Gateway Gazette

Emergency Pediatric ‘Pod’ Opens at South Health Campus

Specialized, $3.9M space for sick children fully funded by Calgary Health Trust

The South Health Campus opened a specialized emergency care space for children thanks to generous donations through the Calgary Health Trust
. We’re grateful for all the donors and those who joined us to celebrate including Matt Jones, MLA Calgary-South East

CALGARY – The South Health Campus has opened a specialized emergency care space for children at the southeast hospital.

The new space, or pod, is now open daily from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Located next to the main emergency department (ED), this child-friendly emergency pod has nine beds, theme rooms with murals and a private waiting space to help make the hospital setting less intimidating for young patients and their families. The pod enables front-line staff to care for pediatric emergency patients in a dedicated space with specialized equipment that can accommodate small children and infants.

“This space shows what happens when Alberta Health Services and health foundations work in close partnership with the Government of Alberta to come up with innovative ways to provide health services where they are needed,” says Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“The development of a specialized pediatric emergency care space within the existing South Health Campus is an example of transforming an existing space to meet the growing needs of a community to support families, not just in Calgary but throughout southern Alberta.”

The South Health Campus ED handled more than 14,000 pediatric emergency visits last year; about one-fifth of all emergency department visits at the hospital. Most pediatric ED patients are from south Calgary communities, Okotoks, High River, Strathmore and other surrounding towns. The South Health Campus is 40 km away from Alberta Children’s Hospital.

The $3.9-million project was fully funded by anonymous donations to Calgary Health Trust through the Calgary Foundation. The operational costs to staff the pod are managed within the facility’s existing ED budget.

Alberta Health Services President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu says the new ED pediatric pod will help improve the healthcare experience for young patients and their families.

“As a pediatrician, I know this will be a comforting space where children and parents can come for care without being exposed to the environment of an adult emergency room, which can face many difficult and challenging situations,” says Dr. Yiu.

Adds Calgary Health Trust President and CEO Mike Meldrum: “It is a great honour for Calgary Health Trust to work with our partners at Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services to invest in important spaces like the pediatric emergency pod for our city. This project has been made possible because of donors coming to the table to respond to our city’s growing health needs faster and ensuring that what we build is truly world-class. It was our pleasure to partner with the Calgary Foundation to make this funding possible.”

Calgary Health Trust is a Calgary-based charity focused on fundraising that will transform health care in Alberta. The incredible generosity of our donors has helped to raise more than $459 million for healthcare since 1996. Funds raised benefit Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital, South Health Campus, many community health programs and 12 Carewest care centres in our community. For more information about Calgary Health Trust and its strategic priorities, visit calgaryhealthtrust.ca.

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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