Hamilton Health Sciences
Departments and Services

Patient & Family Learning Centre

Patient & Family Learning Centre, Level 1 South Room B1 2
Phone: (905) 521-2100, extension 40805
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m

Resource Information Specialist: Adam Van Sickle

Patients Served

The Patient & Family Learning Centre serves individuals and family members using the inpatient and outpatient services provided by the Rehabilitation and Orthopedics Program. This includes patients with spinal cord injuries, acquired brain injury, stroke, amputation, and chronic pain. 

The Patient & Family Learning Centre is also open to the general community to provide information on disability issues and services. 

Services Provided

The Patient & Family Learning Centre works with individuals, family members and caregivers whose lifestyle is significantly altered by illness or injury. It provides:

  • Personalized information
  • Peer support
  • Links to the broader community

The Patient & Family Learning Centre fosters individual empowerment and independence, enabling clients to take charge of their own situation by helping them to research solutions in a supportive environment and share experiences with others. 

The Patient & Family Learning Centre Team

The Patient & Family Learning Centre team includes:

  • A Resource Information Specialist from the Hamilton Public Library Disability Information Services Program (DISP)
  • Volunteers who staff the Patient & Family Learning Centre.  The volunteers are members of community groups providing peer support to individuals with disabilities in the Hamilton area. 

How to access the Patient & Family Learning Centre

The Patient & Family Learning Centre is an informal drop in or telephone service.  A typical visit consists of an initial informal interview with the information counselor or trained volunteer to determine the client’s information needs.

The client is then directed to the resources (books, magazines, files, computer sites) that will be the most useful to them.  Individuals can receive as much or as little help as they desire.  All discussions are completely confidential.  If clients wish to take out resources they are only asked to leave their contact information with one of the staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What kinds of resources do you have and can we take them out?

A.  We have almost 400 books, a large pamphlet collection, a vertical file of articles of interest, videos, and disability lifestyle magazines.  Patients, family members and the general community can take these out. In addition, two computers are available for clients to use for information search.  Books can be taken out for two weeks. Other resources for one week.

Q. Do you know of any support groups in the community for people in my situation?

A.  We are able to help you find support groups in the Hamilton area and will try to find groups in your hometown.  We maintain partnerships with a number of support groups and these groups provide the volunteers for our Centre.  A visit to the Centre is a great way to connect with this very important kind of support.

Q. What information do you have on my specific health condition?

A.  Depending on the condition in question we may have books or other resources in the centre.  We are also able to do custom computer searches for consumer health information.  The Patient & Family Learning Centre provides consumer health information on a wide variety of topics related to disabilities but does not give health advice or make recommendations on treatment. 

Q. What can I do to make my house more accessible now that I am using a wheelchair?

A.  The Centre has information to help you to make your home accessible.  Our volunteers can help you anticipate potential areas of concern and work out accessibility problems.  We have an extensive collection of product catalogues to help you see what is available to make your life easier.

Q. What support is available in the community to help me live with my disability?

A. There are many services available in the community that are provided by the different levels of government or by community agencies.  We can help you become aware of what services are available and help to find appropriate services in the Hamilton area or in your hometown.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Patient & Family Learning Centre, please call (905) 521-2100 ext. 40805 for more information.


Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

Disclaimer: Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) offers Google Translate to better facilitate access for our community. However, HHS makes no claims regarding the accuracy of translations. Any and all health information should be verified by a health care professional.