The Gold Hope Project. Heather is also a board member of the Ontario Association of Funeral and Cemetery Professionals
Latif is CEO of Liberty Development Corporation and President of Online Property Management, both based in Markham. He has more than 30 years of experience in the development and construction industry. He is also a dedicated community leader and has served on various board of directors for schools and hospitals, including Mackenzie Health. He is actively involved in the Jaffari Islamic Canadian community and is committed to giving them a voice to encourage participation in the wider community.
Dr. Geoffroy is a family care physician, with over 20 years’ experience in nursing homes and experience in clinical research with the pharmaceutical industry. He completed his medical residencies in Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine at McGill University and is certified with the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is a former Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at McGill University. He is an Associate Physician at Mackenzie Health, where he practices Palliative Medicine, Addiction Medicine and Psychotherapy.
Muhammad is an entrepreneur and passionate community servant with over 25 years of experience in business planning and development. He is the founder of Skytek Office Solutions and Upper Canada Court Reporting & Mediation. He is the Past Chair of the Richmond Hill Board of Trade.
Susan has extensive experience in the public education sector as a teacher, principal, superintendent and retired as Director of Education of the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB). She is also a dedicated community leader, volunteering her time to serve on several charitable boards including as Chair of the Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers and Director of Hill House Hospice. Susan is currently the Senior Strategist of Partner Relations at Education Research Development and Innovation (ERDI). Prior to her time at ERDI, she led a re-culturing of the Board at YCDSB, and launched a massive construction program, building 26 elementary schools and 6 secondary schools to accommodate the enrolment increase of 12,000 students.
Justin is the President and Creative Director of The Justin Poy Agency, a full-service advertising and creative agency specialized in Asian markets. Justin has won 11 Summit Creative Awards and received three awards from the Chinese Canadian Advertising, Media and Marketing Association. Justin is active in charity and sits on a number of Boards. He is a founding committee member of the Cathay Ball, the Founding Chair of the Chinese Canadian Development Committee for the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation and Chairs the Chinese Outreach Committee for the Toronto International Film Festival Campaign Cabinet. He is also the Immediate Past Chair of the Program Advisory Committee for the School of Radio and Television Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University where he has established a scholarship. In 2002 he was presented with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Before joining the Hill House Board of Directors in 2021, Elaine was a nurse at Hill House Hospice for 10 years. In 2017, Elaine was a recipient of a Toronto Star Nightingale Award for providing the highest standards of professional care. Elaine has served on the United Way Greater Toronto Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2222. Prior to the amalgamation with United Way Toronto, she served as a board member of United Way York Region from 2011 to 2015 including Vice Chair of the Board. She was also appointed by the provincial government to serve two terms on the board of the Central Local Health Integrated Network, 2006-2010. She is currently on the board of Granite Golf Club. During her time with York Region Public Health, she was charged with developing the Health Promotion Plan for York Region.