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About Sickkids
About SickKids

January 14, 2010

Family-centred Sears Cancer Clinic offers SickKids patients and families a new place to call their own

New clinic features vibrant spaces and allows for improved patient flow

TORONTO – Children dealing with cancer and serious blood diseases spend a great deal of their young lives visiting the hospital. Ten-year-old Tobin Haas knows this all too well. When he was only two years old he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was treated but then grew back; last summer a routine MRI revealed Tobin had relapsed again and the cancer had spread to Tobin’s spine. Tobin has endured surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and countless hospital visits.

Through the years, Tobin has spent entire days at the outpatient clinic and day hospital at SickKids Comprehensive Cancer Centre. The busy clinic didn’t offer Tobin or his family, much space or privacy. At times, his mother Karen struggled to keep him entertained while waiting for tests, treatments, check-ups and meetings with his health-care team.
Today, SickKids celebrates the grand opening of a new space for oncology and haematology patients, that families like Tobin’s can call their own.

The Sears Cancer Clinic aims to make the hospital experience more comfortable, private and engaging for patients, and their families.  

“We know the hospital experience can have a significant impact on children and families dealing with  cancer and blood disorders, which is why we focus so much on family-centred care ” says Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO of SickKids. “The Sears Cancer Clinic, made possible by the Government of Ontario and the generosity of donors including Sears, will make a real difference for our patients and families.” We are grateful to Sears Canada and to our many donors in the community whose support helps us provide world-leading haematology and oncology treatment.”

In Canada on average, approximately 1,400 children a year are diagnosed with cancer. SickKids treats approximately 25 per cent those children. SickKids also cares for a large number of children with sickle cell anaemia, thalassaemia, haemophilia and other rare blood disorders.  

With survival rate for childhood cancers increasing, the volume of patients visiting the outpatient clinic has increased dramatically, and today, the clinic sees between 100 and 120 patients per day. The size of the former clinic, as well as the need for patients to remain there for several hours at a time, meant a new and more comfortable space was critically needed.

Once the new Sears Cancer Clinic opens, the former clinic space will be transformed into the Colonel Harland Sanders Charitable Organization Day Hospital, where patients will undergo treatments such as chemotherapy or blood transfusions.  

The creation of the Sears Cancer Clinic was made possible thanks to a contribution of more than $6.8 million from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and a $5 million donation from Sears Canada Charitable Foundation. Other major donors to the clinic, with gifts of $1 million or more, include the Erlick Family and the Colonel Harland Sanders Charitable Organization, Inc.

“Our government is committed to working with health-care professionals to fight childhood diseases like cancer and serious blood disorders,” says the Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.  “The world renowned paediatric care provided by the dedicated staff at SickKids ensures that Ontario’s children receive the best care possible.”

“Our Company is proud to be closely involved in the development of the Sears Cancer Clinic,” says Dene Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sears Canada Inc.  “Providing support for children living with cancer is one of the key community investment mandates of Sears, and the benefit this new space brings to patients and their families is significant.”

“Today, as a result of groundbreaking research and improved treatments, more than 75 per cent of children diagnosed with cancer will survive,” says Dr. Victor Blanchette, Division Head of Haematology/Oncology at SickKids. “The Sears Cancer Clinic offers our patients and their families much needed space that provides activities for the children, while improving our patient flow. We are all very excited by this state of the art facility.”

The Sears Cancer Clinic features welcoming, open spaces and colourful décor, including original works of art by clinic patients and fun activities to keep children of all ages entertained. The clinic offers a vibrant and friendly environment with more privacy, whether families are waiting for treatment, meeting with health-care providers or taking a quiet moment to reflect.

The space is ergonomically designed and has been developed to improve processes and patient flow. The over 14,000-square foot clinic includes 16 examination rooms, four consultation rooms and four isolation rooms. The large waiting room features play areas, computer stations, flat-screen TVs, a real and play kitchen and a teen lounge. A conference room for health-care professionals and trainees provides a quiet place for teaching and consultation.

The Sears Cancer Clinic opens its doors to patients – including Tobin– on Monday, January 18.

SickKids Comprehensive Cancer Centre is designed to enhance and integrate all aspects of clinical, research and educational activities in the discipline of oncology. Each year, SickKids sees over 350 new cancer patients, less than 18 years of age. SickKids provides a full range of treatments for children requiring the most complex cancer treatments and is the only children’s hospital in Ontario that provides blood and marrow transplantation. SickKids is home to the largest clinical oncology training program in the country, having trained nearly 80 per cent of all practicing paediatric oncologists in Canada, as well as hundreds of international graduates.

About The Hospital for Sick Children
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally.  Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system.  SickKids is proud of its vision of Healthier Children. A Better World.™ For more information, please visit www.sickkids.ca. 

About Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning 
The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning will bring together researchers from different scientific disciplines and a variety of clinical perspectives, to accelerate discoveries, new knowledge and their application to child health — a different concept from traditional research building designs. The facility will physically connect SickKids science, discovery and learning activities to its clinical operations. Designed by award-winning architects Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and HDR Inc. with a goal to achieve LEED® Gold Certification for sustainable design, the Gilgan Centre will create an architectural landmark as the eastern gateway to Toronto’s Discovery District. The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning is funded by a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Government of Ontario, philanthropist Peter Gilgan and community support for the ongoing fundraising campaign. For more information, please visit www.sickkidsfoundation.com/bepartofit.

For more information, please contact:

Matet Nebres
The Hospital for Sick Children
Phone: 416-813-6380
email: matet.nebres@sickkids.ca

Suzanne Gold
The Hospital for Sick Children
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 2059
email: suzanne.gold@sickkids.ca