Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 24, 2019
This past Tuesday we heard from Joanne Patterson and Jamie O’Connell from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. They spoke about how donations can help children reach their full potential by helping to fund the hospital beyond the government supported standard level of care. Our donations make a difference through helping them to invest in the best people, programs, equipment and research.  
The Stollery Hospital is one of three most specialised hospitals in Canada for children’s care. Some of the specialised services they have are pediatric intensive care, pediatric cardiac care and pediatric organ transplants. Last year the hospital served over ninety eight hundred pediatric inpatients and almost two hundred and twenty three thousand pediatric outpatients. About forty percent of those came from Northern Alberta and elsewhere, outside of Edmonton.
The Stollery Foundation invests in many different pillars. Recently they have helped to provide changes to the heart transplant unit to provide for an enlarged, better equipped and much more child friendly operating unit. They are also working on converting their three intensive care units to more child and family friendly spaces. This also includes providing for a wider range of equipment better suited to pediatric care. They are also co-funding a new pediatric mental health care facility which will open near the RAH in 2024.  
They showed us a video entitled ‘Little Fighter’, which touchingly presented the story of Cameron, a premature child who has been a patient at the Stollery for several years. It documented his journey from birth to present and the ways in which the Stollery has helped him to reach his full potential.
In addition, they support neonatal care units at the Royal Alex Hospital, the Sturgeon General Hospital and the Grande Prairie Hospital.  In future they hope to be able to build another tower at the U of A site, as the current Stollery Hospital is at capacity now.
The foundation has many different ways that we people can help. Through their community initiatives program they will provide signage, online support, letters of approval, donation tracking forms, event signage and even a representative speaker to groups or individuals wanting to sponsor a fundraising event. These can range from a lemonade stand or a dinner party in your home all the way up to a golf tournament or large fundraising dinner. Donors can choose to direct funding to a specific cause or into general funding.
We would like to thank our speakers for a very interesting and informative talk that clearly presented the many different ways that we can help them to support children’s care in northern Alberta.