Nova Scotia Premier, Rodney MacDonald, Microsoft Canada, Aliant and CMN launch CLICK technology program at IWK Health Centre
Young patients gain bedside access to Internet and virtual classroom
Halifax, Nova Scotia - January 6, 2009 - Microsoft Canada Co., together with Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald, representatives from Aliant, the Children's Miracle Network and the IWK Health Centre, today launched the Child Life Interactive Computers for Kids (CLICK) program at the IWK in Halifax. The CLICK program helps children who are hospitalized frequently or for lengthy periods maintain a sense of normalcy by providing access to technology, allowing patients to stay connected with the outside world.
As part of the CLICK program, young patients will be able to access their classrooms virtually for the first time. Using Microsoft Roundtable, a laptop and webcam patients will be able to interact seamlessly with teachers and classmates giving them the opportunity to participate in classroom activities in real time. The CLICK program also provides wireless connectivity, hardware, software, and Xbox® consoles and games.
The partnership also provides funding for a Child Life Specialist who is responsible for integrating the technology into the hospital, overseeing the program, and teaching children to use the technology tools to do everything from keep up with their schooling to research information about their disease or condition.
"I want to thank and to congratulate everyone at Microsoft, Aliant and the IWK for bringing this innovative initiative to Nova Scotia and to the Maritimes. It's a meaningful collaboration that will make the hospital stays for hundreds of children a little easier," said Premier Rodney MacDonald.
"Microsoft's CLICK program will play an integral role in the recovery process for our patients at the IWK by providing positive opportunities for children, including gaming, self expression, and working with teachers and classmates outside of the health centre. It also allows them to conduct research into their own illness empowering them to make decisions about the direction of their treatment," said Anne McGuire, President and CEO, IWK Health Centre.
"We have seen the transformative impact technology can have on children in the hospital through our experience with CLICK in Ottawa and Quebec City. Young people today are technologically advanced and rarely more than a click away from communicating with friends and family. This program allows them to maintain that communication, making them feel less isolated and now, let's them stay in school while in the hospital. We are pleased to expand this innovative program to Halifax and look forward to continuing in our commitment to get CLICK into all of the Children's Miracle Network hospitals across Canada," said Phil Sorgen, President, Microsoft Canada.
"Aliant is excited to partner with the IWK and Microsoft to bring the CLICK program to Atlantic Canada. We understand the power of communications and we recognize the role it plays in the healing process. Our support for children's health, for the IWK and for the CLICK program is built on a desire to use our unique set of skills and the combined commitment of our team of employees to support children and their families," said Ivan Toner, Chief Information Officer, Aliant.
"Children's Miracle Network and our hospital partners are thrilled about today's launch. CLICK continues to have a tremendous impact on the lives of young patients who spend time in a children's hospital. It's all about helping children cope and connect with their families and friends - key attributes in the recovery and well being of children facing difficult times," said John Hartman, Chief International Officer, Children's Miracle Network.
The IWK Health Centre is the third Children's Miracle Network-affiliated hospital to establish a CLICK program in Canada, and the first to launch the Virtual Classroom. Microsoft Canada and the Children's Miracle Network launched the CLICK program at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa in May 2005 and at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ) in Quebec City in 2007.
The CLICK program at the IWK Health Centre includes:
- Virtual classroom, Microsoft Roundtable
- Wireless network
- Hardware and software (laptops, tablet PCs, web cameras and Microsoft® Windows® Vista operating system)
- Xbox® consoles and games appropriate for various age groups
- Technical support
- Internet connectivity
- Furniture (desks and chairs)
- Three years of funding support for Child Life
About the IWK Health Centre
The IWK Health Centre provides quality care to women, children and youth of the Maritimes and beyond. In addition to tertiary (highly-specialized) care, the IWK also provides primary care services. The IWK is engaged in leading-edge research, the promotion of healthy families and the education of health professionals and other learners. It is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
About Microsoft Canada
Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.
About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers. Through its operating entities it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Through its xwave offices, Bell Aliant also provides IT professional services in Canada and the US. Bell Aliant's 10,000 employees are committed to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and convenience. In Atlantic Canada, communications products and services are delivered to customers through the Aliant brand.
About Children's Miracle Network
Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals and health foundations across North America. Each year, the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada, create miracles by providing the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of kids overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. Through its year-round efforts to help kids, Children's Miracle Network has raised more than $3.4 billion to date, most of which is donated a dollar or two at a time by caring individuals across North America. In 2007, Children's Miracle Network raised more than $42.7 million for the 14 Canadian member children's hospitals/foundations and the 2.6 million children they treated. To donate or to learn more, go to childrensmiraclenetwork.ca. Your donations benefit your Children's Miracle Network hospital.
For more information please contact:
Jeannie Tsang / Meg Sinclair
(416) 821-9315 / (416) 342-1804
The IWK Foundation