Local Kiwanis clubs donate $1,000,000 to help CHEO keep its promise

The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa and the clubs of Divisions 12 and 13 today donated $1 million to The Promise: CHEO's Future campaign. For more than 1,000 children per year, this gift, the largest single donation made to the Children's Hospital Foundation, will have a far reaching and sustained impact on the care provided by the Hospital's cardiology services and other critical care areas.

John Callan, President of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa, presents the $1,000,000 cheque to Arnie Vered, Promise campaign chair. CHEO has renamed their cardiology clinic the "Kiwanis Cardiology Clinic" in recognition of both the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa and the participation of the Kiwanis clubs in Divisions 12&13.

"Our members are proud of this leadership gift. It means the efforts of all of our clubs in Divisions 12&13 over the years will be helping children and families in crises every moment of every day," said John Callan, president of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa.

"We are one of the most active and dynamic service clubs in the world, returning over $600,000 to the local community each year. We take our mottos of Children: Priority One very seriously. And that is why we are so excited about our long-standing partnership with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Kiwanis's gift will allow the Hospital to purchase several new major pieces of equipment for the Kiwanis Cardiology Clinic, the heart Catheterization Laboratory and for its Cardiac Surgery suite. As well as benefitting cardiology, the Kiwanis $1-million gift to The Promise campaign will help fund major renovations to the intensive care unit, the neonatal intensive care unit and the day care surgery department. Both critical care units will be completely rebuilt to meet current medical standards allowing for better and more efficient family-centred medicine and care. The day care surgery department will be relocated closer to the new critical care units to gain efficiencies in monitoring and transporting patients. The gift will also benefit CHEO's Telemedicine program designed to improve access to CHEO's specialists and help move the medical records department closer to digitizing all patient records and diagnostic images. This will help save storage space and make patients' records rapidly accessible to care givers throughout the Hospital and in some cases in the patient's home community. The Promise: CHEO's Future is a special fund-raising campaign being conducted over five years to raise $19 million in individual, foundation and corporate donations. The funds are needed so the 26-year-old Hospital can renew its infrastructure, launch new paediatric programs, upgrade and renew technology and move research forward."

"We are so appreciative of this incredible gift from the Kiwanis," said Arnie Vered, president, Arnon Corporation, and Promise campaign chair. "CHEO gets wonderful community support every day but The Promise: CHEO's Future campaign is different because it's over and above our annual fund-raising appeals. This campaign is a major commitment to our hospital's future and it is fitting that one of our biggest annual supporters would step forward to ensure CHEO's future ability to provide quality health care to the children and youth of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec."

At today's announcement, Dr. Rosendo Rodriguez presented a synopsis of the ground-breaking research being conducted in cardiovascular surgery at CHEO. His research has proven the utility of monitoring brain activity during heart surgery as a means of detecting early signs of potentially damaging strokes using a variety of sophisticated instruments including an E.E.G. and an ultrasound machine. "Multi modal monitoring of brain activity during heart surgery is an important new tool we can now use to prevent the devastating consequences associated with brain damage in our patients," said Dr. Rodriguez. This research is an exciting example of the advancements in cardiac care that can only happen when a hospital like CHEO has the facilities and equipment it needs to stay at the cutting edge of medical practice and knowledge.