IWK Health Centre launches "Upopolis," Canada's first secure online
community keeping kids in hospitals connected
HALIFAX, Oct. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the IWK Health Centre, TELUS and Kids' Health Links Foundation announced the launch of Upopolis, an online social network for young patients in hospital.
The IWK is the first hospital in Atlantic Canada to offer this innovative site to their patients, making hospital walls virtually invisible between family and friends through the power of secured social networking.
Created by Kids' Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and powered by TELUS, Upopolis.com provides the best features of social networking for young patients who often feel disconnected when they're in the hospital. Upopolis provides a personal profile, personal blogs, instant chat and child-friendly games. The site also provides unique features to kids in hospital like a homework site to stay up-to-date with their schoolwork, links to kid-friendly health and wellness information, and connections to other children with the same condition. The Child Life Team champions the Upopolis program and oversees the integration of the program within the hospitals.
"The IWK has been providing care to children and families across the Maritime provinces for 100 years, and over time we have continued to evolve and enhance our ability to meet the needs of our patients," said Anne McGuire, President and CEO, IWK Health Centre. "We are excited to launch Upopolis as part of that evolution, offering our young patients a new and unique way to connect with their family, friends, teachers and other patients across Canada while in hospital."
Through a unique partnership with Kids' Health Links Foundation, TELUS provides the technology to develop and build Upopolis. TELUS continues to provide site expansion, ongoing access to Upopolis, managed web hosting, application support and maintenance services. The TELUS Atlantic Community Board also donated $50,000 to help the IWK launch Upopolis.
"With families travelling across the Maritimes to receive medical attention at the IWK, it is important for young patients in care to stay connected to their larger support system. Through secure social networking technology, Upopolis provides that unique capability," said Marc Filion, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager TELUS Health Solutions. "TELUS is committed to making the hospital experience less isolating for young patients in care."
Kid's Health Links and TELUS launched the program in 2007 at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Since then, it continues to expand to hospitals across Canada, including B.C. Children's Hospital and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Other hospital and health organizations are expected to be announced later this year. By adapting the TELUS technology, Upopolis has evolved to meet the specific needs of each hospital to create a more advanced social network with new additions like its availability in French.
"The launch of Upopolis at the IWK takes this network from coast-to-coast, connecting kids in care across Canada," said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids' Health Links Foundation. "Our goal is to take Upopolis to every hospital across Canada to create a truly national network."
About Kids' Health Links Foundation
Kids' Health Links was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to connect, through technology, children in health care facilities across Canada with friends and family, their teachers and schoolwork. Kids' Health Links Foundation created Upopolis - an innovative, private online community for children in care. The Kids' Health Links technology solutions help to alleviate stress, isolation and loneliness for children in medical care in order to help children heal faster and better to overcome traumatic medical experiences.
About IWK Health Centre
The IWK Health Centre, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, provides quality care to women, children and youth of the Maritimes and beyond. In addition to tertiary (highly-specialized) care, the IWK also provides primary care services. The IWK is engaged in leading-edge research, the promotion of healthy families and the education of health professionals and other learners.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.7 billion of annual revenue and 11.8 million customer connections including 6.3 million wireless subscribers, 4.1 million wireline network access lines, 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 100,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $137 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 2.6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead our local philanthropic initiatives. For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
SOURCE TELUS Corporation
For further information: For further information: Laura Fougere, IWK Public Relations, (902) 470-6740; AJ Gratton, TELUS Media Relations, (416) 320-0364, Aj.Gratton@telus.com; Basile Papaevangelou, Kids' Health Links Foundation, (647) 880-3037 (mobile), (905) 469-1819 (KHLF office), email@example.com