November 16, 2022

$10M investment from the Taylor Family Foundation ensures a bright future for Southern Alberta’s critically-ill newborns.

Fully funded, Calgary Health Foundation’s $66M Newborns Need fundraising campaign will create a 58 bed, leading-edge, level 3 NICU at Foothills Medical Centre.

CALGARY – The Taylor Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). That will be the name of the new state-of-the-art, two-story NICU at Foothills Medical Centre that will care for the most critical newborns and their families thanks to their $10M contribution to Calgary Health Foundation’s Newborns Need campaign.

The donation is the largest gift to the campaign and, along with funding from the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, ensures the successful completion of $152M effort to transform care for newborns and their families.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this campaign knowing that this contribution will have a meaningful impact for the future of families and their babies throughout Southern Alberta.”
Don Taylor, Taylor Family Foundation

Southern Alberta has the highest rate of critically ill and preterm births requiring the care of the NICU at one in eight. Nationally, this statistic is one in ten. When these babies are born too sick, too early and too small, they are immediately transferred to the highly specialized care team at Foothills Medical Centre’s NICU. As Southern Alberta’s population continues to grow, our health system must be prepared to care for an ever-increasing number of tiny, vulnerable patients and their families.

“With this generous $10M donation from the Taylor Family Foundation, we are thrilled to announce the successful completion of the Newborns Need fundraising campaign. The investment made through this campaign will not only impact the ability to provide world-class care in a state-of-the-art NICU environment, but will also investigate the abnormally high rate of preterm births by furthering research in prediction, prevention and intervention.”
Kathleen MacPherson, VP Philanthropy, Calgary Health Foundation

Built and equipped over 25 years ago with only 38 beds, the Foothills Medical Centre NICU is 1/3 smaller than similar NICU’s across the country. And while Foothills’ care outcomes are among the best, the existing space cannot accommodate the innovations and best practices that have become today’s standard of care.

“The nurses and doctors in the Foothills Medical Centre NICU are angels. Our daughter, who was born 16 weeks early, is thriving today thanks to the care they provided to our family.”
Katie Fraser, mom of NICU graduate

The expanded, two-floor NICU will double the current footprint and incorporate a hybrid model with both single rooms and open concept spaces, ensuring each baby is cared for in the most appropriate setting for their unique needs. The expanded NICU will also allow for enhanced standards of care such as Couplet Care rooms, where a postpartum mom and neonate can stay together, family rooms giving parents an area to rest and recharge with older siblings, and enable an innovative program called Family Integrated Care (FICare). This program helps integrate parents into the care of their baby while in the NICU and better prepares them to transition home from hospital. Early findings suggest that infants cared for under the FICare model grow faster, show fewer signs of stress, spend fewer days in the NICU, and are less likely to be readmitted to hospital after discharge.

The redevelopment and expansion will reduce transfers to other sites and allow babies (and their families) to be cared for in the best possible way. The enhanced environment will ensure that parents are truly part of the care team which has shown positive outcomes for both babies and parents. It will also have a profound effect on doctors and care providers.

“Thanks to our partnership with government and Calgary Health Foundation, and the tremendous generosity of the Taylor family, we have an opportunity to transform the Foothills NICU into a center of excellence in care, teaching and research. This state-of-the-art unit will become the flagship for neonatal care in southern Alberta and will also help attract the best and brightest medical professionals. We are grateful to partner with Calgary Health Foundation on this life- changing initiative.”
Dr. Mark Anselmo, Medical Director, Calgary Zone, Alberta Health Services

“Don and Ruth’s motivation for this gift may result from their love for babies and desire to give our most precious gifts a fighting chance at a normal life.  Their gift symbolizes their care, love, and compassion for all of Calgary and southern Alberta.  The measurement of this investment is not baby by baby but rather family by family, and the impact is infinite.  This investment changes the trajectory of countless lives.  Perhaps one of our NICU graduates can now be a father, the next thriving global business leader and entrepreneur like Don, or become a mother, a much-loved teacher, school counsellor and vice-principal like Ruth.”
Sandy Edmonstone, Board Chair, Calgary Health Foundation

FAST FACTS

Who? The Taylor Family Foundation is a private, family foundation that looks to support education, preservation of teaching and history, advancement of the arts and health care. The Taylor Family Foundation investment will impact families and their newborn babies, from across Southern Alberta by helping to create a transformative approach to newborn health, aiming to create world-class care from preconception to prenatal and postnatal care, to make a lifetime of difference.

Why? Alberta has the highest provincial rate of preterm birth and NICU admissions, 25% higher than the national average.

What? Newborns Need is a collaborative investment of $152M between Calgary Health Foundation, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. It is a commitment to maternal and newborn health, investing in programs, research and infrastructure, to ensure the best possible outcomes for the most vulnerable newborns and their families. This is the biggest investment in maternal and newborn health currently underway.  The Taylor Family Foundation funding will specifically support the transformation of the current Foothills Medical Centre’s one floor 38 bed NICU to a fully renovated two floor space, offering 60 beds and the latest in technological advances to support critically ill newborns.

Where? Each year, Foothills Medical Centre sees about 1,200 Level 3 NICU admissions (with only 38 beds). The NICU does not turn patients away and continues to operate at maximum capacity. This funding will allow them to expand to 58 beds to keep up with demand as our population grows.

The Calgary Health Foundation is a philanthropic organization uniting our donors, four hospitals, care providers, and community partners with the ambitious aim of revolutionizing health outcomes. Through deep cooperation, unrelenting persistence and a sharp focus on care, wellness and research, we are unyielding in our efforts to ensure Calgarians receive the most progressive care in the world — because our loved ones and yours deserve nothing less. calgaryhealthfoundation.ca

For more information contact:
Valerie Ball, Director Communications & Engagement
Calgary Health Foundation
Ph. 403.990.7943 or valerie.ball@calgaryhealthfoundation.ca

You may also be interested in:

A fighting chance for Rippy and Kaveer

When Rippy found out she had diabetes, she was pregnant. The diagnosis was a surprise to her and her family. Due to her diagnosis, her doctor told her that she would have a high-risk pregnancy, but when her cervix started dilating at just 20 weeks, it was the second big surprise for Rippy during her short pregnancy.

Read More
Kate Fischer, a lucky mom who’s paying it forward

As a mother with two young children, Kate Fischer eagerly volunteered for the Newborns Need campaign to make big changes in maternal and newborn health.

Read More
A big gift from TELUS is helping the smallest newborns

Thank you for helping Calgary’s low birthweight newborns survive, thrive and stay healthy. A TELUS community investment grant has made it possible for Post Partum Community Services (PPCS) to expand its assistance so more families with premature newborns can access the new virtual care program.

Read More

Transform Health Care
With Just a Click

When it comes to making a difference in the health of Albertans, every little bit has the potential to make a big impact – and it’s never been easier.