New intensive care unit enhances care for children

Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro tours the Stollery’s new pediatric intensive care unit with Melanie Proskow, whose son spent a lot of time in the ICU over the course of his life. Accompanied by Lily Proskow, 7.

The $11.7-million redevelopment includes 16 beds in single-patient rooms that offer more privacy and space for patients and family members who sleep overnight. Most rooms have windows, providing natural light to the area.

“It’s an honour to support the work of the physicians and staff in the PICU and across the health system. I also want to thank the community leaders who step up to support the system through the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation and all our foundations. There is such incredible dedication in the health system and in our communities. I’m looking forward to working with all our health professionals, the foundations and others to deliver on our commitment to build a health system focused on delivering outstanding results for Albertans.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Building a health facility that provides the best possible healing environment for some of Alberta’s most vulnerable children is of critical importance to all Albertans. A project this complex and technologically advanced is very much a team effort that requires ongoing consultation with medical professionals, patients and families, and technology experts. Together, we have built a facility that will meet the needs of today, while being adaptive to the changes of tomorrow.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

Patients age 17 and younger head to the pediatric ICU for critical care for trauma, transplants, neurology issues, surgeries, oncology and respiratory treatments, among other issues. In 2018, the unit treated more than 670 children from central and northern Alberta, Western Canada, Northwest Territories and Yukon.

“World-class health care is about more than providing patients the best health-care teams and the newest equipment. Making patients and families feel comfortable is also important. Single-patient rooms mean better infection control, better sleep and better healing for patients. We worked with families to ensure this new space meets their needs and makes it possible for parents and families to comfortably stay at their child’s bedside.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

The new pediatric ICU opens May 22. This is the second phase of a $64.5-million government-funded redevelopment and expansion of critical care at the Stollery. Phase 1 saw the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit open at the Mazankowski Heart Institute in December 2017 for young patients needing heart care, including transplants. Phase 3 will expand and improve the neonatal intensive care unit, scheduled for completion in 2021. 

The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation is contributing $5.5 million to the project, including $1.2 million for enhancements to the pediatric ICU.

“We’re so proud of this enhanced space because it means kids and youth are getting world-class, intensive care in the comfort and privacy of their own hospital room. We’re grateful to our donors for investing in specialized, family-centred care that makes it possible for parents to sleep next to their child while receiving some of the best pediatric care anywhere.”

Mike House, president and CEO, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation