Child Health BC

Child Health BC, a province-wide network supported by the campaign, including $20 million from lead benefactor Save-On-Foods, continued with its mandate to facilitate access to specialized care for children across the province.

The Telehealth program, to which TELUS is the lead donor with a $5-million gift, extended its reach to 11 BC communities such as Williams Lake, Vernon, Kelowna and Nanaimo, allowing children and families living in or near those communities to meet with BC Children’s specialists via video-conference. At these virtual visits, BC Children’s specialists assess patients’ conditions as they would during an in-person appointment while a local caregiver assists the patient and family at these times.

This latest expansion in telehealth benefits children who require surgery and usually must make four trips to BC Children’s Hospital. Now, in many instances patients and families need to make just one trip – for the actual surgery –to the hospital. The pre- and post-operative visits can be done via telehealth, saving these families significant costs and stress associated with travelling to BC Children’s in Vancouver. Child Health BC is considering expanding telehealth to other communities and adding new subspecialty services to benefit even more children and families in BC and the Yukon.

In the past year, Child Health BC also launched the hip surveillance program for children with cerebral palsy (CP), the first of its kind in Canada. Due to their motor impairment, children with CP are at an increased risk of hip displacement – a painful outcome that can be prevented with proper and timely monitoring.

Child Health BC is pleased to have recruited Dr. Kishore Mulpuri, a BC Children’s orthopedic surgeon, as the program’s medical lead and Stacey Miller, a BC Children’s Hospital physiotherapist, as the program coordinator. The program aims to coordinate health-care providers around the province and educate them on the importance of monitoring children for signs of hip displacement and to provide standards and guidelines for assessments. Ultimately, the program aims to reduce the number of children with CP who have to undergo complex hip surgery.

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