'CLICK' Launch Brings Hospitalized Children the Power of Play with Help from Microsoft Canada, Children's Miracle Network and SickKids Foundation

Interactive computer technology keeps kids connected with friends, family and school during hospital stays

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, Microsoft Canada through its partnership with Children's Miracle Network, has launched the Child Life Interactive Computers for Kids (CLICK) program benefiting patients at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Designed to improve the patient experience through the power of play and connectivity to the outside world, CLICK aims to create a sense of normalcy for children who experience hospitalizations for any length of time.

CLICK gives hospitalized children access to technology, providing them with a distraction and therapeutic outlet while reducing anxiety and stress. The program encourages youth to stay connected and feel empowered while making technology accessible for patients and families at the hospital. Patients will have access to the latest technology including tablets, game systems and software.  CLICK technology will allow them to connect with one another through therapeutic group gaming, have access to Internet search engines, social networks and e-mail, create personal blogs, complete homework assignments and chat online with families and friends.  To ensure there is a therapeutic value to the technology available, Microsoft Canada also funds a Child Life Specialist to design individual and group programming opportunities tailored to the needs of children and teens in hospital and to teach the children and their parents how to use it effectively.

"Microsoft is committed to CLICK because we have seen how technology can enhance the patient experience in the five other Children's Miracle Network member hospitals we support," said Michael Hilliard, Senior Corporate Counsel, Microsoft Canada. "Youth need to be better prepared for the future and we are dedicated to youth empowerment and our goal is to make sure hospitalized children are connected with their family and friends and have creative tools to get their minds back on having fun.  CLICK is a program we strongly believe in."

"Access to technology and electronic entertainment systems like the ones provided by the CLICK program helps provide patients at SickKids with the opportunity to interact with their friends and family and engage in therapeutic activities with the support of a Child Life Specialist, while serving as a welcome distraction from the painful reality of disease and injury," says Adrian Horwood, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at SickKids Foundation. "Microsoft's generous commitment to help facilitate this will help staff at SickKids continue to offer a sense of normalcy to children and their families during a very difficult time."

"Corporate partners like Microsoft Canada help form the backbone of support for children's healthcare," said John Hartman, Chief Operating Officer, Children's Miracle Network. "Microsoft Canada does not simply cut a cheque - the company unleashes its talent as well, which makes CLICK an invaluable program that helps children get better."

Fast Facts

Since its first hospital launch in 2005, Microsoft Canada has financially supported the implementation of the CLICK program at five other Children's Miracle Network member hospitals:

  1. Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa, Ontario)
  2. Centre Hospitalier Universitaire du Quebec (Quebec City, Quebec)
  3. Alberta Children's Hospital (Calgary, Alberta)
  4. IWK Health Centre (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  5. McMaster Children's Hospital (Hamilton, Ontraio)

Microsoft Canada's CLICK program includes the donation of a variety of technology including:

  • Xbox Kinect Games
  • Xbox One
  • Laptops installed with Skype, HD cameras and Microsoft Movie Maker
  • Windows Surface Tablets
  • TV with DVD player
  • Microsoft HD webcams
  • Headsets
  • Digital Cameras
  • Projectors

About SickKids Foundation

Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids -- one of the world's foremost paediatric health-care institutions. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, SickKids Foundation made an unprecedented investment of $92.6 million in children's health, a direct result of generous community and corporate support. For more information, please visit www.sickkidsfoundation.com.

About Children's Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network® raises funds for 170 children's hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada. These hospitals, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given, it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children's Miracle Network has raised tens of millions of dollars for children's healthcare most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase specialized equipment, and ensure excellence in care, all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at www.ChildrensMiracleNetwork.ca.

About Microsoft Canada

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.

Image with caption: "Tobin Haas, SickKids patient ambassador, tests the new Xbox One with Michael Hilliard (Senior Corporate Counsel , Microsoft Canada) and John Hartman (Chief Operating Officer, Children's Miracle Network) at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Microsoft Canada, with Children's Miracle Network, presented its CLICK donation at the hospital today. (CNW Group/Microsoft Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131128_C5736_PHOTO_EN_34048.jpg

SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Inc.

For further information:

Veritas Communications
Nina Kalos


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