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New facilities

Women’s and children’s institute for Edmonton

EDMONTON – The University of Alberta and Capital Health announced the most ambitious commitment to research in women and children’s health that the region has ever seen, with the investment of $37 million in a new institute.

The Women and Children’s Health Research Institute will be a leader in Canada and internationally. Scientists and clinicians across six faculties will work together to study and treat the full range of women and children’s health issues, from diagnosing and treating illness in utero and developing new treatments for autism, epilepsy and other child health problems, to new services for mature women. The Institute will consist of three linked research centres:

• A children’s clinical research centre, to be located in the future Edmonton Clinic across 114 Street from the University of Alberta Hospital building.

• A women’s research centre, to be part of the future Lois Hole Hospital for Women within the Robbins Pavilion, being built on the Royal Alexandra Hospital site.

• A basic research centre, to be located within the future Discovery Centre being built on 87 Avenue on the University of Alberta campus.

“These three centres will be the ‘life’ in the ‘living laboratory’ that we’re envisioning for our new facilities,” said Dr. Terry Klassen, Chair of Pediatrics in the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and Regional Clinical Program Director of Capital Health’s Child Health Program. “This is the leading edge of health sciences, where we study, develop, apply, and evaluate new treatments as we care for patients in real time. It’s an exciting model and nowhere else in Canada is it possible on the scale we’re building here in Edmonton.”

“This is a great day for patients and all the different health professionals who care for them,” added Dr. Wylam Faught, Site Chief for Women’s Health at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology for the University. “Patients will have access to state-of-the-art care, and the work done here will benefit people right across Canada. The Institute will not only build on many established strengths in the region but also help create new areas of expertise, like a mature women’s clinic at the Royal Alexandra.”

Planning for the Institute is being led by Dr. Thierry Lacaze as inaugural Acting Director. Dr. Lacaze is a neonatologist at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, and Research Director in the U of A Department of Pediatrics; he was recruited to Edmonton in 2003 from the University of Paris.

The Institute will begin full operations as the three new facilities are completed. It will include four new endowed research Chairs and 14 new laboratories within the basic research centre alone, plus new technologies on all three sites ranging from new facilities for the Cord Blood Bank to new imaging equipment that will make “movies” to help study cell biology in children.

Start-up funding for the Institute is being provided by the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundations. The Stollery Foundation has committed $30 million over 10 years, and the Royal Alex Foundation $7 million from the $12 million currently being raised for the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. The Institute’s scientists and clinicians will leverage this funding through grant applications to research funding organizations both provincially, federally and internationally.

About Capital Health
Capital Health in Edmonton is one of Canada’s largest health regions and is affiliated with the University of Alberta, providing integrated health services to one million residents in Edmonton and the surrounding area. Capital Health acts as a referral centre to central and northern Alberta, the North and the Prairies, providing specialized services such as trauma and burn treatment, organ transplants and high-risk obstetrics.