Nova Scotia Premier, Rodney MacDonald, Microsoft Canada, Aliant and CMN launch CLICK technology program at IWK Health Centre

    Young patients gain bedside access to Internet and virtual classroom

    HALIFAX, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - Microsoft Canada Co., together with Nova Scotia
Premier Rodney MacDonald, representatives from Aliant, the Children's Miracle
Network and the IWK Health Centre, today launched the Child Life Interactive
Computers for Kids (CLICK) program at the IWK in Halifax. The CLICK program
helps children who are hospitalized frequently or for lengthy periods maintain
a sense of normalcy by providing access to technology, allowing patients to
stay connected with the outside world.
    As part of the CLICK program, young patients will be able to access their
classrooms virtually for the first time. Using Microsoft Roundtable, a laptop
and webcam patients will be able to interact seamlessly with teachers and
classmates giving them the opportunity to participate in classroom activities
in real time. The CLICK program also provides wireless connectivity, hardware,
software, and Xbox(R) consoles and games.
    The partnership also provides funding for a Child Life Specialist who is
responsible for integrating the technology into the hospital, overseeing the
program, and teaching children to use the technology tools to do everything
from keep up with their schooling to research information about their disease
or condition.


    "I want to thank and to congratulate everyone at Microsoft, Aliant and
the IWK for bringing this innovative initiative to Nova Scotia and to the
Maritimes. It's a meaningful collaboration that will make the hospital stays
for hundreds of children a little easier," said Premier Rodney MacDonald.

    "Microsoft's CLICK program will play an integral role in the recovery
process for our patients at the IWK by providing positive opportunities for
children, including gaming, self expression, and working with teachers and
classmates outside of the health centre. It also allows them to conduct
research into their own illness empowering them to make decisions about the
direction of their treatment," said Anne McGuire, President and CEO, IWK
Health Centre.

    "We have seen the transformative impact technology can have on children
in the hospital through our experience with CLICK in Ottawa and Quebec City.
Young people today are technologically advanced and rarely more than a click
away from communicating with friends and family. This program allows them to
maintain that communication, making them feel less isolated and now, let's
them stay in school while in the hospital. We are pleased to expand this
innovative program to Halifax and look forward to continuing in our commitment
to get CLICK into all of the Children's Miracle Network hospitals across
Canada," said Phil Sorgen, President, Microsoft Canada.

    "Aliant is excited to partner with the IWK and Microsoft to bring the
CLICK program to Atlantic Canada. We understand the power of communications
and we recognize the role it plays in the healing process. Our support for
children's health, for the IWK and for the CLICK program is built on a desire
to use our unique set of skills and the combined commitment of our team of
employees to support children and their families," said Ivan Toner, Chief
Information Officer, Aliant.

    "Children's Miracle Network and our hospital partners are thrilled about
today's launch. CLICK continues to have a tremendous impact on the lives of
young patients who spend time in a children's hospital. It's all about helping
children cope and connect with their families and friends - key attributes in
the recovery and well being of children facing difficult times," said John
Hartman, Chief International Officer, Children's Miracle Network.

    Quick Facts

    The IWK Health Centre is the third Children's Miracle Network-affiliated
hospital to establish a CLICK program in Canada, and the first to launch the
Virtual Classroom. Microsoft Canada and the Children's Miracle Network
launched the CLICK program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
(CHEO) in Ottawa in May 2005 and at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de
Québec (CHUQ) in Quebec City in 2007.

    The CLICK program at the IWK Health Centre includes:
    -   Virtual classroom, Microsoft Roundtable
    -   Wireless network
    -   Hardware and software (laptops, tablet PCs, web cameras and Microsoft
        (R) Windows(R) Vista operating system)
    -   Xbox(R) consoles and games appropriate for various age groups
    -   Technical support
    -   Internet connectivity
    -   Furniture (desks and chairs)
    -   Three years of funding support for Child Life

    About the IWK Health Centre

    The IWK Health Centre 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. It is located in Halifax, Nova

    About Microsoft Canada

    Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Co. 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

    About Bell Aliant

    Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) is one of North America's largest regional
communications providers. Through its operating entities it serves customers
in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and
technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added
business solutions. Through its xwave offices, Bell Aliant also provides IT
professional services in Canada and the US. Bell Aliant's 10,000 employees are
committed to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and
convenience. In Atlantic Canada, communications products and services are
delivered to customers through the Aliant brand.

    About Children's Miracle Network

    Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization
dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for
children's hospitals and health foundations across North America. Each year,
the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada,
create miracles by providing the finest medical care, life-saving research and
preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries
of every kind. Through its year-round efforts to help kids, Children's Miracle
Network has raised more than $3.4 billion to date, most of which is donated a
dollar or two at a time by caring individuals across North America. In 2007,
Children's Miracle Network raised more than $42.7 million for the 14 Canadian
member children's hospitals/foundations and the 2.6 million children they
treated. To donate or to learn more, go to Your
donations benefit your Children's Miracle Network hospital.

For further information:

For further information: Media Profile, Jeannie Tsang, Meg Sinclair,
(416) 821-9315, (416) 342-1804,,; The IWK Foundation, Carla Adams, (902) 470-7744,; Aliant, Peter Murchland, (902) 499-5837,

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