December 14, 2022

Leadership investment will ensure the future of Southern Alberta’s critically ill newborns are not determined by the condition of their birth

TransAlta is investing $2 million in the future of Southern Alberta families with their generous donation to Calgary Health Foundation’s Newborns Need campaign.

CALGARY – Southern Alberta has a significant rate of critically ill and preterm births requiring the care of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). When these babies are born too sick, too early and too small, they are immediately transferred to the highly specialized, perinatal care team at the Foothills Medical Centre. 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.

TransAlta has stepped forward as the largest corporate contributor to the Newborns Need campaign. Their commitment is critical to creating a sustainable future where investments in vital health initiatives create a better future for Southern Alberta’s families. This investment from TransAlta will support the growth of the Foothills Level 3 NICU from 39 to 58 beds, as part of the overall $66 million Newborns Need campaign.

“TransAlta invests in the communities where our people live and work in order to create a meaningful impact. Our investments fill a recognized need and support the sustainability, diversity and youth in these communities,” said Executive Vice President of Legal, Commercial, and External Affairs Kerry O’Reilly Wilks. “We are pleased to be able to make a difference for the families across Southern Alberta who will utilize this NICU.”

With the support of this investment, Calgary Health Foundation will help to build the most advanced and innovative NICU in Canada. The planned ‘down to the studs’ renovation will provide capacity for newborn babies for the next 20 to 30 years and generate vital information through clinical research to lower the rate of preterm births in Southern Alberta. Calgary Health Foundation looks forward to recognizing TransAlta for their significant gift as the space becomes a reality.

“TransAlta’s milestone investment contributes to a state-of-the-art, Level 3 NICU facility for Southern Albertans. Their gift improves the lives and health outcomes of our most precious gifts in the areas it operates. The $2 million commitment ensures families from the province’s southern border to Red Deer county receive exceptional care and transformational outcomes for the most at-risk newborns.”
Sandy Edmonstone, Board Chair, Calgary Health Foundation

Colten and Chelsea Bodie, from Lethbridge County, spent 94 days in the Foothills Medical Centre NICU with their son, Blair who was born at 27 weeks, 4 days weighing 1,234 grams. Blair needed emergency transport to Foothills Medical Centre NICU with the support of the southern Alberta neonatal transport team. Today, a bright, healthy and vibrant young boy, he recently celebrated his third birthday. Blair’s parents, Colten and Chelsea, are forever grateful for the care that Blair received in the NICU. It is families like the Bodie’s who will continue to benefit from the world class care at Foothills Medical Centre NICU, thanks to the generous gift from TransAlta.

“Foothills staff are angels on earth. We would not have our precious little man without them. They literally laughed with us, cried with us, fought with and for us. He was loved as if surrounded by family there. We could thank them for a lifetime and it wouldn’t be enough.”
Chelsea Bodie


Who? TransAlta’s 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 a higher rate of preterm births and NICU admissions than the national average and we want to change this.

What? Newborns Need is a collaborative investment of $152 million 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.

Where? Each year, Foothills Medical Centre sees about 1,200 Level 3 admissions (with only 39 beds). While they have never turned a patient away in over five years, they are operating at maximum capacity. This funding will allow them to expand to 58 beds to keep up the 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.

TransAlta owns, operates and develops a diverse fleet of electrical power generation assets in Canada, the United States and Australia with a focus on long-term shareholder value. TransAlta provides municipalities, medium and large industries, businesses and utility customers with clean, affordable, energy efficient and reliable power. Today, TransAlta is one of Canada’s largest producers of wind power and Alberta’s largest producer of hydro-electric power. For over 111 years, TransAlta has been a responsible operator and a proud member of the communities where we operate and where our employees work and live. TransAlta aligns its corporate goals with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and its climate change strategy with CDP (formerly Climate Disclosure Project) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. TransAlta has achieved a 61 per cent reduction in GHG emissions since 2015.

For more information contact:
Shannon MacMillan
Senior Advisor, Communications & Engagement
Calgary Health Foundation
Ph. 403.472,9573 or

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