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Annual reports

Accountability and transparency are at the core of what we do. We direct the funds we receive toward areas that make a real difference in child health—and we’re determined to make sure you can see the impact of your giving. Each year, we highlight some of the past year’s achievements in a report to show you what your generosity made possible.

Annual report 2018-19

Thanks to the amazing support of our donors, it has been an unforgettable year at BC Children's Hospital. Since the opening of the Teck Acute Care Centre and as we see a new era of health care unfold, we continue to make great strides in helping our province's kids receive the best care imaginable.

Read on for more on the many ways that our generous donors have been helping to make a difference in the lives of kids and families.

 

Ushering in a new era of care

As the only children’s rehabilitation and developmental services facility of its kind in the province, Sunny Hill offers specialized services and care to thousands of kids and families each year.

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our community of supporters, this past year, more than 460 donors, together with gala supporters at A Night of Miracles and For Children We Care, helped the Sunny Hill Enhancement Initiative make huge strides towards its $14 million goal to enhance the facility’s new home on BC Children’s Hospital’s campus.

We are especially grateful for the inspiring generosity and leadership of Thomas & Ann Blaauw and Family, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, Hilary & Patsy Hui and Peterson who are helping to transform care for patients and families who depend on Sunny Hill.

Once completed, the world-class centre will feature purpose-built spaces, technology, equipment and artwork designed for the specific needs of Sunny Hill’s kids and their families.

Construction Enhancements

This past year, significant construction progress was made on the new site, including the excavation of Sunny Hill’s new therapy pool.

When completed, Sunny Hill will be equipped with: a modern gym that will allow more kids to be treated at one time in an engaging environment; a larger multi-level therapy pool with water jets, flooded with natural light; an outdoor training space to help kids regain mobility on different surfaces, and a home-like family lounge with a dining area and spaces for relaxation and play.

“ As a mom of three, I know how precious time is. Moving Sunny Hill to the BC Children’s campus will change the way they deliver care to these kids and their families and give kids more time to just be kids.”

— Lee Rennison, Primex Investments, Donor

Art with purpose

The Children’s Healing Experience Project will feature curated, purposeful artwork throughout Sunny Hill, including murals, sculptures and interactive displays, that consider the complex physical, developmental and emotional needs of its patients and their families. For example, kids being assessed for behavioural development conditions may benefit from calming art that will help them to focus during their assessment appointments. This art will help create a truly patient-centered healing environment.

Kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can endure different kinds of daily struggles, such as trouble focusing in class or not being able to finish daily tasks. To support families, mental health experts at BC Children’s Hospital designed a 12-session program that offers practical tools and parenting strategies. While a tremendous success, many families outside of the Lower Mainland weren’t able to attend the in-person program to receive this specialized knowledge.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Lu family, BC Children’s was able to expand access to these tools and strategies. Drs. Candice Murray and Daphné Dokis, psychologists at BC Children’s, teamed up to create a video series for parents that was adapted from the in-person program. The free online resource, called Rolling with ADHD, launched in the fall of 2018 and offers eight modules for the caregivers of kids with ADHD. More than 1,300 people worldwide have already registered for the learning series.

The Lu family was inspired to help establish this program through their own personal experience with BC Children’s. Their compassion and generosity is helping to ensure that more children and families receive the help that they need to reach their full potential.

Visit the site at rollingwithADHD.ca

“ Being a parent you are fundamentally doing it all. Having Rolling with ADHD online allows you to access support when you find those hidden, magical, free moments within your day.”

— Parent & Rolling with ADHD Participant

Kids aren’t just small adults—and that’s especially important when it comes to their health care. They need equipment that’s created specifically for their growing bodies, as well as for their unique emotional needs. Here is a look at a few of the 100-plus pieces of equipment funded last year, thanks to the generosity of donors like you.

Code Blue Crash Carts

When a child has stopped breathing and needs to be resuscitated, every second counts. To save the lives of patients, health care providers rely on the most critical medical equipment—such as a code blue crash cart. Last year, the Hudson Family Pediatric Intensive Care Unit purchased five new carts that are equipped with everything the team could possibly need, including a defibrillator to help get the heart beating again. 

The new carts also use the latest technology. The defibrillators provide audio and visual feedback, such as whether chest compressions are deep enough, to ensure high-quality CPR is being delivered.

State-of-the-art Dentistry Equipment

Donors helped equip the hospital’s dental clinic, which sees thousands of kids from across the province, with a portable X-ray machine. Using digital technology, the machine helps surgeons develop a surgical roadmap to diagnose and execute the most effective treatment options for complex dental conditions. It also uses a high speed X-ray, which reduces the amount of radiation a child is exposed to and promotes better long-term health.

Snoezelen Carts

Surgery can be scary for anyone. But for a child with autism, it can be an especially over-stimulating and distressing experience. To help kids feel less anxious, the hospital’s surgical department purchased two new mobile Snoezelen carts. These therapeutic devices provide a multi-sensory experience with adjusting lights, sounds, effects and textures—like eye-catching bubble tubes and colour-changing fibre optic wires.

By helping kids feel more at ease, Snoezelen carts can reduce the time a child is sedated, and therefore the amount of anesthesia they are exposed to. And that can contribute to better health outcomes.

Ground-breaking discoveries are leading to better treatments

Diabetes is a serious disease that can require a lifetime of close management and expert care to ensure it stays under control. Researchers at the Canucks for Kids Fund Childhood Diabetes Laboratories at BC Children’s are working tirelessly to study what causes diabetes, improve treatments and care—and one day, find a cure.

One advancement seen last year was research published by Dr. Francis Lynn and his colleagues that looked at ways that insulin-producing cells, called beta cells, develop in the pancreas.

Currently, pancreatic cell transplants can effectively treat adults with type 1 diabetes, but are not an option for many people. Dr. Lynn’s team is working to better understand how beta cells are produced by looking at the molecular changes that occur at the single-cell level. This is a different approach from that found in previous research, which provided a high-level, rather than single-cell, view of how the pancreas develops.

This brings researchers a step closer to one day growing beta cells in the lab that can be transplanted into children with type 1 diabetes. Ultimately, the goal of this work is to eliminate the need for regular insulin injections and offer children with diabetes a lifelong cure.

BC Children's launches the first pediatric 3D technology program in Western Canada

Heart surgeries are complex—and even more so for a child’s heart, which can be as small as a walnut. Now, with the visionary support of the Ian & Ken McIntosh Families and Kirmac Cares for Kids, it's possible for cardiac surgeons at BC Children’s to test surgical approaches tailored to the needs of each individual patient, even in advance of surgery.

Pediatric interventional cardiologist Dr. Kevin Harris has been able to print 3D replicas of young patient’s organs at BC Children’s, using digital scans.

It’s one example of how the 3D technology program, launched last year, is opening up new possibilities that may one day include innovations like creating custom prosthetics and enabling unprecedented teaching and simulation experiences for the next generation of medical experts.

 

BC Children’s is home to facilities that are truly world-class—healing environments for kids and their families, and technologically advanced equipment. Delivering the highest level of care also requires having the top medical minds. Last year, donors like you helped BC Children’s recruit and train expert clinicians and researchers. Here’s how:

Hudson Scholars Awards Program

In 2016, the remarkable generosity of the Hudson family allowed BC Children’s to establish its first-ever Hospital Chair, a prestigious honour bestowed upon leadership positions within the hospital. Since then, Dr. Allison Eddy, chief of  pediatric medicine and Hudson Family Chair in Pediatric Medicine at BC Children’s, has been given the opportunity to bring her strategic vision to life. 

As part of her plan, Dr. Eddy established a mentored career development program, called the Hudson Scholars Awards Program. It’s focused on providing early-career physicians the opportunity to explore the field of quality  improvement in medicine, and has quickly established BC Children’s as a leader in this emerging field.

The work of the initial group of scholars enhanced care in 2018 in some noticeable ways. Vaccination tracking practices were enhanced, the discharge process was streamlined, and work is being done to improve care for infants with meningitis.

Now, five new scholars are diving into research designed to tackle important issues—like reducing unnecessary admissions and testing and improving virtual care practices. We can’t wait to update you on their progress.

Trainee Support

Last year, your support helped train the next generation of child health experts through fellowships and grants.

Graduate studentships were awarded to researchers working to advance care—such as one that is evaluating an eye movement test that could one day lead to a more effective way to diagnose concussions.

Postdoctoral fellowships also helped researchers advance studies and gain important knowledge. One, for instance, looks to identify ways to stimulate the immune system to attack leukemia cells, which could help kids who don’t respond to current treatments.

Health care experts have new tools to support patients

Childhood obesity can lead to serious health problems, like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. That’s why BC Children’s has brought an initiative called Live 5-2-1-0 into the hospital. For years, this initiative has been spreading an important healthy living message across BC.

The Live 5-2-1-0 message is easy for kids to remember, and is based on four research-backed guidelines aimed at helping prevent childhood obesity. Thanks to critical donor funding, BC Children’s was able to create and pilot a training workshop and a robust toolkit this past year, that have made a noticeable difference for medical experts helping patients adopt healthy living habits.

At the six-month mark, 80 per cent of participants were helping patients set healthy living goals (up from 50 per cent), and 75 per cent shared that they now have sufficient resources to support their patients (more than triple the number than before).

This is just the start. With growing interest, Live 5-2-1-0 will be expanding to other clinics later this year, thanks to the ongoing commitment of donors who are making this progress possible.

Researchers at BC Children's take the next steps toward the ultimate vision of care

Here at BC Children’s, the brightest minds are on a quest to do more than just treat kids in the hospital. They’re working tirelessly to keep them out of it, too. Researchers at the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU), a province-wide partnership at BC Children’s dedicated to reducing injuries, took important steps forward in doing just that.

In 2018, a new website was launched to prevent sport injuries in kids through a project co-led by Drs. Shelina Babul and Ian Pike. It’s called Active & Safe Central (activesafe.ca), and it draws on research to provide quick, helpful information on injury prevention for over 50 sports and recreational activities.
 

Dr. Mariana Brussoni advanced her work in explaining the role of risky play in keeping kids safe. Her team developed an online tool for parents, OutsidePlay.ca, to help them think differently about risks and make a plan for change. It’s already been accessed by over 23,000 users.
 

Important updates were made to the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (cattonline.com), which was launched in 2013 through generous donor contributions. Last year, the e-learning module was updated to give coaches and officials critical information on how to recognize and respond to a concussion, along with how to manage an athlete’s return to sport. Booklets were also developed for parents, teachers, coaches and athletes to aid with the overall management of possible concussion incidences.

Efforts like these are helping to improve safety for BC's kids. A research study recently ranked nine Canadian provinces on their child injury prevention rates and strategies.

The outcome? BC scored the number one spot.

Helping to close the mental health gap for kids who need support

In BC, 70 per cent of kids and teens with mental health conditions don’t get the expert care they need. This figure is staggering—and it reinforces the need for change. Last year, BC Children’s laid important groundwork for innovative programs designed to improve mental health care.

One of them aims to give more kids from across the province access to specialized mental health care. Launched in September of 2018, Compass establishes a direct line between community care providers and an expert mental health team at BC Children’s. Through the program, community care providers can call the Compass team to receive support with diagnostics, medication recommendations and treatment plans.

Compass is already making a big difference; over 800 community care providers have enrolled and there have been more than 900 patient cases supported since its launch.

In addition to funding from the government and other partners, this progress has also been made possible through the generous support and commitment of our donors, including Barry & Laurie Cavanaugh, Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, the Wesik Family and Crystal Ball gala supporters.

One

BC Children's is the only hospital in the province devoted exclusively to children

93,000

kids visit the hospital for specialized pediatric services each year

1,000+

researchers on our campus work tirelessly to discover new treatments

Beating the odds

"I thought it slowed me down, but I believe now that I can do anything I want—no matter how many surgeries I've had. I wouldn't be the same person without those scars." — Avery 

Avery's story
Beating the odds

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