Read about the leaders in your community who are dedicated to women’s health.
When a baby is unable to breathe on its own, every second is a matter of life and death.
The new Teck Acute Care Centre (TACC) housing BC Women’s state-of-the-art Neonatal ICU opened its doors just six months ago. With 1,100 of the tiniest patients in western Canada given extra care at this facility each year, the new Newborn ICU features 70 private rooms designed for tiny patients and their families. 10 of these special rooms will actually allow mothers to receive care alongside their newborns – the first in North America (and only second in the world) to completely redesign the model of care.
It is estimated that up to 40% of these critically-ill patients will need a breathing tube during their stay. Insertion of a breathing tube is potentially traumatic, and even more so when the newborn has tiny and delicate air passageways. But ground-breaking advancements in respiratory care and donor support, have allowed BC Women’s to acquire a cutting-edge Video Laryngoscope system.
Video laryngoscopes have fiber optic camera lenses built into their light source, allowing for the neonatologist to “see around the corner” and quickly guide a breathing tube into even the most fragile babies. This allows neonatologists like Dr. Deepak Manhas to perform intubations in the gentlest manner possible.
“I am so thrilled to introduce this state-of-the-art video laryngoscope system to our team here at BC Women’s. We’ve seen truly revolutionary improvements to the specialized care we’re overseeing as neonatologists in the new NICU, and this is one key piece of that puzzle.” - Dr. Deepak Manhas, Clinical Neonatologist, BC Women’s Hospital
A streamlined continuum of the highest quality care possible is the goal of BC Women’s Neonatal ICU, and made possible in-part by TB Vets, who have been arming frontline medical heroes through philanthropy since 1946.”
“Every second in the NICU is a matter of life and death, and this new system will not only advance the care of our future leaders of medicine, but it will ultimately save lives right here, right now.” - Dr. Deepak Manhas, Clinical Neonatologist, BC Women’s Hospital
Together with TB Vets, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre Foundation is taking this World TB Day to reflect on progress made, and continuing to pave the way to a new era of excellence in Neonatal Care.
BC Women’s Peer Support Groups evolved out of a clearly defined need to offer women living with HIV/AIDS their own safe space to connect and share knowledge. While there are a variety of support groups for individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, there are no longer any other peer support groups that are offered solely for women. Having a woman-only space to discuss difficult and triggering topics is critically important for many women living with HIV, especially those who have had experiences of trauma and abuse.
Through MAC AIDS Fund support for the Peer Support Groups, BC Women’s is able to actively engage women who are most at risk of falling through the cracks in the health system. HIV+ women living in BC are fortunate to have access to free ART medication, and through the Peer Support Groups, we can ensure that all women get the support they need to stay on track with their medication. They are a space where women can obtain medical information as well as knowledge about helpful community resources from social housing to education to food supports.
The Peer Support Groups help to reinforce for women living with HIV/AIDS that their lives matter and their well-being is important. The friendships that develop within the safety of the group meetings are often the only relationships with other HIV+ individuals that many women have, and they provide an incredibly valuable source of support.
Thank you MAC AIDS Fund for your vital support of the only Peer Support Groups to exclusively serve women living with HIV/AIDS in BC!
We are very excited to announce BC Women’s Hospital’s new Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic patient orientation video is now available online. This valuable resource was produced in partnership with Pacific Blue Cross thanks to a $17,730 gift.
Many patients at BC Women’s Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic are first-time moms who may be unaware of how living with a chronic disease will affect them during and after their pregnancy. The Clinic team works to provide these women with all of the information they need to achieve optimal health outcomes for themselves and their unborn babies.
The Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic at BC Women’s provides specialized and personalized multi-disciplinary patient care for women with type 1, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and women who are at risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy. A broad range of specialists see these patients both before and after pregnancy including endocrinologists, nurse educators, dietitians, physiotherapists, and a social worker.
Women will learn about the video before coming into the Clinic so that they can review the services and care they will be receiving from the comfort of their own home. The video provides a comprehensive summary of what to expect at the Clinic, and is available in English and also in three of the most common languages spoken by ESL patients: Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.
We see immense value in a partnership between BC Women’s and Pacific Blue Cross, two leaders in health, who by working together improve the wellness of communities all across the province.
For more information and to see the orientation video, visit the BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic webpage here.
For more information and to see the orientation video, visit:
It is through dedication like the Auxiliary that the most urgent needs of BC Women’s Hospital can be supported. In 2018, the Auxiliary donation will go toward four essential projects that allow BC Women’s to provide cutting edge medical care. A portion of their gift will help train our future health leaders through the purchase of a Premature Anne simulation mannequin. This innovative technology, which includes a congenital anomalie kit and twin pack, will improve the quality of care for premature and sick newborns across BC and the Yukon. The donation to the Simulation Program at BC Women’s Hospital this year will allow neonatologists like Dr. Deepak Manhas to impart their knowledge and skills to the next generation of specialists.
“I am so thrilled with this support! This mannequin is the perfect device for teaching residents how to effectively deal with neonates experiencing rare and difficult resuscitation conditions. It really is a life saver. Thank you so much!"
In addition, the Auxiliary has allowed BC Women’s to purchase a new Bladder Scanner – this is good news for new moms! By proactively diagnosing incontinence issues with a Bladder Scanner before mom and baby go home doctors can refer women quickly to appropriate treatment, such as physiotherapy when needed. Early diagnosis can save a woman from months of discomfort, embarrassment and pain and improves her health outcomes.
Finally, this funding will also support unique BC Women’s programs like the Prenatal Emergency Support Fund and WHRI Endowment Fund. Through the WHRI Endowment Fund, world-class women’s health research is facilitated in an ongoing manner. Through the Prenatal Emergency Fund, financially stressed pregnant women get the financial support they need to attend their medical appointments. For women from smaller communities, this support for accommodation and meals can be a god send, and helps to ensure the best outcomes for women and their newborns.
Thank you, Auxiliary for once again making a generous donation that will help to improve the health and well-being of women and newborns!
Thanks to Hylcan, newborn care specialists will be able to quickly and effectively treat jaundice – a condition caused by bilirubin, a yellowish substance that forms as red blood cells break down. Normally removed by the liver, premature babies often have underdeveloped livers not mature enough to remove bilirubin on their own. If left untreated, jaundice can lead to hearing loss, vision problems, dental problems, brain damage and cerebral palsy.
You too can help the 80% of premature babies that experience jaundice, please donate today!
Breast milk has been linked to amazing health benefits for all babies. Newborns who receive breast milk spend less time in the hospital and have less chance of being readmitted to the hospital in their first year of life. They are also less likely to develop health conditions like diabetes and asthma when they are older. For a variety of reasons, many babies have difficulty breast feeding on their own, especially after hospitalization. For moms who need to go back to work but want to continue to provide breastmilk, for partners who want to help feed, or for women with a low milk supply, a pump is an absolute must.
While essential, these pumps are expensive and many lower income families cannot afford them. Over the past year Variety’s ongoing support has given babies the nourishment they need to grow into healthy children. Thanks to this vital support, families no longer have to wait up to two weeks to receive a breast pump. Pumps are on hand to immediately provide families with the equipment they need.
You too can help provide better long-term health outcomes for women and newborns across BC. Please give today!
The loss of a child seems unimaginable until it happens. How can a parent possibly navigate the grief of losing a baby?
Grieving is a journey of many steps, and many different paths. For some parents, an important part of this process is finding a way to honour their baby’s memory and ensure it lives on.
For one BC Women’s donor, this is the inspiration behind his unique method of giving back. Matthew (alias name to respect anonymity) and his family feel fortunate to have three healthy children who were born at BC Women’s Hospital. Each of their children has their own tile among the many that cover the walls of the Hospital, and their stories are just a few of the many represented along the hallways. While his kids love visiting their tiles, the family is always moved by the tiles dedicated in memory of a lost little one. Seeing these tiles gave them an idea for a way to make a difference.
Each year, Matthew donates to BC Women’s Hospital Foundation so that some of these families who do not have the means can be gifted with a tile in memory of their baby. The tiles live on the Hospital’s walls.
“We find that donating tiles each year for less fortunate families who have suffered an unimaginable loss is a way for us to help the memory of that child live on, while also providing an avenue for us to continue to support the hospital.” - Matthew
In the four years since Matthew began giving back in this way, this generous gesture has grown beyond his annual gift. Two donors, inspired by this family’s generosity, have paid it forward with their own donations for tiles to be gifted to families dealing with loss.
The memory of these children lives on, in the minds of their family and friends – and now in each patient, nurse, or visitor who stops along BC Women’s hallways to look at their tiles. They are remembered, and they are loved.
RBC Foundation’s support for BC Women’s Hospital spans over 20 years. Since then, they have been leaders in their commitment to improving women’s health and towards giving the sickest, smallest patients the best chance for optimal development. The latest instalment towards a $400,000 gift contributed to purchasing another much-needed piece of equipment—the BrainZ Monitor. This specially designed neonatal monitor will help to support better long-term health outcomes for newborns across BC.
RBC has helped BC Women’s to achieve our goal of equipping the state-of-the-art newly opened Neonatal ICU with enough monitors so that not one single premature infant needing brain monitoring goes without this vital technology.
Research shows that without the information provided by the BrainZ Monitor, doctors and nurses only identify 9% of seizures which occur in premature babies. With the right equipment and technology, these risks can be eliminated and families can feel reassured.
One patient, Michelle, thinks back to July 2013 when her daughter Savanna was born at Royal Columbian Hospital…
The delivery was difficult one. Savannah was immediately admitted to Royal Columbian’s NICU as she had meconium aspiration (a complication where the newborn inhales stool-stained amniotic fluid) and shoulder dystocia (a complication during labour when the shoulders cannot pass below) but she required further specialized care. BC Women’s Dr. Kevin Ansah came directly to Royal Columbian Hospital with the infant transport team, induced Savanna into a coma and brought her to BC Women’s NICU.
Once at BC Women’s, little Savanna needed the BrainZ Monitor to watch for any seizure activity. The next six weeks were very difficult as Savanna required multiple blood transfusions, suffered organ failure and a brain bleed due to oxygen deprivation during birth. Once she left the Hospital, Savanna required ongoing care from the infant development team due to her low muscle tone.
Although she had a challenging start to her life, the specialized care Savanna received at BC Women’s ensured that she would continue to grow up strong. Now Savanna is a happy and healthy four-year-old, and her difficult start in life has had no impact on her today.
Michelle shares, “Nobody thinks their baby will end up very sick but if you do have to go through this experience, you are at the very best place you could possibly be. Without this hospital, we would not have our daughter with us today”.
Thanks to RBC Foundation’s support, this family and many others don’t have to worry about what life would be like if this critical lifesaving technology was not available to them. BC Women’s Hospital Foundation and the Neonatal ICU staff are deeply grateful for their contribution to making a difference in the well-being of families across BC.
To that end, ZLC has committed itself to helping to make our community a healthier place by donating proceeds from the ZLC Foundation Golf Tournament for 2014, 2015 and 2016 to BC Women’s Newborn ICU, to ensure our babies have access to the life-saving equipment and technology they so desperately need.
This year the ZLC Foundation Charity Golf Tournament raised a remarkable $75,000 to help our newborns.
Pictured is Mark Zlotnik and our CEO Laurie Clarke celebrating this generous gift.
Having lived with ME since the age of six, Jacqueline knows firsthand the impact this illness has and how devastating it can be. Her event raised an impressive $10,000 for this important program at BC Women's Hospital.
The goal of the Complex Chronic Diseases Program is to provide patient and symptom-centered care with the support of a multidisciplinary team of health care providers.
You can reach the clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the patients cared for at the BC Women's Complex Chronic Diseases Program.
A generous donation of $5,000 will help respond to the hospital’s most urgent needs, including new equipment and technology, hospital programming, and research.
Our grandson, Matteo, was born at 33 weeks. Although he was premature, he was quite a big baby, yet he struggled to breathe. It was a mystery. No one knew why Matteo had such a difficult time breathing on his own. BC Women’s Newborn ICU doctors put him on a SiPAP respiratory machine at night to help him breathe. After spending four months in the Newborn ICU he finally began to thrive. The care he received was amazing. While Matteo was at BC Women’s Newborn ICU I noticed they didn’t have enough reclining breastfeeding chairs. Everyone in our circle knew Matteo’s story, so I decided to ask for their help to raise money for a special chair. My family and friends are not wealthy, but within a week I had almost $4,000, which we gave to BC Women’s to buy a chair and some breastfeeding pillows. I’m just so grateful. You know, having children is awesome, but having grandchildren is amazing!
Written by Ann Collette. Photography by Brian Howell
This local family has provided visionary support for our hospital for the past 25 years. When we asked the Diamonds for help with the Newborn Intensive Care Unit Campaign, they did not hesitate.
The Diamonds’ inaugural $3 million donation set the pace for others. As leadership donors, they are helping BC Women’s achieve its vision to be a global leader in the provision of world-class care for critically ill newborns.
The funds raised through the Newborn NICU Campaign have enabled BC Women’s to transform the unit into four neighbourhoods – each is designed to meet the special needs of babies and their families, and each has its own dedicated care team.
The Diamond Family NICU Neighbourhood is designed and equipped for the high-risk, critically ill babies from across the province that need the most advanced neonatal care. Thanks to the Diamond family, this neighbourhood will offer the latest in respiratory support and other life-sustaining equipment in an environment that supports the whole family.
Since 1989, the Diamond family has provided generous funding support for many programs and special initiatives at BC Women’s. Our patients and families have benefited from their caring and meaningful support. Their significant investment in our hospital has also inspired others to give. BC Women’s is fortunate to count the Diamonds as long-time friends.
Dedicated to the health of each of their communities, these committed pharmacists raised funds for the fifth year to help women and families cared for at BC Women's Hospital.
“The success of the Campaign can be attributed to the support and commitment of our loyal customers and staff,” said Zahir Jiwa, Associate-owner, Shoppers Drug Mart.
This year they raised a remarkable $46,589! Thank you Shoppers Drug Mart for you long-standing support of our patients and for being a leader in our community!
Here are the Shoppers Drug Mart stores that participated in this year's fundraiser!
Nemanja Filipovic (Granville / Robson Prescriptions)
Cindy Ho - Yaletown
Robert Ho - Dunbar
Zahir Jiwa - Kingsgate Mall
Amandeep Khun-Khun - Granville + 13th / University Blvd
Anoop Khurana - Hastings + Slocan
Dan Kooner - The Hub / Fred’s Pharmacy / East Vancouver Medical
Nathen Kuriyama - Broadway + Carnarvon
Art Lam - Thunderbird Village
Serena Lam - Kerrisdale
Davrin Lee-Sun - 4th + Vine
Robson Liu - Fraser Street
Rashin Mandegarian -The Ritz
Philip Mang - Broadway + Burrard
Alykhan Naushad Prebtani - Marine Dr. West Vancouver
James Ng - Broadway
Hitesh Patel -Fraser Street
Gennette Ret - Liberty Building – Seymour St
Sahar Ziaei -El Dorado
Variety has made another generous gift in support to the Newborn ICU. This visionary gift will enable us to purchase 16 Giraffe Omnibed incubators - the leading-edge in incubator technology for the smallest, most critically-ill babies in BC. Thank you to Variety for their long-standing support and partnership for the last 20 years.
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the babies cared for in the BC Women's Newborn ICU.
Faced with aging equipment, BC Women’s needed funds to invest in the next generation of neonatal technologies. Our clinical specialists must have the technology they need to remain at the forefront of care for the 1,400 critically ill newborns and families that we serve every year. Variety’s $1 million gift, one of the first donations to the campaign, enabled BC Women’s to purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Thanks to Variety, BC Women’s has new incubators and other life support equipment much-needed by our babies and much appreciated by their families. By providing the most up-to-date technology to support and nurture our newborns, Variety is “inspiring hope, enriching lives and building a better future” for BC’s sickest babies and their families.
Variety has a long and rich history of helping families, communities and organizations throughout the province of BC.
Guided by three priorities - Cares , Freedom and Future - Variety provides grants to individuals and organizations for life-saving, life-changing and life-enriching equipment supplies and programs. For the past two decades, BC Women’s has been fortunate to receive support from Variety for moms, babies and families in our care.
The inspiration for this fundraiser was beautiful baby Rylan, son of Mathew and Helen Ng who was delivered stillborn earlier this year. Rylan’s spirit will live on through the funds raised in his honor.
Babies and families cared for in the BC Women's Newborn ICU will benefit greatly from this donation which is supporting the following:
- $4,000: Family Support Fund for parents and families who require financial assistance during their babies' stay at the Newborn ICU
- $5,000: A Day for a Baby's Life in the Newborn ICU
- $1,000: A Baby Tile in loving memory of Baby Rylan
- $10,000: A Phototherapy Unit for the BC Women's Newborn ICU
Pictured here are Mathew and Helen Ng with their 3 year old son Brayden and his aunt, Nancy Nguyen.
Thank you to everyone who attended this fundraising event and thank you to this lovely family for their incredible generosity.
But that’s not all. To help create ongoing support for our moms, babies and families, David and ABC Recycling are also reaching out to their industry partners and colleagues, asking them to donate scrap metal. Proceeds from these donations will support critical equipment purchases, research, education and life-saving programs.
The Yochlowitz Family and ABC Recycling will be helping families across BC who need the healthcare expertise at BC Women’s Hospital, which caregivers from all corners of the province rely on.
Opera Mariposa was founded by sisters Stephanie and Jacqueline Ko (pictured below) who have not let Chronic Fatigue Syndrome get in the way of them realizing their dreams.
Stephanie and Jacqueline know what it means to triumph over adversity. At ages 24 and 22 respectively, they are co-founders of their own arts company, Opera Mariposa. But even more astonishing is the fact that they have achieved their dream despite living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), a complex neurological disease with a vast range of debilitating effects.
“It’s hard to explain ME/CFS,” admits Stephanie, Opera Mariposa’s communications director. “But I can tell you that it affects every aspect of your life.”
Cheryl Davies, Vice President, Patient Care Services with Jacqueline Ko, Founder, Opera Mariposa, Jill Pascoe, Program Manager and Edwina Houlihan, Director Patient Care Services
When you look at the symptoms of ME/CFS, it’s not hard to understand why it is so debilitating. Symptoms include physical and mental exhaustion, sleep dysfunction, pain, poor concentration, hypersensitivity to light or sound, impaired regulation of body temperature and recurrent flu-like symptoms. Then there’s post-exertion malaise, the prolonged loss of physical and mental stamina following even routine tasks – effects the sisters know all too well.
Stephanie and Jacqueline started exhibiting symptoms of ME/CFS when they were eight and six respectively, but it took years to get an official diagnosis. The illness took such a toll that neither could complete high school.
Joy in music
Despite the obstacles, Jacqueline started pursuing her love of singing when she was in elementary school – a passion that ultimately led her to become an award-winning opera singer. Interestingly, it was ME/CFS, together with Jacqueline’s love of singing, that inspired the sisters to establish Opera Mariposa. They knew that by building their own company, they could create rehearsal and performance schedules that would suit their unique health needs while allowing them to pursue their dreams.
Grateful for their own success, Jacqueline and Stephanie have used their music to help raise awareness and funds for ME/CFS.
Thank you Jaqueline and Stephanie for generously giving your time and energy to give this incredible donation to support the Complex Chronic Diseases Clinic.
The Auxiliary is truly a beacon of hope to BC Women’s Hospital and are always there to support the work of the Hospital - support which has helped thousands of moms, babies and families for over 28 years.
In it's third year, The Tree of Life Campaign was created to ensure that resources and programming are available to meet the needs of Canadian women. “The success of the Tree of Life Campaign can be attributed to the support and commitment of our loyal customers and staff,” said Zahir Jiwa, Associate-owner, Shoppers Drug Mart.
BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre Foundation was delighted to be recognized as a beneficiary of the 2013 Shoppers Drug Mart Tree of Life program. The lives of women, babies and families in British Columbia will be touched as a result of the dedicated support of our friends at Shoppers Drug Mart!
Pictured left to right from the back row are: David Pavan - Pharmacist, Operations Specialist, Hitash Patel - Pharmacist, Anoop Khurana - Pharmacist, Nathen Kurijama - Pharmacist, Lise Kuramotto - District Manager, Rashin Mandegarian - Pharmacist, Zahir Jiwa - Pharmacist, Robert Ho - Pharmacist, Nemanja Filipovic - Pharmacist. Left to right at the front row are: Dan Kooner - Pharmacist, Laurie Clarke - CEO BC Women's Foundation, Serena Lam - Pharmacist, Sahar Ziaei - Pharmacist.
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Granville
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Granville St & 13Th
- Shoppers Drug Mart - University Of BC (UBC)
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Kingsgate Mall
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Fraser Street
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Kerrisdale
- Shoppers Drug Mart - 4Th & Vine St.
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Broadway & Carnarvon
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Broadway
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Thurlow & Davie
- Shoppers Drug Mart - The Hub: Broadway & Commercial
- Shoppers Simply Pharmacy - Fred's Pharmacy
- Shoppers Simply Pharmacy - East Vancouver Medical
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Dunbar
- Shoppers Simply Pharmacy - Robson Prescriptions
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Thunderbird Village
- Shoppers Drug Mart - The Ritz
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Fraser Street
- Shoppers Drug Mart - El Dorado
- Shoppers Drug Mart - Hastings & Slocan
Diabetes in pregnancy can cause serious health complications, for mother and infant, and these problems can last a lifetime. Many of our Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic patients are first time moms who are also dealing with the frightening reality of having a chronic disease they know very little about. The new culturally sensitive orientation video and patient resources will help every woman fully prepare for her Clinic visits and the steps she needs to take to mitigate the potentially debilitating lifelong challenges of diabetes for herself and her unborn child.
Because of donors like Pacific Blue Cross, BC Women’s can help to mitigate the impacts of, and even prevent, the lifelong chronic disease of diabetes in women and their children.
Thank you Pacific Blue Cross for your visionary support!
Variety has touched the lives of babies, children and families from every corner of the province since the BC chapter was established in the 1960s. Recognizing the importance of BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre in caring for the province’s most critically ill babies, Variety provided a leadership contribution to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit Campaign. Faced with aging equipment, BC Women’s needed funds to invest in the next generation of neonatal technologies. Our clinical specialists must have the technology they need to remain at the forefront of care for the 1,400 critically ill newborns and families that we serve every year. Variety’s $1 million gift, one of the first donations to the campaign, enabled BC Women’s to purchase stateof- the-art medical equipment. Thanks to Variety, BC Women’s has new incubators and other life support equipment much-needed by our babies and much appreciated by their families. By providing the most up-to-date technology to support and nurture our newborns, Variety is “inspiring hope, enriching lives and building a better future” for BC’s sickest babies and their families. Variety has a long and rich history of helping families, communities and organizations throughout the province of BC. Guided by three priorities—Cares, Freedom and Future—Variety provides grants to individuals and organizations for life-saving, life-changing and life-enriching equipment supplies and programs. For the past two decades, BC Women’s has been fortunate to receive support from Variety for moms, babies and families in our care. Our newly renovated Variety - The Children's Charity NICU Family Lounge is named in honour of their generosity and their incredible commitment to family and community.
Pictured: Tamara Taggart, Anchor, CTV News at Six, David Coons Director - Fund Development at Variety, Bernice Scholten - Executive Director, Variety, Howard A. Blank - Board of Directors, Variety
Canadian Western Bank's commitment to health, wellness and care-giving aligns with the Newborn ICU Campaign.
Their generous donation of $155,000 is all about strengthening the Newborn ICU for the entire province, so sick babies survive and thrive. See Mr. Fulan's interview here.
At BC Women's Newborn ICU, many babies struggle to breathe because they are born very early and very sick. Some of these babies are especially vulnerable; the right equipment can heal their lungs and save their lives.
TB Vets Charitable Foundation is making a world of difference for sick and premature babies by providing a specialized High Frequency Jet Ventilator for the BC Women's Newborn ICU.
This special kind of ventilator releases small, rapid puffs of breath using as little pressure as possible. Thank you to TB Vets for helping to ensure babies who need help to breathe can access this gentle and effective breathing support.
Photo (Left to right): Kandys Merola, Executive Director of TB Vets with Gary Stacey, BC Women's Newborn ICU Registered Respiratory Therapist.
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the babies cared for in the BC Women's Newborn ICU.
For the third year, MAC AIDS Fund's generosity is helping women living with HIV/AIDS in BC find hope, health, and friendship. A recent gift from MAC is expanding the program beyond Vancouver in order to lower barriers to accessing support for HIV+ women who live outside of the city.
MAC's continued generosity will expand the work of their previous gifts towards the program, providing so many more HIV+ women a safe place where they can connect and support each other.
Please join our friends at the MAC AIDS Fund and make a donation to the Oak Tree Clinic at BC Women's Hospital.
Rebecca Bell had the perfect pregnancy but something went unexpectedly wrong during her baby son Paxton’s birth.
“During labour, something happened that prevented the umbilical cord from delivering oxygen and blood to Paxton. The situation was prolonged enough that our precious newborn son suffered an acute, severe brain event. There was no part of him that was not impacted,” said Rebecca Bell.
On the day of Paxton Michael Bell’s birth, October 13, 2012, his tiny body immediately experienced difficulty breathing and other serious problems. He was quickly moved by the emergency Infant Transport Team to BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver . For two days, BC Women’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (ICU) specialists cared for Paxton around the clock, providing him with the most advanced treatment available.
"In the end they came to us with the most terrifying news I have ever received in my life, ''father Zach Bell said. "Our perfect boy who had grown just the way he should have during the nine months of pregnancy had everything robbed of him.''
The Newborn ICU specialists told Bell and his wife that Paxton was unlikely to survive. Facing a decision no parents should ever be forced to make, the couple made the choice to take Paxton off life support to see if he had the ability to survive on his own.
"After a fight that seemed to last an eternity, it was obvious he could not survive. Paxton passed quietly cradled in his mother's arms. The perfect picture of an infant that never had the chance to show his true colours,” said Zach. "Even though our lives together were so short, Rebecca and I loved him and will continue to love him with all our hearts.''
An Annual Campaign of Hope
As a legacy to honor the memory of Paxton and all families who have experienced hope and loss of loved ones, Rebecca and Zach Bell are creating an annual event to support BC Women’s Hospital’s Newborn ICU.
The annual Paxton’s Lights of Hope campaign will create a positive point of engagement for families who have been through a Newborn ICU or other challenging experience around the health of a loved one.
Funds will be raised primarily through the sale of Limited Edition Paxton's Lights of Hope Candles from this website. These pure soy candles are made by Granville Island Candle Company just for the Campaign and each candle will burn for 50+ hours. Please purchase a candle and light it memory of all those children who received assistance from BC Women's Hospital and especially those who passed from this world without the opportunity to grow old, make friends, and enjoy life.
Proceeds from the sale of these candles will be forwarded with your donations directly to the Foundation to support critical equipment needs. Donations will be issued official tax receipts by the Foundation in accordance with their policies. No transaction fees or other charges will be deducted from your donation amount.
Each candle costs $15.00 + $5.95 for shipping. Tax is calculated during the checkout process depending on your destination province. Average retail price of these candles would be around $19.95. All orders ship by Canada Post or Canpar and we guarantee delivery. In the very unlikely event that your candle arrives damaged, or goes missing please contact us and we will replace it at no cost.
Ordering your candle is an easy 3 step process! First, complete the form below and click the “Proceed” button. Next you will be taken to a page to confirm the information you entered. After you have confirmed the information, you will be taken to our Secure Payment System. Payment can be made with Visa, MasterCard, and Interac Online. After you have completed your payment, you will be directed to a printable receipt and confirmation page.
Who We Are
In 2008 Zach competed at his first Olympic Games as one of two athletes from the Yukon. They are the Yukon’s first summer Olympians. He was a competitive wrestler in high school but switched to cycling in university at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. He received a 7th place finish at the 2008 Summer Olympics and an 8th place finish at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Rebecca and Zach Bell
Granville Island Candle Company
Granville Island Candle Company is a maker of fine soy candles located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. We are a community oriented and earth friendly company that is pleased to partner with the BC Women's Hospital Foundation and Zach Bell to support Newborn Intensive Care in British Columbia.
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the babies cared for in the BC Women's Newborn ICU.
During the days leading to Mother's Day this year, our friends at Shopper Drug Mart hosted the SHOPPERS LOVE YOU, RUN FOR WOMEN! It was an amazing turnout! Individual runners and teams gathered on this beautiful sunny Saturday for a tranquil run through Pacific Spirit Park in support of women's health initiatives at BC Women's Hospital.
It was an incredible day, with amazing company, new friends and great food!
You can see our photo album here!
From left to right: Robson Liu, Jennifer Kim, Janine Wolff, Coleen Christie, Zahir Jiwa, Robert Ho and Nathen Kuriyama.
Not only did they organize and host the run, but just one day earlier, they gathered at CTV's Block Party for Babies to present their gift of $100,000 to BC Women's Hospital with Colleen Christie! Through fundraisers like the Shoppers Run, and their incredibly successful Growing Women's Health fundraiser, they are truly helping the women and families of British Columbia.
Thank you Shoppers Drug Mart for your long-standing support!
CCHD is an abnormality in a newborns’ heart that can cause organ damage, shock and acidosis, or even be fatal if left undetected. The problem is that babies with CCHD appear perfectly healthy after birth. Without proper screening these infants can suffer life-threatening consequences.
Pulse Oximeters are life-saving machines that easily and effectively screen babies with CCHD, and are a crucial part of BC Women’s CCHD Screening Program.
Thanks to CP Rail our team is now well equipped to screen babies born at BC Women’s for CCHD with this new technology.
Thank you CP Rail for your generous life-saving donation!
Traditional healing is increasingly being recognized as a means to improve the health and quality of life for Indigenous people. The Sacred Space will give Indigenous women a safe and welcoming place to gather, connect and carry out cultural healing ceremonies that align with their own traditions and values while they are receiving contemporary medical care at BC Women’s.
The Pole Raising Ceremony allowed local Musqueam and other First Nations, BC Women’s Hospital patients, staff and leadership, and community members, including Central City Foundation, to come together to celebrate the dedication of the new Totem Pole and Sacred Space and also to honour Cheryl Ward (Kwakwaka'wakw). Cheryl has dedicated her life to facilitating indigenous cultural safety training across Canada, and was instrumental in developing the San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program within the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) Aboriginal Health Program.
Many voices were heard at the Ceremony, from First Nations artist and creator of the Totem Pole, Calvin Hunt; First Nations leaders Chief Robert Joseph, Leslie Varley and Debra Sparrow; BC Women’s leaders Dr. Jan Christilaw, Jenny Morgan and Genesa Greening; to Jennifer Johnstone, CEO of Central City Foundation, who stated:
“We commend the work that BC Women’s and PHSA are leading that is strengthening cultural safety for women and their families, improving access to health care and, ultimately, creating better health outcomes."
BC Women’s Hospital Foundation and Central City Foundation are very proud to support the vision of BC Women’s Indigenous Health program to recognize and implement the broader spectrum of culturally based healing for women and families. The Sacred Space will act as an enduring testament to BC Women’s commitment to Indigenous cultural safety and the inclusion of cultural practices in health care, and will be a fundamental component of the safe, quality, culturally competent health care for Indigenous women.
Indigenous Health at BC Women's is a provincial program with a mandate to ensure that Indigenous women, girl and their families, particularly in rural and remote communities, receive optimal health care, advocacy and support. This Program provides services to Indigenous women and their families receiving care at BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre, and offers outreach services for Indigenous women and families in their communities across the province.
The visionary Heathcliff Foundation began contributing to an endowment in 1998. They recently re-pledged to their endowment with an additional $50,000 to bring it to a new total of $150,000 in endowed funds that will provide a permanent source of income to support the needs of BC’s women, newborns and families.
With the ongoing support made possible by endowment giving, BC Women’s will be able to sustain our high level of service and also expand to meet increasing demands in the future. The capital equipment needs of a hospital are always growing because of regular wear and tear and technological innovations. Endowment giving is a very powerful way to help BC Women’s to stay at the forefront of medical research and excellence in patient care.
The gift of an endowment will become a person’s legacy and should be a reflection of their values – the right charity can help their endowment reflect those values in a very meaningful way. A donor should feel confident that the charity they choose can steward their endowed gift with the best possible advantage. But the most important thing is an alignment of heart.
Establishing an endowment allows a charity to create a “trust” when the gift is made. The principal is invested in perpetuity and only the income from your gift is used to support an area of health care that is important to you or where it is most needed. More and more donors are attracted to this way of giving, recognizing that through an endowment they can keep making annual gifts – forever!
The Heathcliff Foundation endowment is yet another wonderful gift from this organization, marking nearly two decades of generosity to BC’s newborns, women and families. Their endowment is helping to ensure that the needs of women, newborns and families in BC are met now, and in the future.
April 12, 2017
BC Women’s Oak Tree is leading recreational group sessions for young people living with HIV thanks to a $30,000 grant from Coast Capital Savings.
Thanks to a generous $30,000 grant from Coast Capital Savings, youth living with HIV in BC are now able to access youth-friendly education, group recreational activities and peer support through a new pilot project – the Positive Youth Project.
BC Women’s Oak Tree is collaborating with YouthCO to provide young people living with HIV with a supportive community of their peers. YouthCO is Canada’s only youth-driven HIV organization; a community of young leaders who work to affect meaningful change in the lives of youth living with HIV/AIDS.
Many HIV+ youth, whether infected with HIV in infancy or later on in life, struggle to maintain optimal adherence to their medications and to manage relationships. In fact, an HIV+ young person is at a higher risk of medication non-compliance, and dangerous health complications, than any other demographic. The Positive Youth Project provides youth with the opportunity to connect with their HIV+ peers and the experienced HIV youth educators at YouthCO during fun recreational activities in Vancouver.
Thanks to Coast Capital Savings, the Positive Youth Project is helping young people living with HIV to better cope with the stigma and isolation they experience – empowering them to lead a healthy life with HIV, rather than defined by HIV.
BC Women’s Oak Tree Program has been a global pioneer in the provision of HIV care, research and education for women, infants and youth living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS, since 1994. This specialized clinic cares for all known HIV+ pregnant women and their infants in the province of BC, for 50% of all known HIV+ women, and all known HIV+ infants and children. Led by a team of internationally renowned experts, over 700 patients receive care annually from a multidisciplinary team of experts, including doctors, nurses, dieticians, outreach workers, pharmacists, social workers and counsellors.
“I just wanted to hold him. I just wanted to see him. They told me they were going to take him to the NICU. We were just terrified.” When Heidi reflects on her time in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, that original terror is still present in her voice, despite it being year’s later and her healthy son is now a thriving, growing boy.
That primal yearning to touch your child for the very first time is engrained in us as a basic human response. To not get that chance is heartbreaking for a parent, and one of the initial goals of the NICU is to help fill that void of despair with the comfort of knowing there is no better place in North America for your premature newborn to be than right here.
It’s a nearly incomprehensible situation for so many, which is why when someone understands to the depth and extent that Pan Pacific Vancouver does, the BC Women’s Health Centre Foundation is proud to honour them. Over the years, thousands of British Columbian newborns and their families have benefited from the ongoing support the Pan Pacific Vancouver and their associates have given to the lives of BC’s most at-risk, premature and vulnerable infants through the NICU.
“Whether or not one has been touched personally, it is impossible not to feel the pain of watching a child struggle to survive. The NICU has made the difference in the lives of so many families. The Pan Pacific Vancouver, our associates and Ownership feel privileged to be in a position to support the work of BC Women’s Hospital. For the Pan Pacific family – it is simply the right thing to do.”
- General Manager, Craig Norris-Jones, on behalf of the associates and ownership of the Pan Pacific Vancouver
Every NICU family begins its journey early. They deeply rely on the members within it, they need the support from those around it and BC Women’s Health Centre Foundation is honoured to count Pan Pacific Vancouver as part of ours, and those spread far and wide across the province of British Columbia.
On behalf of the generations thriving today due to the generosity of Pan Pacific Vancouver, and those yet to come, we hope all of BC will join us in saying, a heartfelt thank you.
The lives of BC’s sickest and tiniest babies are impacted every day because of their commitment to provide lifesaving respiratory equipment to the BC Women's Newborn ICU.
Thank you TB Vets for your steadfast support - you have made a genuine difference in the care our we provide to our vulnerable newborns.
Pictured from left to right:
TB Vets Dario Nonis, BC Women's James Carruthers and Aimee Nygaard, TB Vets Alan Black and respiratory therapist Jesse Jagpaul with TB Vets Eric Beddis. TB Vets Executive Director Kandys Merola and NICU Program Manager Julie De Salaberry are at the front.
Congratulations ZLC for reaching your goal with your 2016 commitment to BC Women's Newborn ICU through your popular and highly successful golf tournament!
Our babies and families depend on dedicated donors like ZLC to provide the very best care, and the very best tools.
Find out more about joining ZLC July 11th this year for a great day of golf!
Pictured above is ZLC VP Sales & Marketing, Cory Murphy with CTV's Coleen Christie
Thank you ZLC for your truly extraordinary support!
BC Women’s Foundation is excited to announce a $15,000 gift from the Canada Post Community Foundation in support of BC Women’s Positive Youth Project. This program is in partnership with BC Women’s Hospital’s Oak Tree Clinic and YouthCO, designed to engage HIV+ youth in their medical care through positive social reinforcement and leadership opportunities.
The stigma and discrimination towards those living with HIV/AIDS is very real and can be very isolating.
At an age when risk-taking behaviour is at its peak, it’s crucial to foster belonging and self-esteem amongst young people living with HIV/AIDS. Supporting youth in this way counters internalized stigma and contributes to better medication adherence.
The Oak Tree Clinic at BC Women’s Hospital provides inter-professional HIV care for women, infants, and youth. It is the only centre in Canada where youth are offered a full continuum of HIV care as they transition from pediatric to adult care. As a global pioneer in the provision of HIV care, not one HIV positive mother fully treated by Oak Tree’s drug regimen has given birth to an HIV+ baby in 17 years, and no child receiving treatment for HIV has died in BC since 1996.
YouthCO is a local organization that seeks to empower HIV affected youth with knowledge, community, and support. Their staff is young, inclusive, and experts at leading educational and harm-reduction programs “for youth, by youth”. Their online platform is a trusted source of current HIV/AIDS knowledge and a virtual space for HIV+ youth to connect with and support each other wherever they may live.
The Positive Youth Project brings these two entities together, giving HIV+ youth the unique opportunity to connect with their peers and educators at YouthCO. Motivated HIV+ youth leaders will encourage participation and plan creative recreational activities that happen every two months for over twenty youth. Young leaders will have opportunities for capacity development and leadership training. In addition, youth will have access to an online networking portal will be will link an estimated 500+ youth living with HIV/AIDS from across the nation.
We are enthusiastic that this project will promote healthier outcomes for youth living with HIV – helping them to acquire desperately needed tools, resources, and knowledge.
We are very grateful to the Canada Post Community Foundation for their commitment to creating transformational change in the lives of youth to lead socially connected healthy lives with HIV, rather than be defined by HIV.
“I’m doing well and it’s because of the loving concern of good people like you in my life”
Living with HIV/AIDS can mean living with stigma and isolation – and this can impact health in disastrous ways. BC Women’s is bringing HIV+ women together to combat the social challenges of this disease through the MAC AIDS funded Peer Support Groups for Women living with HIV/AIDS.
Peer driven support groups are effective because the peer leaders, ‘Facilitators’, have the shared experience of living with HIV. The peer support model allows women to speak freely in an environment with no stigma or judgement – sometimes for the very first time. In the groups, HIV+ women are strengthening each other and themselves. One Peer facilitator states:
“I like to run the groups as a sisterhood, we are all there to share and support each other and what we are doing is creating community. I see friendships being made and women meeting up outside of the group to do things together. This is wonderful because so many women feel lonely and live in isolation.”
Since 2011, the Peer Support Groups funded by MAC AIDS have given up to 120 HIV+ women every year a safe space to gather, learn, connect and gain skills and confidence. The most recent $45,000 gift to the program means that HIV+ women will be getting the support they need from peers who understand the challenges they face. This year, MAC AIDS funds are also helping to provide our most isolated patients with the life changing mobile health (mHealth) service WelTel.
Thank you MAC AIDS for your life saving support!
Nordstrom is giving the HIV+ youth and children cared for by BC Women’s Oak Tree Clinic the support they need to build community and create healthy habits that are truly life-saving. Donor funds like this help to provide the peer support, healthy nutrition, and high-need items that will make a concrete, positive difference in the lives of these vulnerable children and youth.
A portion of this gift will also help save the lives of the smallest and sickest babies in BC with urgently needed neonatal equipment and technology!
Thank you Nordstrom for helping BC Women’s provide the highest level of care to babies, children and youth.
We are immensely fortunate to benefit from the dedication of the Auxiliary to BC Women's to helping the hospital constantly improve and excel. Our skilled Anesthesia Team will now have the tools they urgently need to make each birthing experience safer, happier, and healthier.
The committed support of our wonderful Auxiliary is a major reason why we are the leader in women’s and newborn’s health. Thier special contribution touches countless lives as families welcome their special arrival at BC Women’s.
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the moms and babies cared for at BC Women's Hospital.
As a long-standing supporter of the women and babies cared for in BC Women's Hospital, KPMG steps up again, this time at the Miss Chinese Vancouver Pageant, to support the most critically ill babies from across the province.
Saving babies’ lives at BC Women’s Hospital Newborn ICU takes more than world-class doctors and nurses. It takes technology so unique, so precise and so specialized as to be found nowhere else in medicine. That’s why replacing aging equipment is a critical priority.
“Our newborns have such unique needs compared to adult patients,” says Dr. Kevin Ansah, pediatrician and clinical associate with the NICU. “For instance, a baby born at 25 weeks and weighing 600 grams needs to be in an incubator to attempt to mimic the temperature and humidity of the womb.”
Many babies in the NICU have complex respiratory challenges. Thankfully, generous donors have helped the NICU acquire a wide array of advanced breathing technologies; equipment that helped save baby Francis’s life.
“We started Francis out on a conventional ventilator, but when his premature lungs showed they were unable to cope, we had to move to a more powerful tool, which was the oscillating ventilator,” says Ansah. “Once he recovered, we were then able to support him with a CPAP machine.”
Ansah adds that, recently, donor-funded jet ventilators have completely transformed care for babies with complex respiratory support needs: “It was like night and day when our team got this technology.”
Advanced technology has also made it possible for emergency surgeries to be performed right in the NICU: “One of our patients, Finnegan, was too unstable to move, so we literally brought all the OR equipment to him. Surgery to repair a perforation in his bowel was performed right there on the spot.”
However, Ansah says that it’s the everyday technologies that tend to have the greatest overall impact.
“A simple ECG machine quickly detects a problem with the rhythm of a baby’s heart, leading to faster intervention and care,” says Ansah.
“A simple CO2 monitor provides vital information on how much CO2 is in a baby’s bloodstream simply by attaching a lead to the surface of a baby’s belly.”
The renewal of equipment is a constant challenge for the NICU, which is why the support of donors like you is so vital.
“Staying on the leading edge of technological innovation in neonatal medicine is crucial in the NICU,” says Ansah. “Donor support helps ensure we’re able to continue to deliver the highest level of care for critically ill newborns and their families.”
Written by Ann Collette
Photography by Christopher Morris
Thank you to the local branch of UPS for kindly donating $500 in support of the Provincial BC Women's Milk Bank. This is just the latest gift the company has contributed to the program for vulnerable babies in need of life-saving nutrition. UPS has been a donor since 2002, giving more than $11,000 to BC Women's Foundation to help the Milk Bank.
Pictured from left to right: UPS representatives Daniela Brueckel and Heather Moralek, Penelope Hutchison of BC Women's Foundation, and Cindy Morrison and Holly Carson of UPS.
Please join our generous friends at UPS and make a donation to the BC Women's Milk Bank Program.
For over a decade Allen and Karen’s support of BC Women’s Hospital has touched the lives of countless women, newborn babies, and families. Their strong support towards the on-going annual needs of the hospital, as they always so kindly do, is truly appreciated; plus their stretch gift in support of our Newborn ICU Campaign is nothing short of life saving. We are very grateful to benefit from their kindness.
Thanks to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, the families of sick babies from across British Columbia will have new hope for a healthier future.
A gift of $10,000 will help the researchers and care providers of the BC Women's Newborn ICU to seek the answers to health issues faced by babies born the smallest, earliest and sickest. The new knowledge made possible by the generosity of Sandra Schmirler Foundation will have the potential to improve care for the next generation of vulnerable babies.
Please join the Sandra Schmirler Foundation and make a donation to the BC Women's Newborn ICU
The staff at the tiny community hospital in Fort St. James, in north-central BC, had worked heroically to safely deliver 28-week-old twins. But at just two pounds each, it was clear the premature babies needed the specialized level 3+ care available only at BC Women’s Newborn ICU. Thankfully, within hours the babies were on a jet bound for BC Women’s and in the capable hands of the specialized critical care paramedics of the BC Ambulance Service’s Infant Transport Team (ITT).
“By the time we arrived, the nurses were coping as best they could with their available resources,” says ITT paramedic Peter Kehler, who was assigned to provide critical care to the babies during transport. “Happily, we were able to get these two babies safely to Vancouver.”
When a baby is born premature or is critically ill, even seconds can mean the difference between life and death. That’s why the ITT is so important. The role of this elite team, comprising rigorously trained paramedics, is to support and safely transport these babies to BC Women’s Newborn ICU quickly from anywhere in BC.
Kehler is one of 25 ITT paramedics with the BC Ambulance Service. The ITT is one of only two teams operating in North America specially trained to care for three patient populations – maternal, neonatal and pediatric. Paramedics are on standby around the clock and rely on specially designed and equipped jets, helicopters and ambulances to transport their tiny patients.
Kehler says that the single most critical piece of equipment for the ITT is the Infant Transport Incubator: “It’s portable and comes with ventilators, a cardio-respiratory monitor and heater system – pretty well everything we need to keep the babies safe during transport.”
Not surprisingly, the equipment is in constant use. In fact, three of ITT’s six incubators are in urgent need of replacement.
Thanks to you, together with Canucks for Kids, Oppenheimer and Canadian Western Bank, BC Women’s Hospital Foundation is working to provide the new incubators so critical to the safe transport of BC’s tiniest patients. Please help us to continue to ensure the ITT has the technology it needs to transport BC’s sickest babies to BC Women’s Newborn ICU.
Written by Helena Bryan for Women's Magazine
Photography by Christopher Morris
Recognizing that caring for a critically ill newborn can have a long-term impact on the whole family, the Newborn ICU team focuses on the parents’ needs, as well as providing the best of care for the baby. Inspired by this approach, RBC Foundation made a leadership contribution to the Newborn ICU Campaign. The donation is making a difference for families and providing funds for equipment. RBC’s contributions to the new Family Support Fund boosts a much-needed resource to help provide practical aid for families struggling during the most trying times, while their babies fight to get better. The RBC donation is part of their commitment to improving infant’s health and wellbeing.
The largest contribution from the financial sector, RBC’s generous donation is commemorated by the RBC Family Meeting Room, and marks more than 20 years of RBC support for BC Women’s Hospital.
Photos from top:
Brian Bowen, RBC Regional Vice President, Tri Cities & Maple Ridge is pictured with Tamara Taggart and her daughter Zoe
The newly renovated RBC Family Meeting Room provides a quiet respite for parents and families of critically ill newborns.
Marina Matei and Vanessa Noga with Tamara Taggart pictured at the ribbon cutting for the RBC Family Meeting Room in BC Women's Newborn ICU
To celebrate a remarkable 125 years in business Alsco is giving a total of $125,000 to local charities in the communities they service.
“We’re so grateful that Alsco has joined the family of committed community partners who are supporting this campaign,” says Laurie Clarke, CEO, BC Women’s Foundation. “Their generous donation will inspire other donors and help us achieve our fundraising goal.”
Alsco is a family owned and operated business, founded in 1889, that was recognized by the prestigious Hohenstein Institute for having invented the linen and uniform rental industry. Celebrating its 125th anniversary, Alsco provides linen and uniform services to customers that range from restaurants and healthcare clinics to automotive repair and industrial manufacturing facilities. With 150 locations, Alsco provides world-class service to over 250,000 customers in 14 countries.
Alsco Linens' Rob Mann, General Manager – Nanaimo, Tim Harmer, GM – Vancouver, Bill Miller, Regional Manager – Canada with BC Women's Foundation CEO Laurie Clarke and Campaign Director Heather Morrison at Alsco Vancouver.
As mothers, Jill Diamond, and her sister, Lauri Glotman, know how fortunate they were to hold their babies close after birth. But, not all parents get that chance. Some babies come into the world fighting for their lives. They need the immediate, life-saving care provided at BC Women’s Newborn ICU.
At any given time, there are as many as 60 babies in the NICU. Knowing the plight of those tiny patients and their families is what inspired the Diamond Family to donate at the leadership level to the Newborn ICU Campaign.
“Many babies are born with serious, life-threatening complications,” says Jill. “I want these babies to have the best chances for survival. What could be more important than saving the life of a child?
Jill has become personally involved in fundraising for the Newborn ICU Campaign as a member of the Campaign Cabinet. She was inspired to take a hands-on role after seeing the extraordinary struggles of the NICU’s patients and the exceptional care they receive.
“You can’t come away from the Newborn ICU without being moved,” says Jill. “It’s emotionally draining to see these tiny babies fighting for their lives and witness their parents’ pain and worry. Yet at the same time you feel their hope.
“We’re envisioning the future with BC Women’s as a world leader in caring for vulnerable babies and their families.”
The Diamond family has long been renowned for its generosity and commitment to supporting BC Women’s and other projects that contribute to the greater good of our community. It’s a tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation.
“Giving back is a core value of our family,” says Leslie Diamond, Jill’s mother. “It is important in our Jewish faith to give back and help others.
“We’re a family of strong women,” she adds. “Supporting an organization that supports the health needs of women from maternity onward is a way of honouring this legacy.”
Pictured: Leslie Diamond (front right), with her daughters Jill (right) and Lauri (left), and granddaughter Sadye (far left).
Article by Gail Johnson
Photography by Brian Howell
The life supporting technology in BC Women's Newborn ICU is ever changing to meet the needs of our babies who are born too soon, too small or too sick to survive without help.
When technology changes for the better, so do procedures and practices.
TD's donation helps nurses access training and to take a leadership role in their education to better serve the babies and families in the Newborn ICU.
Pictured: Tamara Taggart with Leah Iverson, Manager Community Relations & Tactical Marketing I Pacific Region and her colleagues.
Thank you TD Bank for supporting education within BC Women's Hospital!
This ingenious group of fundraisers tracked their activity from May to July this year with the goal of travelling 7,213 km. They did much more than that – in fact they almost doubled that distance, clocking over 14,000 km while raising an impressive $24,267.00 to go towards the purchase of an incubator in BC Women’s Newborn ICU. Thank you to everyone at the C&W Redevelopment Project and Affinity Team for your incredible enthusiasm and support!
The C&W Redevelopment Project and Affinity Partnerships are working together to build the new Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Children’s Hospital in addition to renovating BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre to serve both the current and future needs of children, youth, women and families throughout British Columbia.
Designed with patients, their families and care teams in mind, the redevelopment project’s vision for a campus of patient-centred care that operates in an environment of quality, excellence and innovation. The renovations and new facilities will also assist in attracting and retaining health professionals, clinical staff and researchers.
The Redevelopment Project is a three-phase initiative of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) in partnership with UBC Medical School, Partnerships BC and the BC Ministry of Health. BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre are both agencies of PHSA.
Laurie Clarke, CEO BC Women's Foundation, Dana Buchart, Senior Project Manager, Affinity Team, Dave Parker, Executive Director, IMIT, C&W Redevelopment Project and Dr. Jan Christilaw, VP Provincial Women's and Newborn Health, PHSA
BC Women's proudly partnered with the Ministry of Justice to host a mock-trial, to help sexual assault examiners learn how to testify in court.
“The biggest challenge of being called to court is the uncertainty of not knowing what to expect, which can lead to anxiety and stress" - Dr. Tracy Pickett, Medical Director of BC Women's Sexual Assault Services.
We believe very strongly in experiential learning as an opportunity to build confidence and decrease barriers when being called to trial.
This latest fundraiser brings Bopomo's total donations to over $8,000 for the moms and babies at BC Women's Hospital!
Pictured in their studio is Manager Lexi Vanden Bosch on the left and owner Saif Yousif, far right with BC Women's Gabriela Caranfil.
CKNW is helping to give families with a baby in critical condition hope and stability. Their $10,000 gift has jumpstarted a critically needed Family Support Fund in BC Women’s Newborn ICU. The Family Support Fund is providing emergency resources for disadvantaged families with a premature or critically ill baby in the Newborn ICU, and for families in our Newborn ICU Follow Up Program. After being discharged from the Newborn ICU, families with high-risk babies visit the Follow Up Program at key milestones in their child’s development for monitoring until they are 5 years old. Traveling to BC Women’s for checkups for their child on a regular basis can be especially challenging for low income and out-of-town families.
Now, families in financial need can access everything from grocery, gas, clothing and meal vouchers to breast pumps to long-distance calling cards to transit tickets. Thank you CKNW for supporting better health for the province’s most vulnerable premature and critically-ill babies by empowering families during one of life’s most difficult times.
Please join our family of donors to help families.
The care these babies receive is the highest level delivered in the province, and is made possible by the generosity of individuals, families and couples like Yasmin and Azad Shamji.
Thank you Yasmin and Azad for your commitment to these babies and their families.
Many of Fir Square’s new moms and mothers-to-be have struggled through a lifetime of trauma. This innovative program gives these vulnerable women valuable skills to deal with their past, manage stress, and move closer towards healing and personal fulfillment.
In the expressive art-therapy sessions a patient uses her creativity and imagination to make art that expresses herself in a healthy and productive way. Once a patient has opened up about her pain the therapist is able to introduce steps towards dealing with underlying trauma and help her move towards healing.
“The program was piloted in the fall and almost immediately we knew that it was going to be successful – women loved it and found Lee our art therapist so approachable and skilled. Staff observed positive changes in the women’s stress and anxiety levels within one or two sessions…
…The women are so willing and open to share their art work and journal entries with pride and enthusiasm. They find that by working with Lee during their weekly therapeutic sessions they are able to address their emotional trauma and develop effective comfort measures and inner resources.” Jill Mahy, Program Manager at Fir Square
This incredibly valuable program is helping women to develop new coping skills that will support healthy parenting.
Thank you Face the World for supporting healing that is helping to break generational cycles of abuse and trauma.
Ardelle and Ron have been such outstanding advocates for BC Women’s Hospital. For nineteen years now they have been there as committed donors and as champions for the needs of the women and babies cared for at BC Women’s. Support like theirs truly helps BC Women’s Hospital grow and expand its capacity to support the specialized health care needs of the women and newborns in our province.
Donations like Ardelle and Ron Cliff's to the Newborn ICU help little patients like Finnegan, pictured her his mom, Cheryl.
Please join our amazing family of donors by making a donation to BC Women's Hospital.
Babies with Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD) may seem perfectly healthy after birth. Parts of the fetal blood-pumping system continue to work, hiding the signs and symptoms of CCHD, but after a few days the abnormality in their tiny hearts will make itself known. CCHD can result in shock and acidosis, multiple surgeries, cause brain or organ damage or even be fatal.
Pulse Oximeters can literally save the lives of babies who are screened. Thank you UPS for funding this life saving technology! The benefit of this program to the families of babies whose lives will be saved is truly immeasurable.
From left to right: BC Women's Nicole Macdonald, Neonatologist Dr. Keyan Hadad, and Jeff Sodowsky with UPS's Cindy Morrison and Parm Chohan, and BC Women's Aimee Nygaard.
Please join UPS and make a donation to help us purchase the remaining 6 machines needed for this invaluable program.
BMO Financial Group has built its success on providing Canadians with the financial tools they need to build a healthy financial future. Now, they are providing this same support to BC Women’s Hospital to ensure a healthy future for women and newborns. Thank you, BMO, for supporting the purchase of urgently needed equipment, including a new brainZmonitor that tracks a baby’s risk of seizures and allows doctors to intervene before it happens.
"When our group visited BC Women's NICU, all we wanted to do was just hold the babies. It’s so hard seeing these sick, tiny newborns struggling, but it’s also so inspiring to be there to see everything that’s involved in their care. When we support the purchase of specialized technology for BC Women's Newborn ICU, we know we’re putting it in the right hands." Brenda Pearce, Branch Manager, False Creek
Upper photo, from left to right: BC Women’s Hospital, Julie De Salaberry + Laurie Clark; Brenda Pearce, Anupam Jindal, James Kitamura, Terry Tan, Laurie Grant and Patrick Wong from BMO in BC Women's Newborn ICU
This May, BMO's - Personal Banking Regional VP Ilda Brazinha presented BMO Financial Group's gift to the Newborn ICU Campaign Chair, Tamara Taggart and BC Women's Foundation CEO, Laurie Clarke during CTV's Block Party for Babies.
Then, just shy of 25 weeks, my water broke. It was a really scary time for us, but the doctors and nurses at BC Women’s were incredible. They helped me keep my baby inside as long as possible, but at 28 weeks I had to have a C-section and our baby girl Leni was born. At just under two pounds she was so small that my son Hy called her his ‘tiny toy baby.’ Leni endured weeks of intensive care at BC Women’s Newborn ICU, which was nothing short of excellent. It was so abundantly clear – in every step of our journey – that we were in the best hands. No matter what happened, the doctors and nurses always gave us reasons to be positive, and I’m so grateful for that. Last year, I decided to do something to give back. Hy and I signed up with the BC Women’s Baby Steps Team in the 2014 Scotiabank 5K Run to raise money for the Newborn ICU. Our friends and family were so supportive and so generous! We look forward to doing what we can to support BC Women’s Hospital for the rest of our lives.
This annual event held in Aldergrove is in memory of their son, Bentley, who only lived 28 days before succumbing to the complications of premature birth three years ago.
Little Bentley's memory will be kept alive in this close-knit community and at BC Women's Hospital through this popular fundraiser.
"It was amazing to see everyone come together for such an important cause and to hear other people's stories; it is comforting to know that we are not alone in this and our son Bentley will never be forgotten," said the family in a statement from a previous year.
Together this beautiful family has raised over $10,000 for the babies in the BC Women's Newborn ICU.
ltrasound simulation helps physicians learn to detect a wide range of potential health issues in a baby during pregnancy by using a computerized mannequin which is controlled by a sophisticated computer system. This system can be programmed to reveal an extensive variety of fetal anomalies, or normal pregnancy findings.
Traditionally imaging experts have needed to rely on the willingness of pregnant patients to allow trainees to learn how to diagnose problems in an unborn baby and practice their imaging skills. It’s a practice that puts undo stress on patients who have limited tolerance. Such hands-on training makes it extremely difficult for medical students and physicians upgrading their skills to get adequate time to learn.
BC Women’s vision is to provide training to all healthcare providers across the province so they can do ultrasound scanning in their family practice offices. The goal is to improve access for pregnant women to this diagnostic technology and improve the delivery of care. Acquiring an ultrasound simulator significantly advances the skills of our imaging specialists, and will be a critical training tool for BC’s future imaging technologists, current obstetricians and family physicians who practice maternity care.
Pictured: Judy Martin, Executive Director - Hylcan Foundation, holding baby Hal and baby Judy, with Karen Schaeffer, Leader, Simulation Program - BC Women's.
Thank you to the visionaries at Hylcan for making this possible!
Related: Watch a simulation of a birthing emergency - changing protocols for postpartum hemorrhage and massive blood transfusion. You'll see why simulation is so valuable to patient care!
BC Women’s and our partners are uniquely qualified to lead the charge in the prevention of cervical cancer. Not only will we be innovating vaccine protocols, fostering public education, and increasing access to screenings for women across BC, but the expertise built here will translate into millions of lives saved around the world – thanks to you.
Imagine a world where cervical cancer is a distant memory. Thanks to the leadership of TELUS, we are one step closer to making this dream a reality.
BC Women’s Newborn ICU is one of the most unique and complex medical environments anywhere in BC. Our tiny patients require such a high degree of specialization in their care that it would be impossible for our doctors and nurses to function without advanced, life-saving equipment, technologies and innovations that our donors such as the Randall Family provide.
Deeply touched by the care their daughter received in BC Women's Newborn ICU - the Randall Family are giving back to provide the best care for the most vulnerable.
Thank you Randall Family for your incredible generosity.
I wanted to honour the amazing care Adrien received in BC Women’s Newborn ICU. To raise money I held a silent auction at a friends gallery. I contacted family, friends – everyone I could think of, and they donated wonderful items and packages. I even set up an online donation page so people could donate directly. Together, we raised $5,500 for the NICU. That night I also vowed to raise money with a fundraising trek to Machu Picchu in Peru. Through my journey I conquered a mountain, not only for myself, but also for the families yet to come through the doors of the NICU. Just like Adrien conquered his.
Businesswoman • Loving Aunt • NICU Donor
Create your own fundraising website for BC Women's - it's an easy way to make a big difference!
If women are healthy, their families are healthy. It’s a compelling thought. In fact, it’s this belief that inspired Shoppers Drug Mart, one of Canada’s leading health and wellness retailers, to sharply focus its community investments on initiatives that support women’s health. This is why 11 local Shoppers Drug Mart Associate owners chose to give the proceeds of their 2012 Tree of Life fundraising campaign to BC Women’s Hospital – a gift of $31,897.
Focus on women
Shoppers Drug Mart’s corporate decision to invest in initiatives that support women’s health in mind, body and spirit is a natural fit for a company whose stores serve communities, and whose products and services are rooted in health promotion.
“Women play a leading role in maintaining the health of their families and communities,” observes Lisa Gibbs, manager, Community Investments. “Given that our core customers are women and that we’re in the health industry, it made sense for us to focus on women.”
Zahir Jiwa (pictured), a Vancouver-based Associate owner who has been with Shoppers Drug Mart for 35 years, agrees with the company’s new mandate: “Approximately 60 per cent of my customers are women.”
Tree of Life
One of Shoppers Drug Mart’s leading fundraisers is the Tree of Life campaign. While national in scope, the program empowers individual stores to direct the funds they raise to a local women’s health initiative of their choice.
When Jiwa, together with 10 other local Shoppers Drug Mart Associate owners, decided to pool the proceeds from their respective efforts, they were unanimous in their decision as to where the money would go: “We wanted to do what’s good for local women and their health, so we all agreed the money should go to BC Women’s Hospital.”
During last fall’s Tree of Life campaign, customers were invited to purchase a leaf, butterfly, acorn or cardinal decal, which were then displayed on each store’s Tree of Life. Some stores, like Jiwa’s, even held fundraising events.
“The response from our customers and staff was phenomenal,” beams Jiwa, who is already planning this year’s Tree of Life campaign.
Jiwa adds that it was especially gratifying for the Associate owners to be invited to BC Women’s for their cheque presentation: “We had such a wonderful tour of the Newborn ICU.
“When you see the dedication of the staff and the work they do, it really touches you and inspires you to do more.”
Originally published in the Spring 2013 issue of Women's Magazine. Free subscription here.
Written by Ann Collette - Photography by Vincent L. Chan
For Farida and Noordin Sayani, owners of the Executive Group and Executive Hotels, supporting BC Women’s Newborn ICU is both a labour of love and a family affair. Among the first major donors to embrace our mission to ensure critically ill newborns receive the best care possible, we are grateful to the Sayani family for their extraordinary leadership and generosity in helping BC Women’s deliver the highest level of critical care for BC’s most vulnerable babies.
Tamara Taggart and Salim and Farah Sayani from Executive Hotel.
See the interview with Executive Hotel owner Mrs. Farida Sayani and daughter Sofia on CTV Vancouver with reporter Keri Adams, talking about their match-your-dollars fundraising for the Newborn ICU at BC Women’s.
As I looked into my newborn daughter’s face after an emergency C-section, her lips began to turn blue. The team quickly whisked her away, and she spent the next three days receiving amazing care in the Newborn ICU (NICU). All the NICU nurses went above and beyond for Charlotte, so I decided to do the same for them. In 2014, I teamed up with another NICU mom, Joanne Mah of Modern Fort, to sell my company Numpfer’s exclusive silver bib and baby blanket packages, with proceeds to BC Women’s. Then, drawing on my experience in the restaurant industry, I decided to do something even bigger – a tasting event called Sip and Savour, featuring food, wine, beer and spirits from some of Vancouver’s top restaurants, wineries and craft breweries. More than 250 people attended the event at The Pipe Shop, and, thanks to a matching donation from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, we raised $50,000 for BC Women’s. We’re doing it again this October, with the goal of raising $80,000 for a new incubator. BC Women’s provided amazing care to Charlotte; it feels great to pay that forward by giving back.
Lung and respiratory issues are the most common abnormality diagnosed in the prenatal period, making the accuracy of BC Women’s ultrasound equipment absolutely critical for saving the lives of unborn babies. The new state-of-the-art probes funded by TB Vets are ideal for detecting lung abnormalities before birth - helping radiologists detect fetal lung issues earlier and more accurately. The diagnostic accuracy and image clarity of these machines will ensure that unborn babies get the care they need to overcome their early respiratory challenges.
Each year, up to 16,000 ultrasound exams are performed by BC Women’s radiologists to facilitate accurate diagnosis, treatment and therapy for potentially life-threatening prenatal complications. Fully half of these pregnancies are high-risk due to fetal abnormalities or serious maternal conditions – this is the highest concentration of congenital abnormalities seen in a patient population in Canada. BC Women’s Diagnostic Ambulatory Program currently uses seven ultrasound machines to perform these 16,000 annual scans. The three new probes will significantly improve scans in almost half of our patients – especially the 8,000+ high-risk pregnancies.
BC Women’s Hospital Foundation staff were honoured to attend the TB Vets 2016 Grant Awards to celebrate the incredible work of TB Vets does in the community. For 90 years this incredible organization has been helping Canadians breathe easier by funding respiratory equipment and research.
Thanks to TB Vets support, BC Women’s radiologists will be equipped to use high-resolution ultrasound to its full potential, so that high-risk babies can reach theirs.
Those at TELUS are passionate about social responsibility and believe that in order to do well in business,they must also do well in the communities where they live and work. Their philosophy is "to give where we live", and it's the driving force behind their dedicated support of BC Women's Hospital.
Because of donors like TELUS, our mothers, babies and families are healthy, vibrant and ready for the future.
Read about TELUS' leadership role in raising funds for the babies in BC Women's Newborn ICU
Pictured above TELUS VP Community Affairs, Jill Schnarr with CTV's Coleen Christie at Block Party for Babies.
This one-of-a-kind clinic provides women with access to primary care, including screening and prevention services for breast and cervical cancers and chronic diseases like diabetes, counseling, point of care testing for HIV/AIDS, support groups as well as health information and resources. What makes the clinic even more accessible for women is that it offers them a mix of drop-in and appointment care; and links women with specialized health care services like colposcopy treatment for cervical cancer. Care is sensitive and tailored to the needs of at-risk women, providing support and referrals for those coping with mental health issues, abuse and violence, substance misuse, and homelessness.
To provide the very best critical care to newborns, BC Women’s Newborn ICU needs the very best tools. Only the help and generosity of donors like Leone can make that happen.
Thank you Leone for helping our critically ill newborns.
Research that is led by physicians like Dr. Janet Lyons, who is passionate about leading research that looks at medical interventions in pregnancy. Interventions like the timing of inductions to jump-start labour, or whether certain interventions increase or decrease injury to mom or baby. “There are so many decisions we make everyday as physicians, so many things we can tweak to change and improve maternal and fetal outcomes. I want to make sure as physicians we have more evidence to guide our choices about how we manage pregnancies so we can deliver the best care to women and babies.”
“By supporting BC Women’s clinician-research team to undertake leading research in maternity care, the Auxiliary is helping to cultivate the next generation of stellar researchers, and ensure we realize the best outcomes for moms and babies.”
- Dr. Ken Lim, Head, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine
Having a mother in medical crisis can take a toll on the entire family. Taking time off work and losing wages; paying for childcare; long distance calls; nights in hotels; affording meals out for weeks on end all add up quickly, especially for economically disadvantaged families. As the provincial experts in maternity care, BC Women’s cares for the riskiest pregnancies from across BC, and the need among disadvantaged patients for emergency financial support is extensive and continues to increase.
Many of our high-risk maternity patients from out of town simply cannot afford to stay in Vancouver to get the medical care they need - the hotel, transportation and meal costs involved are beyond their means. They can be overwhelmed by the financial and social pressures of city living on top of medical challenges. This can force women to return to their home communities, putting them, and their unborn babies, at elevated risk of adverse health outcomes.
Now, thanks to Face the World, BC Women’s will be able to offer emergency financial support during a very difficult period to prenatal patients. This support will ease the burden of stress and anxiety women experience when financial challenges prevent them from getting the medical care they need. Just as importantly, it will also affirm the value of each and every woman, while giving each infant the best chance for a healthy start.
Please make a donation to the BC Women's Emergency Support Fund.
BC Women’s shares the vision of the Province of British Columbia of a Violence Free BC. Now this vision is becoming more of a reality thanks to a recent $35,200 contribution from the Civil Forfeiture Office in partnership with Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Province of British Columbia.
In BC there are over 60,000 physical or sexual assaults committed annually. Few sexual assaults – only 6 in 100 incidents – are reported to police, and there is substantial attrition in the number of sexual assault cases that fully navigate the legal system. The “Sexual Assault Forensic Evaluation: A Collaborative Review by Health, Crown, and Police” project will allow BC Women’s Sexual Assault Service* to explore opportunities to provide sexual assault survivors with enhanced and easier access to health, justice and victim support services.
The multi-sectoral collaboration, led by SAS Medical Director Dr. Tracy Pickett, will improve the collective ability of health, justice and community sectors to better support survivors of sexual assault. The goal is to improve the reporting process of sexual assault without re-victimizing the survivor and to give these individuals their best chance to obtain justice.
Survivors of sexual assault who attempt to pursue legal action deserve the best support possible. Thank you to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Province of British Columbia for supporting this important project and the needs of sexual assault survivors in our province.
*The BC Women’s Hospital, Sexual Assault Service (SAS) provides consultation and training to health care providers and others working to support sexual assault survivors across British Columbia. Locally, SAS offers medical care, forensic evaluation (upon patient request) and services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone (male, female, transgendered), from any province or country, who is 13 or older and has been sexually assaulted within the past 7 days.
About Dr. Tracy Pickett
Dr. Tracy Pickett is facilitating a collaboration between health and justice to better support survivors of sexual assault.
Not many six year olds know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. But Tracy Pickett knew from this early age that she wanted to be an emergency physician – or a mortician, a forensic pathologist or a coroner. Fast forward a few decades and Dr. Tracy Pickett has expanded upon her early dream by becoming the first emergency physician in Canada with a dual speciality in Clinical Forensic Medicine. Clinical Forensic Medicine is medicine at the interface of the law, as applied to living patients. Tracy equates it to bringing CSI to the emergency room.
Never before has public awareness about sexual assault in Canada been so high. Recent high profile court cases across Canada highlight concerns over how sexual assault is handled by professionals and society. Sexual assault is the most serious of all violent crimes measured by Canada’s General Social Survey; however, data suggests that this crime is not taken seriously in our society. Survivors of sexual assault often do not feel comfortable or supported in disclosing or reporting what happened to them. This is evidenced by data showing that, of the ~70,000 self-reported incidents of sexual assault reported in BC in 2014, only 2,341 sexual assaults were reported to police. Survivors also face numerous barriers in disclosing sexual assault. Choosing not to disclose a sexual assault may have harmful and lasting health and social consequences for survivors, their families, and communities.
Thanks to the Vancouver Foundation, BC Women’s and EVA BC researchers will be able to work with survivors, community-based organizations, and sexual assault response systems, to investigate how people in positions of power influence public perceptions of sexual assault, and how public perceptions in turn influence sexual assault survivors’ willingness to disclose and access support. This project aims to advance best practices to better support survivors of sexual assault to disclose and access much needed services.
This project will be conducted jointly by two organizations with extensive experience in the provision of services for survivors; policy development; and education and training for nurses, anti-violence experts and many others in BC. Principal Investigator Caitlin Johnston is Program Manager; Gynecology & Sexual Health, Sexual Assault Service (SAS), and Primary Care at BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre. Community Co-Lead, Dr. Kate Rossiter, is the Research and Projects Manager at EVA BC. Working together, BC Women’s and EVA BC will explore and translate new knowledge into existing sexual assault response systems to better support survivors across BC.
The BC Women’s Hospital, Sexual Assault Service (SAS) provides consultation and training to health care providers and others working to support sexual assault survivors across British Columbia. Locally, SAS offers medical care, forensic evaluation (upon patient request) and services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to anyone (male, female, transgendered), from any province or country, who is 13 or older and has been sexually assaulted within the past 7 days.
The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) is a province-wide, non-profit, victim-serving organization that has existed in BC for almost 25 years and is funded primarily by the Province of BC to serve as a resource for over 240 community-based services supporting survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, child abuse and criminal harassment.
With over 1,700 funds and total assets of $1.06 billion, Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation. In 2015, Vancouver Foundation and its donors made more than 4,300 grants, and distributions totaling approximately $53 million, to registered charities across Canada. Since it was founded in 1943, Vancouver Foundation, in partnership with its donors, has distributed more than $1 billion to thousands of community projects and programs. Grant recipients range from social services to medical research groups, to organizations devoted to arts and culture, the environment, education, children and families, youth, and animal welfare.
Babies born prematurely are at a much higher risk of developing mental health problems as teens and adults than full term babies. Premature infants are ten more likely to suffer from seizures than a baby born at term (20% vs 1.4%), and these seizures are often very difficult or impossible to detect with the naked eye. Research shows that without the information provided by a neonatal Brain Monitor, doctors and nurses only identify 9% of seizures which occur in premature babies.
This places a baby’s life and brain functioning at unnecessary risk.
Early prevention is critical when it comes to improving long term mental health outcomes for these vulnerable infants. A key intervention where advanced technology can make a critical difference to a baby’s developmental outcomes is continuous brain monitoring through a neonatal Brain Monitor. The Brain Monitor gathers vital information through 4 sensors attached to a baby’s head. A bedside monitor continuously watches and stores data about the baby’s brain function, emitting an alarm when a seizure is suspected so that specialists can intervene BEFORE any damage is done.
Previous donations from the Canucks for Kids Fund to Hope Starts Here include $70,000 in 2012 towards a state-of-the-art Infant Transport Incubator System and $100,000 in 2011 for two neonatal Incubators. Through their generosity, our province is a safer, healthier place for babies!
Thank you Canucks for Kids Fund for helping to give premature babies from across the province their best start in life!
Thanks to MAC AIDS Fund generosity, over 120 women living with HIV/AIDS from Vancouver and outlying regions will have the opportunity this year to build the kind of community that can make lifelong changes possible. Every month, BC Women’s Oak Tree Clinic coordinates four different Peer Support Groups for HIV+ women – these groups are run by trained, experienced peer facilitators. For many women, the Peer Support Groups are the only opportunity they have to connect with other women who are HIV positive.
This year, MAC AIDS funding will enhance the Peer Support Groups with community building initiatives like wellness events and group art therapy projects. Research indicates that HIV+ individuals who feel connected to and involved in community enjoy a multitude of personal benefits, including reduced stigma, increased personal positive action plans, and increased access to other services. The connections that women in the Peer Support Groups make with their peers and the knowledge they gain will support them to maintain positive changes and healthy habits in their day-to-day lives.
Since 2011, the Peer Support Groups funded by MAC AIDS Fund have given HIV+ women in BC a safe space to gather, learn, connect and gain skills and confidence. This most recent $35,000 gift to the program means that HIV+ women will continue to get the support they need from peers who understand the challenges they face.
Thank you MAC AIDS for strengthening peer support for HIV+ women in BC!
BC Women’s Oak Tree Program has been a global pioneer in the provision of HIV care, research and education for women, infants and youth living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS, since 1994. This specialized clinic cares for all known HIV+ pregnant women and their infants in the province of BC, for 50% of all known HIV+ women, and all known HIV+ infants and children. Led by a team of internationally renowned experts, over 700 patients receive care annually from a multidisciplinary team of experts, including doctors, nurses, dieticians, outreach workers, pharmacists, social workers and counsellors.
The Teck Acute Care Centre (TACC), opening in October 2017, will house the new Newborn ICU. This move will allow BC Women’s NICU to continue to be at the forefront of innovative practices and care for newborns and their families.
However, this shift into a new facility has only contributed to BC Women’s ongoing list of urgently needed equipment, including 74 “Bililight”, LED lights that attach to each Incubator to treat jaundice.
JAUNDICE – A COMMON AND DEVASTATING CONDITION
With close to 1,400 premature and sick babies cared for annually in the Newborn ICU, and ~1,100 of these infants afflicted with jaundice, these Bililight systems help treat jaundice and prevent brain damage in hundreds of babies each year!
Usually jaundice is not a concern in full term newborns. But as with everything, extra care must be taken with the tiniest, fragile patients. Premature babies, like the ones cared for in BC Women’s Newborn ICU, can suffer devastating outcomes from untreated jaundice, including hearing loss, vision problems, dental problems, brain damage and cerebral palsy.
Nordstrom’s support will help us to provide the most effective neonatal care possible – saving the lives of premature babies.
We are so proud to announce that, with the help of Nordstrom’s $5,000 gift, the NICU team has purchased a new Bilisoft light… bringing our total count to 54 of the 74 needed to equip every Incubator in the new facility!
This gift will empower neonatal specialists with today’s most sophisticated tools – helping them save the lives of precious infants. We are deeply grateful to Nordstrom for their generous donation.
Please consider making a donation to help us reach our goal of equipping every Incubator in BC Women’s NICU with a Bilisoft light.
With an average of 7,000 births taking place each year, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Center is one of Canada’s biggest and busiest obstetrical centres. About 20% of British Columbia’s babies are born at BC Women’s, which means that maintaining state-of-the-art maternity equipment and technology is crucially important for the health of both women and their newborns.
Thanks to G&F Financial Group Foundation’s gift of $6,000, we can purchase four of the twenty-four Toco Transducers needed to refurbish BC Women’s Maternity Program – ensuring our equipment is up to date and helping to create a safer, healthier care environment for women and babies in BC.
When a woman is in labour, equipment like the Toco Transducer is worn to provide critical information about a baby’s heart rate and the mother’s contractions. This allows for doctors to step in should any problems arise, and ensures a more relaxed and natural birthing experience for mom. She’s able to move around freely, making her stay safer and less stressful.
As one of the highest-use pieces of maternity equipment, Toco Transducers need constant replacing. G&F Financial Group Foundation’s gift means that women giving birth at the Hospital will have access to the best care available and will be able to return home sooner with their new babies. We are so grateful for G&F’s contribution to the health of women in BC.
Please make a donation to much-needed equipment at BC Women's Hospital.
At five pounds, 10 ounces, baby Stella was delivered by C-section into the capable hands of BC Women’s obstetrician Dr. Mark Rosengarten My husband Arnie and I found ourselves unexpectedly moved by the experience. Both of our children were born at BC Women’s (formerly Grace Hospital) and until Stella’s arrival, their births had been the highlight of our lives. Over the years our family has enthusiastically supported BC Women’s, including raising and donating funds for the single room maternity suites and creating an endowment fund at BC Women’s in memory of my mother. But this was different. With the arrival of Stella we wanted to do something meaningful yet deeply personal. We asked Mark for his input, ultimately choosing to establish a Continuing Education Fund for Fellows. This gift will benefit new moms and babies by assisting physicians to deliver the best-possible care through continual learning. Marking the arrival of a child or grandchild by giving back to BC Women’s seems so perfect. After all, for what we’ve received, it seems the least we could do!
Article by Ann Collette
Photograph by Brian Howell
Although she was a widow raising a family, she firmly believed in helping the poor and sharing what she had. She would have been proud of her only son. After enjoying great success as a construction company owner in pre-revolution Iran, Mr. Mowafaghian moved to Vancouver in the 1980s.Since founding the Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation in 2003, he has been quietly giving away his wealth. Mr. Mowafaghian has translated his mother’s philosophy of helping others into a distinguished career as a philanthropist. Building on his foundation’s mandate to better the lives of children through health and education, Mr. Mowafaghian contributed $300,000 to the BC Women’s Newborn ICU Campaign. The Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation Education + Conference Room is named in his honour.
Photo: Hamid Eshghi, President & Director, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, Vahid Eshghi, Secretary & Director, Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation, Tamara Taggart, Anchor CTV News at Six
It is a strong statement about their commitment to creating the safest and most advanced care environment for the most vulnerable newborns to survive and thrive.
At the entrance of NICU you’ll find a special wall. It’s covered with photos of children who are clearly thriving, along with thank you notes and stories from grateful parents who will always remember the people, place and the generous donors that made their babies better.
Thank you Phyliss and Irving Snider Foundation for your commitment to our babies.
The Shoppers Drug Mart Tree of Life raised an incredible $52,925 for BC Women's Hospital in it's 2014 campaign.
Shoppers Drug Mart has been raising funds in support of local women’s health for 13 years through this popular and uplifting fundraiser where customers and employees purchase beautiful leaves, birds and butterflies to decorate the store and celebrate health in our community.
This past year, 23 stores in Vancouver and the North Shore supported BC Women's as their Tree of Life cause with 100% of all proceeds going directly to BC Women’s Hospital.
Every year, we see the tree growing with more participating stores, and we have the pleasure of meeting these wonderful pharmacists who are so dedicated to the health of those in their community.
A big thank you to everyone at Shoppers Drug Mart for their commitment to supporting women's health, and thank you to their customers who chose to support BC Women’s Hospital through the Tree of Life Campaign.
L to R front row sitting: Gennette Ret, Sahar Ziaei and Rashin Mandegarian.
L to R back row: Davrin Lee-Sun, Anoop Khurana, Zahir Jiwa, Li Hardy, David Pavan, Alykhan Naushad Prebtani, Dan Kooner, Robert Ho, Sukhvir Singh Seehra and Serena Lam.
Variety - The Children’s Charity, a charitable organization focused on helping children in BC who have special needs, has long been a generous supporter of BC Women’s. Most recently Variety donated more than $1 million to the Newborn ICU Campaign for the purchase of state-of-the-art incubators, ventilators and cardio-respiratory monitors for the NICU.
“At Variety, we see each child who has special needs as a champion, and we’re inspired by the courage and determination with which they meet their challenges,” says Bernice Scholten, executive director of Variety – The Children’s Charity. “We’re proud to be a part of the healthcare team at BC Women’s, helping our province’s most fragile babies receive the support they need to survive and thrive. And we’re thrilled to celebrate each little victory as the children grow.”
Recently, TELUS, one of Canada’s leading telecommunications companies, also made a major commitment to the Newborn ICU Campaign for new specialized equipment and technology. TELUS is donating $600,000 to the campaign supported by its “Pinkies for Preemies” social media campaign and their presenting sponsorship of the Hope Starts Here Gala. Over the past 5 years, TELUS has provided more than $1.4 million to BC Women’s Hospital.
“We like to direct our funds to areas that involve new technologies that will support better health outcomes,” says Jill Schnarr, TELUS Vice President of Community Affairs. “TELUS helps provide solutions and networks to help transform the healthcare system in Canada, and because BC Women’s is focused on babies and women’s health, they make an incredible difference in supporting entire families to be healthier.”
Photo: Anesthesiologist Dr. Paul Kliffer (left) and nurse Isabelle Baribeau practice emergency obstetric procedures using computer automated mannequins.
Photography: Brian Howell
Thanks to a $29,952 gift from the Civil Forfeiture Office in partnership with the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, BC Women’s Indigenous Health program is undertaking the “Building a Culture of Safety: Improving the Healthcare Response to Indigenous Women who are Survivors of Sexual Assault” project.
This initiative is bringing together health and community partners to develop a culturally‐safe facilitator workshop guide and video, which will be used to train health care workers to recognize and respond appropriately to Indigenous survivors of sexual assault (SA).
The health care sector is often the first place a survivor of sexual assault (SA) will turn to.
As an essential site of support, it is important for providers to be well-prepared to provide the highest quality of care to survivors. Indigenous women face an unacceptably high risk of SA and other forms of gender-based violence due to a range of factors, and it’s crucial that health care workers are sensitive to their unique history and culture. With a growing population, urbanization, and the ongoing legacy and trauma of colonization, Indigenous women face unique barriers to reporting and seeking support. This is why BC Women’s is committed to improving health care providers’ skills in caring for Indigenous women.
This generous gift from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will strengthen the ability of the healthcare sector to identify and respond to disclosures with empathy, understanding, and respect.
By enhancing self-awareness, strengthening skills, and becoming better allies, it will increase access to resources for Indigenous women of BC.
We are so grateful for this grant from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General to fund this project, and for the positive changes these training videos will make in an area where aid for survivors of SA is greatly needed.
For more information, please visit the BC Women's Indigenous Women's Health page.
Learn about the Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) online training program delivered by the PHSA that this training video will build off of here.
Please consider making a donation today to support life changing services like the Indigenous Women’s Healthcare Program.
Pictured: Jeff Sodowsky, BC Women's Foundation Senior Director Major Gifts; Jennifer Willis, Hylcan Foundation Director; and Judy Martin, Hylcan Foundation Executive Director.
BC Women’s Hospital Foundation is deeply grateful to the Hylcan Foundation for their gift of $15,000 towards a maternal Transport Monitor.
Often mothers in medical distress require invasive lines for uninterrupted monitoring of vital signs like blood pressure, breathing and heart rate. It can be dangerous for these women to be removed from monitoring for even a short period of time, such as during the ride in an elevator or between hospital units and hospitals.
The Transport Monitor allows for a seamless ‘plug and go’ transfer as a critically ill mother is unplugged from her bedside monitor, without any cable changes or delays, and attached to the Transport Monitor. Many of the women in BC Women’s care are extremely vulnerable and cannot afford even the slightest delay in response from our doctors, should something go wrong. Now, critically ill women can rest assured that they will experience seamless transfers within BC Women’s Hospital, and between BC Women’s and other hospitals.
This is only the latest in a long series of generous gifts from the Hylcan Foundation – gifts that are always targeted at BC Women’s highest priority needs. BC Women’s Hospital leadership, staff and patients, and the BC Women’s Hospital Foundation extend our heartfelt thanks to the Hylcan Foundation for you commitment to supporting the health of women, newborns and families in BC!
Thank you to the Hylcan Foundation for making a significant impact in women's health!
Their support of a $28,000 donation has enabled the NICU to purchase a Criticool machine. This life saving equipment actually prevents brain injury and saves lives when newborn babies are deprived of oxygen at birth by cooling the baby's body. This prevents seizures and long term developmental problems. It is truly life saving equipment.
Thank you Tzu Chi Foundation for your generous support and for improving the lives of BC's most vulnerable babies!
TELUS went above and beyond to ensure the success of GLOW Gala by stepping up as Presenting Sponsor in addition to providing the leadership of Jill Schnarr as event Co Chair. TELUS further showed their commitment by producing a beautiful video of one of our NICU families; as well as raising a hand on the eve of the event to pledge another $10,000 for the Newborn ICU, bringing the total commitment of TELUS to BC's sickest babies to an astounding $668,000.
We're so pleased to celebrate the total of $1.2 million from the GLOW Gala. Funds raised from the event will be used to provide state-of-the-art emergency transport incubators to the Infant Transport Team - the group of highly-specialized paramedics responsible for flying the sickest babies in to BC Women's Newborn ICU from all over BC.
Thank you TELUS for your enduring support in helping our medical teams provide the very best care for the province's most vulnerable babies.
Pictured above from left: GLOW Gala Co Chairs Jill Schnarr, Vice President Community Affairs TELUS, and Michelle Rupp, Principal, Lighthouse Leadership at GLOW - Fall 2015
When a baby is born premature or is critically ill, even seconds can mean the difference between life and death.
When this baby is being transported to BC Women’s Newborn ICU from all corners of British Columbia the single most critical piece of equipment is the Infant Transport Incubator System. This specialized incubator acts like a mini-intensive care unit on wheels, keeping babies’ bodies warm and protecting their paper-thin skin from the elements.
All Newborn ICU equipment is specialized to care for babies in distress, but Infant Transport equipment is designed to perform in a cramped, fast-moving ambulance, jet or helicopter.
Thanks to these caring donors we have the technology needed to keep every baby safe on the most important journey of their lives.
Pictured: Peter Kehler of the BC Ambulance Infant Transport Team with a life-saving transport incubator.
Ask Auntie is a girl-centered, Indigenous Youth Wellness program designed by BC Women’s Aboriginal Health Program to prevent violence and enhance healthy relationships among 10 – 14 year old Aboriginal girls. The aim of Ask Auntie is to build resilience among Aboriginal girls, enhance wellness, and reduce violence against girls and women by helping fostering healthy, safe relationships, strengthening communities, and promoting healthful living.
This project was supported through a contribution from the Civil Forfeiture Office in partnership with Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division, Ministry of Justice, Province of British Columbia.
The critically needed “Being Safe” curriculum module funded by the Ministry of Justice will significantly enhance the Ask Auntie program. “Being Safe” will support Aboriginal communities to respond in a way that promotes healing and rebuilding when Aboriginal girls disclose their experiences of violence and trauma. There will be more people to turn to in times of distress.
Thank you Ministry of Justice for this new opportunity to support Aboriginal girls in BC!
In June, BC Women’s Hospital Foundation participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge for the first time, raising an incredible $10,825 for women, babies and families in British Columbia. Six hospital teams participated in the challenge, competing for a matching gift from the Foundation.
Thank you to Team Baby Steps, who raised $2,700. This amount was matched by the Foundation, and $5,400 will go to the BC Women’s Hospital Newborn ICU. We thank everyone for your hard work and look forward to increasing our success next year!
For more information, and to participate in the Scotiabank Vancouver 5K or half marathon in support of BC Women’s Hospital Foundation in 2014, please contact Ryley Humphry
A gift of $5,000 will help BC Women's replace aging equipment; pursue pioneering women’s health research; and offer unique health programs especially for women.
Fir Square supports and cares for substance-using women and their newborns as they stabilize and withdraw from substances. Bonding is a crucial part of this process, and ultrasound scans are one of the best ways to establish this bond early on. For women whose lives are complicated by trauma, disenfranchisement, and subsequent problematic substance use, facilitating prenatal maternal/fetal bonding is critical to improving outcomes.
The very day after her birthday, Sana presented Dr. Ron Abrahams with a donation of $4,000.00 to purchase a SeeMore™ Ultrasound Imaging Probe for Fir Square. This probe connects to any laptop, and provides a cost-effective and convenient way to provide these important scans.
Because of Sana’s generosity, more birthdays at Fir Square will be celebrations that mark an end to intergenerational cycles of harm, for both mothers and their babies.
Pictured: Sana Shahram, Dr. Ron Abrahams, Fir Square nurse, Raj Johal and a beautiful Fir Square Baby.
Read more about Fir Square
Kaiser award for Fir Square's Dr. Ron Abrahams
Please join our family of supporters by making a donation to help the babies cared for in the BC Women's Fir Square Program.
Pregnancy should be time of hope and joyful anticipation for every family. For women carrying a high risk pregnancy, however, not knowing if your expected baby will be born healthy can make the journey to motherhood uncertain and harrowing.
This new OR Table provided by the visionary support of the Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Woodward’s Foundation is helping our world-class team of obstetricians and care staff deliver the best safest care to moms and babies.