$15 Million Donation to create Vi Riddell Children's Pain & Rehabilitation Centre

CALGARY, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Alberta Children's Hospital will soon be home to new pediatric pain and rehabilitation services, thanks to a gift from local philanthropist, Clay Riddell and his family in the amount of $15 million - the largest donation ever made to the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. The gift, made in memory of Vi Riddell who was a nurse at the Alberta Children's Hospital, will help to create the Vi Riddell Children's Pain & Rehabilitation Centre.

"We are deeply humbled by such incredible generosity," said Saifa Koonar, President and CEO of the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. "This gift is so much about love - Vi's 30-year dedication to children at our hospital, the Riddell family's love for Vi and their desire to enhance her lasting legacy, and every family's wish for their kids to be able to live to their fullest potential."

"This hospital and the children who need it always held a special place in Vi's heart," said Clay Riddell. "My family and I truly hope this new centre will find new ways to reduce the pain and disability that kids experience so they can grow up to live happy and productive lives."

"This generous gift from the Riddell family will enable specialists at the Alberta Children's Hospital to offer their expertise to even more children who suffer from chronic pain and disability, so they can grow up to become stronger as individuals and we can become stronger as a community," said Premier Alison Redford.

"This gift is an important example of how our health care system and our province are strengthened through partnerships," said Alberta Health Services Board Chair, Stephen Lockwood. "The Alberta Children's Hospital has a strong history of providing excellent rehabilitation and pain services to children whose conditions are severe. The Riddell family's tremendous donation will enable the hospital to expand those services and provide enhanced care for children living with chronic pain and mild to moderate disability, improving their outcomes over the long term."

"This wonderful gift is going to help us take a quantum leap forward in the care we provide," said Dr. Peter Farran, pediatric anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist at the Alberta Children's Hospital. "These are children whose disability and pain have beaten them down and robbed them of their courage. A new broader-based program will help them reach potential they often don't even know they have, so they can achieve their dreams, even if those dreams are simply to finish school, make friends and be happy."

The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation raises funds for excellence in child health, research and family centred care. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation provides funding for innovative programs, state-of-the-art technology, advanced medical training and internationally-recognized pediatric research.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.8 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.

SOURCE: Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation

For further information:

Contact:
Belinda Lamb
VP, Communications
Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation
Office: 403.955.8821
Email: blamb@achf.com

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Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation

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