Emergency: 911
Telecare: 811
Poison: 1-800-565-8161
5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

About Us

The IWK Health Centre provides quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritime provinces and beyond.

At a Glance

This past year (April 2018 to March 2019), there were:

  • 4,498 babies delivered at the IWK
  • 33,725 visits to Children’s Emergency Department
  • 313 LifeFlight transfers
  • 206,791 outpatient clinic visits
  • 4,303 pediatric surgeries
  • 3,646 women's health surgeries
  • 7,242 mammograms
  • 14,606 acute inpatient admissions
  • 1,519 learners
  • 720 staff, volunteers and learners involved in research initiatives

In addition to providing highly specialized (tertiary) care, the IWK also provides primary care services. The IWK is also engaged in leading-edge research; works to promote healthy lifestyles for families; and supports education opportunities for health professionals and other learners.


The IWK is structured around a Program-Based Care Model. Program-based care puts people first by organizing interdisciplinary care teams around the needs of patients and families. Services provided by the Health Centre are delivered through three programs: Children's Health; Mental Health and Addictions; and Women's and Newborn Health.

Care Provided at the IWK Health Centre

Tertiary Care
A form of care that is highly specialized and complex.

Primary Care
Care to which users have direct access. This type of care can include diagnosis and treatment; referral to secondary health care services; prevention care; and heath promotion and education. Primary health care might involve visiting your family doctor or nurse practitioner, talking to a dietician or a pharmacist, or calling a toll-free health advice line to talk to a health professional.

Secondary Care
Care for which patients do not have direct access and for which they must be referred from some other part of the health system. This category includes most Health Centre specialist services.

Teaching and Research

The IWK is a respected centre for its world-class research into disorders and diseases affecting children and women. As a teaching institution, the IWK is affiliated with Dalhousie University and serves as a primary clinical resource for pediatric and obstetric teaching of a broad range of health professions including medicine, nursing, other allied health services and child life. 

Reaching Maritime communities

Specialists from the IWK take their expertise to Maritime communities in the form of traveling clinics, particularly in the areas of pediatric neurology, orthopaedics, cardiology and respiratory medicine.

In addition, using computer-based videoconferencing technology, the IWK provides specialized care to Maritime families through the Children's TeleHealth NetworkTM.

As well, a team of specially trained nurses and respiratory therapists from the IWK travels by air and ground ambulance to outlying Maritime communities to stabilize and transfer critically ill newborns, older children and mothers with high-risk pregnancy situations. 


Although Halifax has been home to a children's hospital since 1909, the original Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children opened in 1970, with the help of a generous donation of $8 million from Dorothy Johnson Killam, wife of the late Izaak Walton Killam.

In 1996, the IWK Hospital for Children and the adjacent Grace Maternity Hospital (operated and funded by the Salvation Army) merged and were known as the IWK Grace Children's Hospital until the early 2000s when the institution shortened its name to the IWK Health Centre.