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About Sickkids
About SickKids

June 27, 2019

Premier Doug Ford visits SickKids

By Louise Allyn Palma, Intern, Communications and Public Affairs

Ontario Premier Doug Ford visited The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) today along with Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Laurie Scott, the Minister of Infrastructure and Robin Martin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health. Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of SickKids, led a tour of two of the hospital’s units which care for some of its most vulnerable patients – the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Premier Ford also announced the renewal of the government’s commitment to support Project Horizon, the hospital’s campus redevelopment project.


Dr. Cohn talks with Minister Elliott on a tour of SickKids.

The tour group first stopped in the PICU, where they met Dr. Peter Laussen, Chief of the Department of Critical Care Medicine, and visited with SickKids patient, Violet, and her family. Violet is three months old and was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She was only two days old when she had her first surgery and due to  complications, she has remained in hospital ever since.


Dr. Laussen (second from the right) speaks with (from left to right) Dr. Cohn, Premier Ford, Minister Elliott and Robert Prichard, Chair of the SickKids Board of Trustees


Premier Ford talks with Violet’s parents, Alexander (middle) and Sandra (right) while visiting Violet (far right).

In the NICU, they met with Dr. Estelle Gauda, Head of the Division of Neonatology, and visited SickKids patient, Aaron, his mother, Liz, and grandmother, Susie. Aaron, who is also around three months old, was born with an omphalocele, a condition where some of the abdominal organs are outside of the body. Liz has been by Aaron’s side for as long as he’s been at SickKids.


Dr. Estelle Gauda (far right) talks with Premier Ford about the NICU.


Premier Ford meets Aaron’s grandmother, Susie (left), and mother, Liz (right).

Stories like Aaron’s and Violet’s reflect the importance of having physical spaces that foster patient and family-centred care. The Ontario government’s renewed commitment to the redevelopment of the SickKids campus includes the construction of the new Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower.

“Thanks to the Government of Ontario, we will be able to build a family and patient-centred hospital of the future, one that continues to provide the world-class, high-quality care that SickKids is known for,” said Cohn. “The new SickKids will provide the next level of effective, safe and individualized care for patients in state-of-the-art facilities.”


Premier Ford and Dr. Cohn shake hands.

The completion of Project Horizon will result in the modernization or renovation of clinical care and support areas across the campus. It will transform how SickKids delivers care, enabling staff, physicians and researchers to do their best work.

Premier Ford says the Ontario government will support “the redevelopment and expansion of key paediatric services at SickKids so children for generations to come will be able to access the world-class paediatric care they need.”