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Phase 1 of Stollery critical care expansion to open Dec. 12

EDMONTON — Critically ill pediatric cardiac patients and their families from Alberta and across Western Canada will soon receive treatment in a bigger and better space.

The new Stollery pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU) opens Dec. 12. The $16.1-million project moves the unit from the Stollery Children’s Hospital to the sixth floor of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, where all local pediatric cardiac procedures are performed.

Whereas the Stollery unit had 12 beds located in one large area, the new PCICU has 16 beds, each located in single-patient rooms that offer more privacy and sufficient space for family members to comfortably sleep overnight.

“By moving to single-patient rooms, we can enhance infection control measures, improve sleep patterns for patients, and create privacy for families,” says Dr. Dominic Cave, Medical Director of the Stollery PCICU. “Children healing is a team activity, and having families present and comfortable at the bedside is vital to the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

The new PCICU was funded with $15.1 million from Alberta Infrastructure and $1 million from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Beyond the $16.1 million for the redevelopment, the foundation contributed a further $2.1 million for equipment and patient- and family-friendly enhancements to the unit.

“When facing a critical illness, the last thing families want to worry about is intruding on another family. This new unit gives parents and kids the space and privacy they need to feel as comfortable as possible,” says Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health. “The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation is a great partner in improving the quality of care for Albertans.”

“An important part of the development of health projects is the extensive consultation that takes place with health professionals, technology experts and families from initial planning through construction,” says Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen. “This is vital in meeting the rapidly changing needs in healthcare and helps us to provide the patients with the best healing environment possible.”

Families were involved in every step of the planning and design of the new unit, helping to build an intensive care space that will improve the healthcare journey for more than 500 patients each year.

Kevin George is one of four parents who have helped bring the family voice to the Stollery PCICU redevelopment committee, providing insight on designs and sharing feedback from the Stollery Patient- and Family-Centred Care advisory councils.

“My role is to advocate for families and help design a space that is as inclusive as possible,” says George. “The lack of privacy on the open-floor critical care units has been one of the most common complaints from families. The new single-patient rooms will help create privacy, but the unit’s design featuring family areas will still allow parents and caregivers to connect in spaces specific to PCICU families.”

The new PCICU represents the first of three phases of a $ 65.7-million redevelopment and expansion of critical care at the Stollery. The next phases will involve improvements to the Stollery pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), both scheduled for completion in 2020. The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation is contributing a total of $5.5 million to all three phases of the redevelopment.

“Our continued investments in newborn development programs, speciality and sub-specialty care, cardiac transplantation, and hospital to home transition help the Stollery to remain a leader in pediatric heart health in Western Canada,” says Mike House, president and CEO of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. “This amazing new space is another example of how our proud donors are supporting the most advanced children’s healthcare – right in our own backyard.”

The Stollery is recognized nationally and internationally for delivering pediatric cardiac care and is a critical part of the Western Canadian Children’s Heart Network. The redeveloped PCICU will help staff, physicians and surgeons to maintain excellence in the delivery of pediatric cardiac intensive care.

“Providing patient-focused care is at the heart of everything that we do,” says Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of AHS. “Thanks to the support of government, community donors to the Stollery foundation, and hard work over the years from site leadership, our staff and physicians will be able to provide the best pediatric critical care possible.”

The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation advances children’s healthcare by funding excellence at the Stollery Children’s Hospital: specialized equipment and facilities for pediatric care; sub- specialty education to train the brightest medical minds; research to discover new treatments and cures; and specialized pediatric programs that improve family-centred care and patient and family outcomes. For more information, visit stollerykids.com.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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Media inquiries:

Sharman Hnatiuk
AHS Communications

Martin Schuldhaus
Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation