SickKids opens state-of-the-art cardiac diagnostic and interventional unit specially designed for children

    TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ - The opening today of The Mitchell Goldhar
Cardiac Diagnostic & Interventional Unit at The Hospital for Sick Children
(SickKids) will enable Canada's largest paediatric interventional
catheterization program to develop new innovations in minimally invasive
alternatives to open-heart surgery.
    The newly integrated unit combines the latest technology to diagnose and
treat children with congenital heart disease using minimally invasive
procedures that can reduce or eliminate the need for open-heart surgery. The
18,000 square-foot unit includes two new catheterization labs with
state-of-the-art equipment, an integrated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
machine and a post-anaesthetic recovery area for patients. Designed with
children in mind, the unit's outer space theme provides a fun and stress-free
environment in waiting areas, corridors and treatment rooms. Built-in lava
lamps, an interactive "asteroid", as well as colorful lights and wall
decorations are designed to distract patients from upcoming procedures.
    "The new unit allows us to explore new minimally invasive treatments that
put less strain on children with cardiac conditions," says Dr. Lee Benson,
director of The Mitchell Goldhar Cardiac Diagnostic & Interventional Unit.
"Ultimately, we want to improve the quality of care and life for children with
heart disease and The Mitchell Goldhar Cardiac Diagnostic & International Unit
will help us achieve our goal."
    The establishment of The Mitchell Goldhar Cardiac Diagnostic &
Interventional Unit was made possible with $23 million in combined funding
from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and from a committed group of
donors to SickKids Foundation. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
provided $7.2 million to fund the unit.
    "Toronto is proud to be home of one of the world's leading care, research
and teaching hospitals focused on child health," said George Smitherman,
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "The Mitchell Goldhar Cardiac
Diagnostic & Interventional Unit will allow SickKids to continue to be on the
leading edge of technology and care for the benefit of children across the
province and the families who care so dearly for them."
    The unit also received funding from private donors totalling
$15.8 million. A gift of $3 million from Mitchell Goldhar, owner and CEO of
SmartCentres, completed the private funding commitment to the unit. Other
major donors to the unit with gifts of more than $1 million or more included:
Gary Slaight and Standard Broadcasting Corporation and their listeners, Ruth
and Douglas Grant, David and Judy Galloway, Jennifer Ivey Bannock and the
Richard Ivey Foundation.
    "People don't associate heart disease with young children," said Mitchell
Goldhar, owner and CEO of SmartCentres. "But children of all ages do have
heart problems, some from the time they are born. It was important for me to
invest in an area that I knew would have lasting impact. As far as I am
concerned, SickKids is the best place in the world to improve a child's
outcome for a better quality of life and a healthier future."
    Every detail in the unit has been designed to provide a distracting and
entertaining environment for children. The entrance to the unit sets the stage
for a child's journey through outer space. Patients will first encounter a
large "asteroid" that symbolizes a real meteorite that landed on earth over
5,800 years ago. Funded by the Women's Auxiliary of The Hospital for Sick
Children, the asteroid has many hidden features and stories that children will
want to explore on each visit to the unit. The patient reception area also
features a virtual interactive game, computer kiosks and a wall of lava lamps
that will entertain both children and their families.

    The Labatt Family Heart Centre at SickKids is already home to the largest
paediatric interventional catheterization program in Canada and continues to
be a leader in Ontario for innovative procedures to treat complex cardiac
conditions in children. It conducts approximately 90 per cent of cardiac
catheterization procedures for Ontario children, with 1,000 catheterizations
performed last year. Approximately half of these procedures are
interventional, while the remaining half include diagnostic,
electrophysiological, ablation and pacemaker-related procedures.

    SickKids Foundation was established in 1972 and is celebrating its
35-year anniversary. Its mission is to inspire our communities to invest in
health and scientific advances to improve the lives of children and their
families in Canada and around the world. Its vision: Healthier children. A
better world. The Foundation is the largest non-governmental granting agency
in the area of child health in Canada.

    The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), affiliated with the University
of Toronto, is Canada's most research-intensive hospital and the largest
centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country. As innovators
in child health, SickKids improves the health of children by integrating care,
research and teaching. Our mission is to provide the best in complex and
specialized care by creating scientific and clinical advancements, sharing our
knowledge and expertise and championing the development of an accessible,
comprehensive and sustainable child health system. For more information,
please visit SickKids is committed to healthier children for
a better world.

For further information:

For further information: Lisa Lipkin, Public Affairs, The Hospital for
Sick Children (SickKids), Tel: (416) 813-6380; Lori Abbott, Public Affairs,
SickKids Foundation, Tel: (416) 813-8292

Organization Profile

Hospital for Sick Children

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890