January is dedicated to you – our donors, volunteers, and community and event partners – for helping us achieve everything we’ve been able to do over the past 26 years. We’re calling it Thank-you-ary.
A significant milestone we hit in 2022 with the help of our donors and volunteers was the completion of our $66M Newborns Need fundraising campaign, an initiative to give every newborn a fighting chance. This project would not have been possible without those who selflessly gave their time with their passion and dedication for health care in our community. It’s because of people like Stephanie Felesky.
As a mother of three children, Stephanie had an emotional tie with the Newborns Need campaign and the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and excitedly volunteered as a co-chair. Her youngest child spent the first 12 days of their life in the NICU.
“It’s a difficult, difficult time,” said Stephanie. “You are virtually giving your baby up to somebody else’s care.”
“Fortunately for all of us, that care is unbelievably excellent.”
Stephanie noticed that the NICU at Foothills was always full and didn’t have the room to accommodate extra babies, parents, nurses, and staff that needed to be there. She knew with the Newborns Need campaign, there was no better time than the present to expand the NICU at Foothills and invest in research and technology.
FMC’s NICU was designed in the 1990s and was suited for the needs of the time, but as we’ve learned, medical technology is continuing to improve every day, and there was much we didn’t know back then. Simply put, the unit is smaller than it needs to be. It was built with only 39 beds and is 1/3 smaller than similar NICUs across the country. The Newborns Need project will include a new and improved 56-bed NICU that is expandable to 58 on two floors.
“From a personal point of view, when that unit opens, it will be a sense of great payback for me,” said Stephanie. “I just know that so many parents and their families will benefit from this additional space, operations, and technical equipment.”
Stephanie’s job as a volunteer co-chair is to serve as an ambassador for the Calgary Health Foundation. She and her fellow co-chairs, Kate Fischer and Lesley Hutcheson, represent three generations of women who have stepped forward to challenge the status quo by leading this important initiative that will change the future for families in our province. They help increase awareness for the organization and maternal and newborn health needs while raising funds for the campaign.
Thank you, Stephanie, Kate, Lesley, and everyone who has contributed to the Newborns Need campaign! Without your generosity, we wouldn’t be creating world-class care and enabling holistic investments in infrastructure, technology and preventative research.
“It’s going to be something that we’re going to be able to look back on and say, ‘Yes, we made the lives of a lot of families better.’”
Thank you for partnering with us to deliver what newborns need. Together, we’re giving every newborn a fighting chance.