SUDBURY, ON—NEO Kids Foundation received an early Christmas gift this year thanks to Health Sciences North’s (HSN) Volunteer Association. HSN’s Volunteer Association along with Santa and his helpers announced a $500,000 donation to NEO Kids Foundation.
“On behalf of HSN’s Volunteer Association we are extremely excited to be making this pledge today,” says Cliff Richardson, Board Chair, HSN’s Volunteer Association. “This is a historic pledge for the Volunteer Association. It is the largest pledge we have committed to at one time and we could not be more proud of who these funds will benefit, northeastern Ontario’s smallest and most vulnerable patients and families.”
The donation will be used towards NEO Kids Foundation’s first priority, a health centre that is designed and built for children’s specific needs. The health centre, known as NEO Kids, will provide pediatric services, clinics, diagnostics, and other services in one location. NEO Kids will include more clinical space for existing services, in addition to added capacity for new services and clinics. The facility will include a parent’s resource centre, a Ronald McDonald House for families from outside Greater Sudbury who must stay overnight to accommodate their children’s care, a Child Advocacy Centre for children who’ve suffered physical/sexual abuse, as well as on-site diagnostics and a pharmacy.
“The mission and vision of the Volunteer Association are simple, they are partnering with and fundraising in support of HSN and enabling world class health care in our community,” adds Richardson. “Our community knows the importance of NEO Kids and we felt this was the perfect avenue to direct some of our funds and support healthcare in a big way.”
“It’s very encouraging and inspiring to know that NEO Kids has this kind of support,” says Dr. Sean Murray, Medical Director of HSN’s Family and Child Program and Chief of Pediatrics. “This is a testament to the needs of our patients, our families and our community.”
“This is much more than a pledge of money,” says Dr. Denis Roy, President and CEO, HSN. “This is a pledge to the parents and families of children who need vital care services that they should be receiving closer to home. This is a pledge to better our community now and into the future. Thank you to the Volunteer Association for sharing our vision of a brighter future for our children.”
The current NEO Kids facility is already too small for the critical care the children in northeastern Ontario need. The need for a more suitable facility will only continue to grow. Over the next 10 years, pediatric visits are expected to increase by 40%. That is in addition to the 23% increase that has occurred over the last five years.
“While we are enjoying time with our family this holiday season, we need to remember that there are people in our community that are not celebrating Christmas at home,” says Mick Weaver, Board Chair, NEO Kids Foundation. “There are families that are celebrating Christmas out-of-town as their children receive care that they should be receiving here. We are grateful to the Volunteer Association for its generous donation, which can help bring families home, not just for the holidays, but every day.”