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BC Children's Hospital
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Key dates, events, and accomplishments for BC Children's Hospital:

1923 - The BC Women’s Institute establishes a fund for crippled children.

1928 - Vancouver’s Crippled Children’s Hospital on Hudson Street admits its first patient.

1933 - A new Crippled Children’s Hospital opens on West 59th Avenue.
1947 - Facility renamed Children’s Hospital to exemplify the growing awareness that children are not defined by their illnesses.

1964 - Children’s Hospital and the Health Centre for Children agree to develop a joint facility.

1977 - Ground is broken at 28th Avenue and Oak Street, the future site of the new Children’s Hospital.

1982 - The new BC Children’s Hospital opens to its first patients.

1985 - Children’s Variety Research Centre opens on the Oak Street site, testimony to the increasing importance placed on medical research.

1992 - BC Children’s Hospital receives initial government approval for expansion plans.

2002 - The Chieng Family Medical Day Unit opens in April, an example of excellence in family-centred care.
2003 - The Ambulatory Care building opens in March; its 55 clinics receive more than 95,000 patient visits a year.

2004 - BC Children’s Hospital, as the only tertiary care facility for children in B.C., receives 168,000 visits from patients annually.

2004 - BC Children’s Hospital establishes the Centre for International Child Health to coordinate and enhance BC Children’s Hospital activities on an international level. The Centre is designed to improve the health of children by providing training for leaders in health care for children, both in Canada and internationally. An inaugural partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai focuses on child cardiac services.

2005 - BC Children's Hospital reduced pediatric surgical wait lists by 20 per cent through innovations and improvements as well as by a new day-surgery partnership with Richmond Hospital.

2005 - Two inpatient units re-opened following a $6.9-million upgrade, the first substantial modernization since the hospital opened in 1982. The provincial government-funded modernization improved patient rooms, amenities for families and the working environment for staff on the neurosciences, cardiology, general surgery and specialty medicine inpatient units, within the limitations of the physical site.

2005 - Phase One of the Djavad Mowafaghian Wing was completed, which significantly improved the area used by oncology outpatients. The 5,000-square-metre renovation project was made possible largely through the generosity of developer Djavad Mowafaghian, who donated $6 million to the BC Children's Hospital Foundation.

2005 - A new province-wide network was established—a first for B.C.—to provide assessment and diagnosis for children with complex developmental behavioural conditions, such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The $3.4 million provincial government-funded program leverages the specialized expertise of Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, part of BC Children’s.

2006 - Healthy Buddies, an initiative of BC Children’s Hospital, expands into schools in various regions across the province. Healthy Buddies is a unique, child-centred health promotion program targeting attitudes and behaviours about body image, nutrition, and physical activity.

2006 - Centre for Healthy Weights: Shapedown BC, a new specialized centre at BC Children’s Hospital opens to help reduce obesity in children and adolescents. Shapedown will help hundreds of kids and their families learn new habits early and enjoy the best quality of life for many years to come.

2007 - A new $19-million Mental Health Building opens at the BC Children’s site to serve children and adolescents living with mental health challenges in British Columbia. They will have easy access to services such as emergency care, long-term psychiatric care, outreach, and an eating disorders program. The provincial government provided $13 million, and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation donors provided $6 million.

2007 - Overwaitea Food Group makes a $20-million pledge of support—the largest-ever donation to the BC Children's Hospital Foundation—for the Child Health BC network. Initiated at BC Children’s Hospital, Child Health BC is a network of medical professionals and agencies, including BC Children's, regional health authorities, and the provincial ministries of Health and Children and Family Development. This network will work to provide easier access to care, reduce travel for families, and enable greater efficiency and collaboration among professionals and agencies involved in child health throughout the province.

2007 - Child Health BC is providing up to $1.5 million to fund a pediatric ambulatory care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital to house diagnostic and treatment clinics for children and youth.

2007 - A 10-bed inpatient unit at BC Children's Hospital vacated by the mental health program was renovated to increase capacity for the pediatric cancer inpatient unit. With the additional space, children with cancer no longer need to be sent to other medical or surgical units in the hospital. Oncology patients now have their own rooms, which is beneficial as their hospital stay can last for many weeks or months at a time.

2008 - Child Health BC is providing $585,000 through the North Coast Health Improvement Society to fund a new audiology clinic at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital. Children living with hearing loss in Prince Rupert and coastal communities as well as the Queen Charlotte Islands will have better access to specialized services through the new facility.

2008 - BC Children’s now operates two new state-of-the-art molecular-imaging gamma cameras that help decrease exam durations and provide higher-quality images. One camera is a hybrid SPECT/CT, a gamma camera combined with a six-slice CT scanner that provides overlaid images. These fused images provide physicians with a more accurate picture of what’s going on inside patients, enabling more effective treatment. For many patients, it can mean one hospital visit instead of two. The Ministry of Health Services invested $2.8 million in the new diagnostic equipment as well as renovations in the Radiology department, including improved waiting areas for patients and better work space for staff.

2008 - Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) British Columbia, a program of BC Children’s Hospital, launches The Period of PURPLE Crying®—an education and prevention program that will enable new parents in B.C. to better understand inconsolable crying in infants and help lower the incidence of Shaken Baby Syndrome. New parents will receive a 10-minute DVD and 11-page booklet explaining normal crying patterns and providing strategies to help cope with periods of inconsolable crying. Prevent SBS BC received a $1.4 million commitment from the Ministry of Children and Family Development. The Ministry of Health Services and health authorities are distributing the program materials to parents through maternity and community health nurses and health care providers.

2008 - The Emergency Department at BC Children’s Hospital implements an electronic clinical information system which supports better patient care through improved data collection, tracking and sharing of patient charts from triage to discharge within the Emergency Department. Funding of $2.5 million for the initial phase is provided through the provincial government’s $100 Million Health Innovation Fund.

2008 - BC Children’s completes a $4.4-million renovation project in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to enhance family and staff areas and improve the unit’s capacity to care for children who require strict isolation. Each year, more than 1,200 children and youth receive care in the PICU. As the only dedicated PICU in BC, it serves the entire province for the critical care of children and youth who have experienced trauma, or require advanced life support and the highest level of intensive care due to complex medical conditions or surgery.

2008 - The Medical Director of Child Protection Services at BC Children’s Hospital receives a Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence from British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth in 2008. The award recognizes individuals and organizations who deliver services to benefit children and youth in innovative and effective ways and who show a commitment to professional excellence.

2008 - Child Health BC’s telehealth services open in the North Okanagan Neurological Association’s Child Development Centre in Vernon, giving families of children with complex developmental behavioral conditions better access to services. Telehealth videoconferencing technology helps to overcome barriers of geography, transportation infrastructure, or socio-economic disparity by enabling clinical consultation, continuing professional education, and health care management.

Updated: December 10, 2008