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New Alberta Children’s Hospital set to open

CALGARY – When it officially opens its doors on September 27, 2006, the new Alberta Children’s Hospital will offer state-of-the-art healthcare services to children of all ages throughout Southern Alberta.

The new hospital cost $253 million to construct. The province of Alberta provided approximately $220 million, while community partners through the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation provided $33 million in funding for special design and architectural features, such as the hospital’s Healing Gardens, interactive playgrounds, a gathering space and pet room. An additional $20 million was provided from the community through the Foundation to fund research chairs, professorships and special programs.

David Tuer, Calgary Health Region Board Chair, and Jack Davis, President & Chief Executive Officer, in addition to other senior executives of the Calgary Health Region, were joined in late August by the Honourable Norman L. Kwong, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta; the Honourable Ralph Klein (pictured), Premier of Alberta; the Honourable Iris Evans, Minister of Health and Wellness; and His Worship Mayor David Bronconnier, The City of Calgary, to celebrate the momentous achievement.

“The new Alberta Children’s Hospital is an outstanding example of the Region’s and the provincial government’s strong commitment to providing a future of excellence in healthcare to our community,” said David Tuer, Board Chair, Calgary Health Region. “It stands as a testament to the outstanding support of our partners, both in the provincial government and in the community, who provided the necessary funds to make this dream a reality.”

Premier Ralph Klein (pictured above) said, “This hospital is the first new freestanding children’s hospital to be built in Canada in more than 20 years. It will serve as part of a network of services throughout southern Alberta to provide the finest possible healthcare for our children.”

Features of the new hospital include:
• Over 60% larger in size than the existing Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.
• Site is master-planned to allow for future expansion to occur laterally and not vertically – avoiding disruptions/shutdown of existing areas during construction.
• Incorporates strategically located shelled-in areas within the building that will accommodate some future growth.
• Incorporates latest information systems and technology – will accommodate future technologies (wireless, fibre optics, etc.)
• Telehealth/teleconferencing capabilities from all rooms.
• Mechanical systems designed for energy efficiency. Triple glazed windows in clinical areas reduces operating costs of mechanical air systems and provides better quality heating and cooling to these areas.
• Mechanical systems designed to provide isolation capabilities in PICU, Oncology and dedicated patient rooms in case of infection outbreak.
• Patient building mechanical systems designed to also provide isolation capabilities by floor, wing or rooms in case of infection outbreak.
• Pre-manufactured headwalls to house medical gases, electrical outlets and nurse call systems will allow future retrofits and changes to occur without the need to demolish walls or shut down patient rooms.
• Interstitial service floor contains mechanical and electrical systems over Emergency, PICU, DI, Surgery and Recovery to allow easy maintenance and future renovations.

• Designed to serve 60,000 visits per year. The existing hospital was built to accommodate 25,000 visits and is currently serving 47,000.
• Increased number of exam stations from 25 to 30 – including 2 dedicated exam rooms for mental health patients.
• Increased number of triage desks from 1 to 2. Triage desks have an adjoining exam room to allow immediate patient assessments.
• Increased number of resuscitation/trauma beds from 2 to 4. Trauma rooms have built-in overhead X-ray equipment eliminating the need to transfer critical patients to DI.
• Dedicated procedure room for minor procedures – allowing increased accessibility to trauma rooms for more acute procedures.
• Dedicated telehealth/teleconferencing room.
• Human Simulator room for hands-on, real time training for internal and external staff.
• Helipad located within 60 metres of Emergency.

Surgical Suite
• Increased number of Operating Theatres from 5 to 9 and includes the following:
• 1 OR with ability to accommodate interoperative MRI capabilities
• 2 ORs capable of handling minimally invasive SMART technology
• Capability for all 9 ORs to provide minimally invasive technology
• Exterior wall of MRI area is demountable for ease of equipment replacement.
• Increased the number of Special Procedure Rooms from 1 (which contained both Cardiac Cath and Endoscopy) to 2 - 1 primarily for angiography and 1 primarily for endoscopy.
• Increased induction rooms from 1 (in an open area) to 5 dedicated induction rooms with parent accessibility.
• Increased post-op recovery beds from 12 to 22 beds.

Day Surgery
• 50% increase in beds
• Consolidated 35 bed day surgery unit compared to existing ACH consisting of two units (15 and 7 beds) located on two floors.
• Dedicated procedure room to allow pre-op patient assessment and preparation.
• Family lounge, breastfeeding room and parent lockers adjacent to Day Surgery Unit.

Diagnostic Imaging
• Functionally, centrally located to Emergency, PICU and IPUs.
• Nuclear Medicine: from 1 to 2 units
• Fluoroscopy: from 1 to 2 units
• X-Ray: from 2 to 4 units (1 located within the orthopedics clinic)
• Ultrasound: from 4 to 6 rooms
• Includes state-of-the-art MRI and CT Scan technology.
• Dedicated induction room and recovery area within the DI suite.
• Full digital image reading to allow remote conferencing and faster electronic access to images in OR’s and other critical care clinical areas.