Alberta Children's Hospital to launch innovative program to help families of kids with cancer

CALGARY, July 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, ATB Financial associates and clients made a gift to the Alberta Children's Hospital that will make the cancer journey a little easier to manage for kids and families in Southern Alberta.

ATB's 13th annual Teddy for a Toonie campaign raised over $310,000 to support the hospital's Hematology, Oncology and Transplant program.

"With the generous support from ATB Financial, our cancer team is going to be able to introduce a new program to help some kids with cancer in the comfort of their own home", says Liz Ballendine, Director of Community Initiatives for the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. "It's going to make a very real difference in the lives of these families."

The HOSPITAL AT HOME program will be offered to selected oncology patients in the Calgary area. Specially trained nurses will travel to the patient's home to administer certain chemotherapies, inject medications or perform routine tests. "The HOSPITAL AT HOME program is the first of its kind to be offered to kids with cancer in all of North America," says Jennifer Giles, Nurse Practitioner with the Hematology, Oncology and Transplant Program at the Alberta Children's Hospital. "Children with cancer spend so much time in the hospital. This program will give them more time to be at home healing in familiar surroundings with the people they love."

"Anything we can do to decrease stress and improve the quality of life of these brave kids, we're committed to do it," said Wellington Holbrook, Executive Vice-President of ATB Financial. "We've been doing Teddy for a Toonie since 2000 and each year, I am more blown away by the efforts of our associates and the generosity of our customers. This year's fundraising total puts us over the $5 million mark since we started raising money for children's health in Alberta and that's a phenomenal number."

Fundraising activities range from raffles to auctions to golf tournaments. This year, the Rocky Mountain House branch raised the most of all branches - $17,800 - through a fun money casino and other community events. Over the last thirteen years, ATB Financial has raised well over $2 million to support life-saving equipment, programs and research at the Alberta Children's Hospital.

From May 1 - May 31, 2012, customers also donated $2 to the cause by entering a draw to win a teddy bear at each ATB Financial location.

SOURCE: Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation

For further information:

Contact:

Jody Schwartz
Sr. Associate, Communications
Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation
P. (403) 955-8813
E. jschwartz@achf.com

Sandra Huculak
Director, Community Leadership
ATB Financial
P. 780-944-6121
E: shuculak@atb.com

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Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation

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