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Construction Begins on first Alberta Hospice for Children

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

The Calgary Health Region and Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation officially broke ground on the province's first hospice for children Monday. Rotary/Flames House will help families caring for children with progressive and life-threatening illnesses and will be located right next door to the Alberta Children's Hospital. It is expected to open as early as the summer of 2009.

"Years of hard work and planning have made today possible," says Paula Tyler, VP of Child and Woman's Health for the Calgary Health Region. "We've consulted with families, caregivers and experts to design what we believe will be one of the best children's hospices in North America."

"Albertans can pride themselves on building this much-needed facility - only the sixth of its kind in North America," says the Honourable Ron Stevens, Deputy Premier of Alberta. "People in this province are leaders in compassion and caring for children and families."

"Like the new hospital, this project really demonstrates the power of community support," says Jim Truesdale, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Board Member. “The Calgary Health Region's commitment to fund operating costs, the province's cheque today for $4.65 million, and the dozens of generous individual and corporate gifts totaling more than $8 million clearly show how much the need for this hospice touched everyone who heard about it."

The hospice is named in honor of the first lead gift from the community, a $2.5 million donation from The Rotary Clubs of Calgary and the Flames Foundation for Life.

"The families who need Rotary/Flames House demonstrate an incredible dedication to their children through every stage of their journey," said Ken King, President & CEO of the Calgary Flames. "Personally, I can think of no better way to honor their courage and strength than to offer them support through a beautiful facility like Rotary/Flames House. It is a privilege for the Calgary Flames organization to be involved with this project."

The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation raises funds for excellence in child health and family centered care. The Foundation is the official fundraiser for both the hospital and Rotary/Flames House.

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