Halifax, NS - Some of IWK Health’s patients and families have been given a new reason to smile. On Wednesday, October 6th, IWK Health officially opened four new Smilezones at the IWK. Generously donated by Smilezone Foundation, the McGivern Family and the Halifax Wanderers FC, the bright, fun Smilezones feature: colourful murals, new seating and furniture, sensory development equipment, drawing boards, tablet stations, cell phone charging stations and even TVs with kid-friendly technology. It’s all meant to help improve the experience for patients and families during their visit to the IWK.
“We are known for the world-class patient care we provide at the IWK. We do our best to make everyone feel safe and comfortable, but the reality is, sometimes patients are nervous. Anything we can do to put children at ease, distract them with something fun, or just generally makes a family’s day a little easier, goes a long way. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard. Patients may be arriving a little more anxious than usual so these cheerful spaces could not come at a better time,” says Dr. Krista Jangaard, President & CEO, IWK Health. “On behalf of IWK Health and the IWK Foundation, we are incredibly grateful to Smilezone Foundation, Jim and Elaine McGivern and the Halifax Wanderers FC for teaming up to make this wonderful gift happen.”
There are four new Smilezones at the IWK including: the Orthopedic Clinic; Shared Clinics; Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic; and, the Family Newborn Lounge. These are some of IWK’s busiest spaces and the impact of brightening them will benefit thousands of families each year. Children and families waiting for their appointments will now be welcomed with animal-themed, dinosaur-themed and soccer-themed wall murals and new furniture. Sensory equipment and kid-friend technology will provide a positive distraction. The Family Newborn Lounge with its comfortable furniture and artwork will now serve as a soothing oasis for new parents to unwind.
“After hearing of the great work being done by Smilezone Foundation in children’s’ hospitals in Ontario, we thought there is no reason why the patients and families of Atlantic Canada should not enjoy the same benefits. We are delighted to have been the catalyst in bringing Smilezone to the IWK,” says Jim and Elaine McGivern.
"Smilezone Foundation is honored to be part of this exciting renovation at IWK Health, as our first Smilezone location in Halifax, NS. We are delighted with the newly transformed spaces, knowing they will give patients and their families a reason to smile during hospital visits. A huge thank you to both the McGivern family and the Halifax Wanderers FC, whom we are gratefully recognizing today for their support with this project.”
"As a club committed to making our community stronger through sport, the opportunity to improve the experience of children visiting the Orthopedic clinic at the IWK was a perfect fit. Thank you to the Smilezone Foundation and the McGivern Family for leading this initiative and thank you to the dedicated healthcare professionals at the IWK who provide the families of our community with such passionate care," says Derek Martin, Founder & President of Halifax Wanderers FC.
About Smilezone Foundation: Smilezone Foundation is a registered charity based in Oakville, ON, committed to putting smiles on kids’ faces. Founded by Scott Bachly and Adam Graves in 2012, the Foundation’s mission is to make tough days a little brighter for kids receiving treatment in hospitals and health care facilities. We do this by creating fun and engaging “Smilezones” that harness the uplifting power of a smile for the kids and their families. Please visit smilezone.com for more information about the 290+ Smilezones across Canada.
About IWK Health: IWK Health is the Maritime region's leading health care and research centre dedicated to the well-being of women, children, youth and families. In addition to providing highly specialized and complex care, the IWK provides certain primary care services and is a strong advocate for the health of families. The IWK is a global leader in research and knowledge sharing, and a partner in educating the next generation of health professionals. Visit www.iwk.nshealth.ca for more information.
IWK Communications & Public Affairs
Cell: 902 219 2787