CALGARY – Thanks to community donations, Alberta’s first hospice and respite care facility for children will open its doors next month to help hundreds of families in our community.
Donors, partners and the public were invited last week to tour Rotary/Flames House, the new facility located right next door to the Alberta Children’s Hospital. While the two-storey House features all the safety of a health care facility, it was specially designed to have the look and feel of a home.
The main floor features a large kitchen, dining area, living room, rumpus room, library and customized multi-sensory room. Eleven children’s rooms and two family suites are located on the second floor, as is a specially designed “light house.”
"Years of hard work and planning have made today possible," says Dr. Jim Kellner, Head of Pediatrics for the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary. "Our team has consulted with families, caregivers and experts to design what we believe will be one of the best children's hospices in North America."
"The fact that children require hospice and respite is a sad reality," says Health and Wellness Minister, Ron Liepert, "but we can be proud that Calgary is host to such a wonderful refuge and supportive environment for the kids and their families during very difficult times."
“Like the new hospital, this project really demonstrates the power of community support,” says Jim Truesdale, Chairman of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation Board. “The commitment from Alberta Health Services to fund operating costs and generous donations totaling more than $12.5 million clearly shows 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 House is even better than the architectural drawings,” says Larry Shelley, President of the Downtown Rotary Club. ”We hope families will find great comfort here.”
“The families who need Rotary/Flames House demonstrate an incredible dedication to their children through every stage of their journey,” says Ken King, President and CEO of the Calgary Flames.
“What 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 fundraising organization for both the hospital and Rotary/Flames House.