Spirit of Giving


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Music has the power to soothe and heal.

MoeMusic has the power to soothe and heal. For many individuals, music helps them cope with difficult situations and can often provide an outlet for stress and discomfort. The Music Therapy program as part of the IWK Child Life Program, uses music as the main avenue for working of health care and quality of life goals with patients and their families. Music therapy sessions involve music making, listening to music, and finding creative ways to incorporate music into a patient’s healing process – often without the patient or family having a musical background.

Studies have shown that through musical therapy patients’ stress levels are reduced, sensory and cognitive skills are developed, and there is an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem.

Thanks to the support of organizations like Long & McQuade, patients and families at the IWK have benefitted first hand from Darrel Cameron, the IWK Health Centre’s Music Therapist Accredited (MTA)”.

“We have truly enjoyed the music therapy with Darrel,” says dad Moe, whose son Andrew is currently being treated as an inpatient. Together, Darrel, Andrew and his dad often “jam” with Darrel and dad on the guitar and Andrew on a small drum or simulated drum kit.

“Andrew has several musical instruments at home and loves many types of music,” said dad. “This was very exciting and therapeutic for our son along with the rest of the family. Along with Darrel, we also wrote a song with several other family members which I truly found was a turning point for Andrew, as he got his joy back. Music therapy is a very worthwhile component of our son’s healing.”

Long & McQuade also believes in the power of music. Until Dec 31, Maritimers can donate $1 to the IWK through Long & McQuade’s website and receive a $5 rental coupon in return.

Your support will go a long way to help patients and families at the IWK.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

IWK Child Life LogoIt’s the most wonderful time of the year!  I bet you’ve heard this song on the radio, in the malls, and even in your workplace by now.  At the IWK Health Centre, December is truly the most wonderful time of the year.  We know that being in hospital can be tough for kids and families, even more so around the holidays. Throughout the month of December, holidays are celebrated to ensure that patients and families who are in the hospital don’t miss out on traditions, making important memories and even celebrating new holidays!

Child Life Services works hard to make the holidays a memorable time for patients and families who are in the hospital.  Through generous donations by individuals, families, community organizations and workplaces, Child Life Services ensures that inpatients and their siblings have gifts for the holidays.  These items go beyond the holidays and are also used throughout the year for therapeutic play or distraction with a Child Life Specialist, as birthday presents for patients, and to support play in the hospital.

If you would like to donate a gift to patients and families at the IWK Health Centre this holiday season, please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  1. All gifts must be new and unwrapped, in keeping with our infection control policy.
  2. Please deliver these gifts to Child Life Services located on the main floor of the children’s building Monday – Thursday from 8 am-4 pm.  Outside of this time, please leave gifts with Protection Services inside the Women’s Building entrance to the IWK and mark them Attention: Child Life. 

 

Please see our Holiday Wish List for details about gifts appropriate for specific age groups.

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation


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The most wonderful time of the year

Jane Marchildon is a Child Life Specialist at the IWK Health Centre.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  I bet you’ve heard this song on the radio, in the malls, and even in your workplace by now.  At the IWK Health Centre, December is truly the most wonderful time of the year.   We know that being in hospital can be tough for kids and families, even more so around the holidays.  Throughout the month of December, holidays are celebrated to ensure that patients and families who are in the hospital don’t miss out on traditions, making important memories and even celebrating new holidays!

IWKChildLifelogoChild Life Services works hard to make the holidays a memorable time for patients and families who are in the hospital.  Through generous donations by individuals, families, community organizations and workplaces, Child Life Services ensures that inpatients and their siblings have gifts for the holidays.  These items go beyond the holidays and are also used throughout the year for therapeutic play or distraction with a Child Life Specialist, as birthday presents for patients,  and to support play in the hospital.

If you would like to donate a gift to patients and families at the IWK Health Centre this holiday season, please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  1. All gifts must be new and unwrapped, in keeping with our infection control policy.
  2. Please deliver these gifts to Child Life Services located on the main floor of the children’s building Monday – Thursday from 8AM-4PM.  Outside of this time, please leave gifts with Protection Services inside the women’s entrance to the IWK and mark them Attention: Child Life. 

 

Please see our 2013 Holiday Wish List for details about gifts appropriate for specific age groups.

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation.


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Getting into the Swing of Spring!

The Child Life Activity Area at the IWK Health Centre is ready for colourful flowers, green grass, and warm winds. On this past Thursday, this innovative area of the Health Centre held their annual Spring Party. The Spring Party is an opportunity for young IWK patients and their families to celebrate the end of Winter with games, crafts, tasty treats, and a classic egg hunt.   This event is a great chance for kids to come together to relax and have fun. The IWK Child Life department works tirelessly to make sure the kids at the IWK get to enjoy the usual traditions of childhood, and, as you can see by these colourful pics, they were able to do just that.

We just wrapped up Child Life month! Read more about this incredible organization and how you can help.

To make a gift to the IWK Foundation visit www.iwkfoundation.org.

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Ready for the egg hunt!

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Spring colours

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Spring chicken

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Ready for decorating

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Colourful icing – almost too pretty to eat!

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Let the games begin!

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Artist at work.

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Delicious!

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Sprinkles for Spring!

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Yum!

Yum!


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Child Life brings joy to IWK families this Holiday Season

Chantal LeBlanc is the Interim Professional Practice Chief & Coordinator for Child Life at the IWK

Chantal LeBlanc

Chantal LeBlanc

For most children, Christmas is the best time of the year – they write letters to Santa, make decorations, watch holiday movies and wrap up special gifts for family and friends.

At the IWK, some patients won’t be able to enjoy their favourite holiday activities at home this year. However, the IWK’s Child Life team is working hard to bring the Christmas spirit to them inside the Health Centre through a number of exciting activities and celebrations. The goal is to let children be children – and not just patients.

The holidays should be a time of festivity, but for some IWK families, it can be particularly stressful, especially if they are separated from loved ones. Our goal in Child Life is to make a family’s hospital experience the best that it can be any time of year, but especially during important family celebration times.

During the month of December, Child Life organizes Christmas and Hanukkah parties, crafts, caroling, tree decorating, letters to Santa and more. We also have special activities and visitors, like writing letters to Santa with staff from Canada Post, making gingerbread houses and having a holiday themed movie night sponsored by the Auxiliary. These important activities help bring a sense of normalcy to patients and families as they prepare for and celebrate the holidays – no matter what their beliefs or family traditions.

Child Life is an essential part of the integrated care teams at the IWK year round. While doctors and nurses have stethoscopes and other equipment to do their jobs, child life specialists use therapeutic play and self-expression as their tools to help children, youth and their families cope with the potential stress or trauma caused by events like the diagnosis of an illness, an injury, the treatment process and hospitalization.

We get to see a glimpse  into the  lives of Maritime families, and being able to help make their time at the IWK a little bit easier for them is incredibly rewarding. This time of year especially, it helps us to value the real spirit of the holiday season, which is to share and to give.

The Child Life program is a special service at the IWK Health Centre that is supported, in part, by the IWK Foundation, the IWK Auxiliary and other members of the community.

 

Make a gift to the IWK Health Centre Foundation.


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The gift of music

IWK Musical Therapist Darrel Cameron with Abby Ross and WIlliam Ainscough

IWK Musical Therapist Darrel Cameron with Abby Ross and WIlliam Ainscough

Hello! We are William Ainscough and Abby Ross. Since September of this year, we have been calling Halifax “home” as we film a TV Series called Seed.

When we arrived in beautiful Nova Scotia, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the province and the kindness and generosity of the people who live in this tremendous city. Both have inspired us to want to do something to give back.

We both love music and it plays a big part in our lives. We both sing in our school choirs and play instruments in our free time. Our entire crew is also very musical; several crew members have band they play in on the weekends, and our whole cast loves to sing! Thanks to the generosity of our fantastic cast and crew, we were able to raise some money and decided to give it to the IWK, and specifically to the Music Therapy Program. It is our hope that the gift of music may brightened the day and make it a little easier for some of the children going through treatments at the IWK.

Sincerely,

William and Abby

Make a gift to the IWK Health Centre Foundation.


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March is Child Life Month!

Jane Marchildon is a Child Life Specialist at the IWK Health Centre.

I feel enormously proud to work as a Child Life Specialist at the IWK Health Centre.  The Child Life profession strives to reduce the impact of stressful life experiences, such as being in the hospital, on children, youth and families.  Working in the health centre, we may take for granted some of the stresses children, youth and families encounter when they visit.  Meeting new people, being away from friends and family, eating different food, enduring painful procedures, and not being able to walk around freely are some of the stresses kids and youth encounter on a daily basis here at the IWK.

Child Life staff try to ensure children and adolescents are able to be kids and teenagers first and foremost while they are here in the IWK.  Children and adolescents are able to hang out in the activity areas and Teen Lounge which are stocked with all kinds of games, craft supplies and books, thanks to the support of our donors and friends in the community.  In the activity areas and Teen Lounge, they can meet other kids in the hospital, play, and have a break from the medical aspect of their care.  Friendships are often formed in these rooms and kids love to hang out here.

Other aspects of Child Life include preparing children, adolescents and families for medical procedures, providing them with information that is easy to understand and helping them cope.  A Child Life Specialist may meet with a child or teenager to prepare them for surgery, blood work, casting or any other medical procedure.  By reviewing the steps and equipment involved in that procedure kids learn what to expect and are better prepared.  Child Life Specialists can also be present during these procedures to provide distraction or be a coach for parents, to help direct the focus away from the procedure.  The Child Life Specialist and child may use an iPad, bubbles, stress balls, find-it-tubes or soothing music to cope with a dressing change, casting, blood work or any procedure that is stressful for that child.

Photo (2011): Grand Opening of the new Teen Lounge with Sidney Crosby.

When I come to work in the morning, I never know what to expect as each day is different working as a Child Life Specialist on 4 South and in the Teen Lounge.  I love getting to spend my afternoons in the Teen Lounge interacting with the adolescents, seeing them try new things, meeting new people and leaving with a sense of pride and accomplishment, in themselves and the others they have met.  It can get loud with the video games, air hockey table and music but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

To make a gift to the IWK Foundation visit www.iwkfoundation.org.