A Safe, Comfy Haven for Kids

Red Deer’s pediatric reno creates home away from home

Story by Kerry Robins; photo by Cynthia De Doer

When it comes to patient care, Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre follows a great philosophy.

“What’s important to our patients is important to us,” says Allison Hicks, assistant head nurse in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Its updated pediatric unit, which has been renovated in phases over several years, reflects these values.

In June 2010, the Kinsmen Club of Red Deer donated $340,000 to the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation to be spent over three years to help renovate the hospital’s pediatric unit.

A portion of those funds helped to convert two rooms into the latest update, a three-room Kinsmen Care by Parent Suite.

Hicks couldn’t be happier with the space.

“The parent suite is private for families to bond with their babies while providing more accessible care if any problems arise,” says Hicks.

“The rooms are fully equipped now with monitors and call bells, and each suite has a dedicated nurse to answer calls — it really provides a sense of continuity for mom and baby.

ns-waterslide-mural“The new rooms also give mom and dad the opportunity to stay overnight with baby so the whole family can stay together,” adds Hicks.

As well as the reno to the parent suite, the rest of the unit has also received a facelift, thanks in part to the Love of Children Golf Classic in 2006. Thanks to donations from other Love of Children supporters, the unit underwent updates to the play area and teen lounge. The pediatrics play area is now revamped with bright colours and play stations that boost interactivity for kids. The teen lounge caters to the needs of older youth, with space for socializing, learning and reading.

On top of the above, 10 patient rooms were also updated, with new medical equipment used to administer oxygen, brighter lighting, murals, interactive toys, increased storage space and new flooring.

The renovations also include a new Oilers Suite, added last year and made possible by $140,000 in donations from the Oilers Community foundation.

John Donald, Chair of the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, says he’s pleased with the updates.

“The Kinsmen have always been supportive and this donation has gone a long way in giving children and their families excellent care with the upgrades to equipment and play areas,” says Donald. “It’s a great improvement to an already healthy environment.”

For more information, visit www.rdrhfoundation.com