Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre the first to launch
Upopolis in Southwestern Ontario
LONDON, ON, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Children's Hospital at London Health
Sciences Centre together with TELUS Health, Kids' Health Links
Foundation (KHLF) and Children's Health Foundation today announced the
launch of Upopolis - an innovative social networking tool helping young
hospital inpatients stay connected to their families, friends and
school. Children's Hospital is the first hospital in Southwestern
Ontario to receive this program.
Founded and created by KHLF and powered by TELUS Health, Upopolis.com is
the only private, secure and trusted online social network designed
just for children receiving care in hospitals. Upopolis provides
familiar features of social networking, such as personal profiles,
micro-blogging, instant chat, group chats, multiple photo uploading and
event calendars. In addition, the platform gives patients the
opportunity to stay up-to-date with their schoolwork, navigate through
child-friendly health and wellness information and connect children
with similar experiences and interests.
Upopolis was recently redesigned to include new features including
private and public discussion groups called My Spaces, enabling
children to share information and photos and discuss topics on common
interests. The restructured site also features a personalized newsfeed
to keep users informed on everything that is important to them. All
previous features have been updated to make it easier for patients to
surf through the network site with ease. Upopolis will be championed by
Child Life Specialists at Children's Hospital who work with patients,
their families and other caregivers to help manage stress, pain and
anxiety associated with hospitalization.
"We look forward to welcoming Upopolis to Children's Hospital, and in
keeping with our family-centred approach to health care, we are happy
that Upopolis will offer our patients child-friendly toolkits to help
with education, diversion and preparation for medical procedures," said
Laurie Gould, Executive Vice-President, Patient Care, London Health
"Social networks and technology are a ubiquitous part of the lives of
many Canadian children today and young patients also want the
opportunity to stay connected while receiving care," said Paul Lepage,
President, TELUS Health. "Upopolis empowers children in care and gives
them the opportunity to network and share experiences, thoughts and
feelings with other kids under similar circumstances, fostering a
community of support. We are thrilled to launch such an innovative
program for young patients in Southwestern Ontario for the first time."
This unique online support network was inspired by the hospital
experiences of two teenaged friends, Christina Papaevangelou and Katy
McDonald. In February 2002, Christina was admitted to the Intensive
Care Unit at McMaster Children's Hospital with a life-threatening
illness. Shortly after, Katy was diagnosed with cancer and had to be
hospitalized for a long period of time at The Hospital for Sick
Children. Sadly, Katy lost her battle with cancer. However, their
friendship and common experiences inspired Christina to explore ways of
helping children in care stay connected.
"When we launched Upopolis in December of 2007 it was only a dream.
Today it has connected many children in care across Canada with other
patients, their friends and loved ones," said Basile Papaevangelou,
chairman and founder of Kids Health Links Foundation. "On behalf of
Kids' Health Links and our partners, we are excited to launch Upopolis
at Children's Hospital. We are now in all four children's hospitals in
Ontario, which means we are one step closer to bringing this program to
every Canadian children's hospital."
KHLF and TELUS Health launched the first Upopolis program in 2007 at
McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton and since then it has expanded
to eight additional hospitals and health organizations across Canada,
including B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver; IWK Health Centre in
Halifax; CHEO in Ottawa; The Hospital for Sick Children and Holland
Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Ste. Justine in
Montreal, Lutherwood in Waterloo and now Children's Hospital at London
Health Sciences Centre in London. The Upopolis team and TELUS Health
have worked together to adapt the program in order to meet the specific
needs of each hospital, whether adding French language capabilities or
information specific to mental health.
Children's Health Foundation
Children's Health Foundation is dedicated to raising and granting funds
to support Children's Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, Thames Valley Children's Centre and Children's Health Research Institute. Since 1922, funds raised have helped deliver exceptional care and
support for children and their families by providing specialized
paediatric care, equipment, education programs, therapy, rehabilitation
services and research. To learn more about how you can positively
impact the health of children, youth and their families, please visit www.childhealth.ca.
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 TELUS Health
TELUS Health is a leader in telehomecare, electronic medical and health
records, consumer health, benefits management and pharmacy management.
TELUS Health solutions give health authorities, providers, physicians,
patients and consumers the power to turn information into better health
outcomes. For more information about TELUS Health, please visit telushealth.com.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications
company in Canada, with $10.9 billion of annual revenue and more than
13.1 million customer connections, including 7.7 million wireless
subscribers, 3.4 million wireline network access lines, 1.4 million
Internet subscribers and 678,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by
President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of
communications products and services, including wireless, data,
Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team
members and retirees have contributed more than $300 million to
charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.8 million
hours of service to local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS
Community Boards lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was
honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation
globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals,
becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
SOURCE: TELUS Corporation
For further information:
Director, Communications, Children's Health Foundation
TELUS Media Relations
Kids' Health Links Foundation