Interactive computer technology allows Mac Kids to stay connected with friends, family and school
HAMILTON, ON, Feb. 24, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, through its partnership with Microsoft Canada and Children's Miracle Network, McMaster Children's Hospital launched the CLICK (Child Life Interactive Computers for Kids) Program. CLICK has been designed to improve the patient experience through the power of play and create a sense of normalcy for children who experience hospitalizations for any length of time.
CLICK provides access to technology, Tablet PCs, software, HD webcams, digital cameras, projectors, Xbox, Kinect and more to hospitalized children during their stay. Various games and internet applications offered through CLICK can provide distraction, reassurance and reduce anxiety and stress. Some of these activities include computers for playing games, access to Internet search engines and social networks, e-mail, creating personal blogs, posting messages, tracking homework assignments and chatting online with families and friends.
"Microsoft is committed to CLICK because we have seen how technology can change the patient experience. Microsoft has supported CLICK in 4 other hospitals. This is something we strongly believe in," said Michael Eisen, Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft Canada. "Our goal is to make sure hospitalized children are not isolated and have creative tools to get their minds back on having fun."
As part of the Program, Microsoft Canada also funds a Child Life Specialist to teach the children and their parents how to use the technology. McMaster Children's Hospital has taken the program one step further to integrate the CLICK Program into rehabilitation and other aspects of pediatric care.
"The unique aspect of this program is that it benefits children of all ages and can be used for so many purposes within the hospital environment," said Pearl Veenema, President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. "Bringing this technology to Mac Kids will enable our young patients and their families to remain connected to the outside world, explore options for creativity, support rehabilitation, and provide distraction from the serious conditions that brought them into our care."
McMaster Children's Hospital is the fifth hospital across Canada to implement the CLICK Program. Over 1.2 million dollars has been committed to date.
"Corporate partners like Microsoft help form the backbone of support for children's healthcare," said John Hartman, Chief Operating Officer, Children's Miracle Network. "The incredible asset of Microsoft in CLICK - is they support such innovative and creative opportunities with funding and internal expertise to maximize the impact of helping children get better. They simply do not cut a cheque - they unleash their talent as well."
Microsoft Canada has financially supported the CLICK program at five hospitals who are members of Children's Miracle Network:
- McMaster Children's Hospital (Hamilton, Ontario)
- Alberta Children's Hospital (Calgary, Alberta)
- Centre Hospitalier Universitaire du Quebec (Quebec City, Quebec)
- Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa, Ontario)
- IWK Health Centre (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
CLICK integrates a combination of donations from Microsoft:
- Laptops installed with Skype, HD cameras and Microsoft Movie Maker
- Windows Tablets
- Microsoft HD webcams
- Xbox Kinect Games
- Kinect for Xbox 360 Bundles
- Digital Cameras
- TV with DVD player
McMaster Children's Hospital
McMaster Children's Hospital is one of Canada's leading pediatric health care facilities and is the regional referral centre for children who are seriously ill, injured or require specialized services in south-central Ontario. With more than 180,000 patient visits a year, we provide a full range of specialized pediatric services including a dedicated emergency department, 40 outpatient clinics, the province's largest neonatal intensive care unit and the only pediatric trauma centre in the region. In addition, a range of specialized outpatient services operate at the Chedoke site, including autism, developmental pediatrics & rehabilitation, and mental health. It is also home to the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research and the internationally renowned Offord Centre for Child Studies.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.
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 more than $4 billion, 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 ChildrensMiracleNetwork.ca.
Image with caption: "From left to right: Laura Dowling, Laureen Harper, Michael Eisen and Sarah Masonovich. (CNW Group/Microsoft Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120224_C7240_PHOTO_EN_10440.jpg
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Sarah Louise Gardiner