The new space, or pod, has capacity for 14,500 patients annually. Nine beds and child-friendly murals help make the hospital setting less intimidating for young patients. The pod enables front-line staff to care for pediatric patients in a dedicated space that does not expose them to the environment of an adult emergency room.
With a 40-kilometre distance between South Health Campus and the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the southeast Calgary hospital sees pediatric patients from south Calgary communities, Okotoks, High River, Strathmore and other surrounding towns.
“This is a great example of how communities and health foundations often work in close partnership with the Government of Alberta to make this province a great place to live and raise a family,” says Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “The development of a specialized pediatric emergency care space will support families not just in Calgary but throughout southern Alberta.”
Currently, about one of five patients seen at the South Health Campus emergency department is under the age of 18.
“It is a great honour for Calgary Health Foundation to work with the Calgary Foundation in representing a donor who wants to build community legacy and make a lasting, tangible impact in our very own city,” says Mike Meldrum, President & CEO, Calgary Health Foundation. “This project is an exciting opportunity to bring donors to the table to respond to our city’s growing health needs faster and ensuring that what we build is truly world-class.”
Alberta Health Services President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu says the new pod will help improve the healthcare experience for young patients and their families. “As a pediatrician, I’m aware how much a welcoming space can ease the stress parents and children feel when they come to a hospital for care,” says Dr. Yiu. “This new space will help comfort families during a difficult time, while helping AHS meet the demand for pediatric emergency services in south Calgary and surrounding areas.”
“For a child and their family, a trip to the emergency room is one of the most stressful, fragile moments of their lives,” adds Calgary Foundation President and CEO Eva Friesen. “What a privilege for us at Calgary Foundation, thanks to the extreme generosity of an anonymous donor, to help provide a safe, calm, welcoming space for these young patients. As part of our ongoing commitment to mental health and community well-being, Calgary Foundation is so proud to support Calgary Health Foundation through this impactful grant.”