CHEO launches kids' social cyberspace in the hospital place

    Introducing 'Upopolis', Canada's first secure online community keeping
    kids in hospitals connected to each other

    OTTAWA, May 6 /CNW/ - Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO),
TELUS and Kids' Health Links Foundation today announce the launch of Upopolis,
the first secure online social network for kids in hospital care in Ottawa.
CHEO is the first hospital to launch Upopolis in English and French to meet
the needs of their bilingual patients.
    Created by Kids' Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and powered by TELUS,
Upopolis 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
    "We take in thousands of sick children and youth who have to stay in
hospital for extended periods of time. We focus our care on keeping our young
patients connected to their family and friends for support," said Michel
Bilodeau, President and CEO, CHEO. "We are thrilled to launch Upopolis at our
hospital using the power of technology to bring our family-centered care model
to the next generation and extending the reach of care beyond the hospital
    "Technology has an important role to play in helping Canadian healthcare
providers improve the patient experience," said Joe Natale, president, TELUS
Business Solutions. "Upopolis brings kids the unique ability to have their
world at the hospital bedside, connecting them to family, friends and other
patients at anytime, not just during visiting hours. It uses the power of
technology to make their hospital stay less isolating, keeping them plugged
into the social networks that they depend on more than any other generation
before them. The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario has a long and deep
history for improving the care of children in hospital and we're very pleased
to bring Upopolis to this world-class institution."
    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, and
application support and maintenance services.
    Kid's Health Links and TELUS launched the program last year at McMaster
Children's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario and since then it is expanding to
other hospitals across Canada, including B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver
and IWK Health Centre in Halifax. "Launching Upopolis for the first time in
English and French demonstrates how this program is expanding to meet the
needs of kids in hospital across Canada," said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman
and founder of KHLF. "With the help of our partners and hospitals across the
country we will expand the program to extend the reach for kids in care from
coast to coast."
    The 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, feeling
disconnected from friends, family and keeping up with schoolwork. Sadly, Katy
lost her battle with cancer. However, their friendship and common experiences
inspired Christina to explore ways to help kids in care stay connected.

    About CHEO

    The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario is an academic institution
affiliated with the University of Ottawa. Built in 1974, CHEO provides a full
spectrum of pediatric services in a family centred model of care to children
and youth from Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec aged 0 to 18 years. CHEO is
home to the world class Research Institute, the Provincial Centre of
Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health and the Ontario Newborn Screening
Program. CHEO is an active partner in the Champlain Local Health Integration
Network, providing leadership in all aspects of pediatric health and

    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

    TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE:   TU) is a leading national telecommunications
company in Canada, with $9.7 billion of annual revenue and 11.6 million
customer connections including 6.1 million wireless subscribers, 4.2 million
wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers. 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

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Marie
Belanger, CHEO Media Relations, (613) 737-2343,; Allison
Vale, TELUS Media Relations, (416) 629-6425,; Basile
Papaevangelou, Kids' Health Links Foundation, (647) 880-3037 (mobile), (905)
469-1819 (KHLF office),

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