The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation was incorporated in 1957 as the official fundraising body for the Alberta Children's Hospital. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation supports excellence in pediatric health care by funding family centred child health programs, specialized life-saving equipment and advanced research and education.
The Foundation works closely with Alberta Health Services to support the work and mission of the hospital. Representatives of the hospital serve on the Foundation Board of Directors. Likewise, the Foundation is represented on the Hospital Management Council and the Child Health Advisory Committee.
While changes have been made in health care over the years, the principle on which the hospital was founded remains the same: the Alberta Children's Hospital is dedicated to providing the finest possible health care for our children. Today's challenge is to maintain these exceptional standards at a time when pediatric practice is changing. Calgary's population is growing rapidly and new advances in treatment and medical equipment are available, but expensive.
The generous support received by the Foundation from our many donors is a constant source of encouragement and hope to the patients, families and staff of the hospital. This funding serves to enhance not only the quality of health care, but also the quality of life for our children.
A History of the Alberta Children’s Hospital
While today, the Alberta Children's Hospital is a world-class pediatric facility, caring for more than 102,000 children and families each year, it has evolved from very humble beginnings. Our first hospital opened in 1922 and was known as the Junior Red Cross Children's Hospital. It was originally a three-storey home at 522 - 18 Avenue SW, had 35 beds, and was run by volunteer physicians. Seven years later, as demands for children's health care increased, the hospital was moved to a renovated apartment house on 20th Avenue SW. It was renamed the Red Cross Crippled Children's Hospital.
The former Richmond Road site began taking shape in 1952 when provincial and federal grants resulted in the construction of two wings. Five years later, the Red Cross discontinued sponsorship support of the hospital and the hospital was registered under the Societies Act as a non-profit organization and renamed the Alberta Crippled Children's Hospital. The non-profit organization was named the Alberta Children's Provincial General Hospital Society and eventually became known as the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation.
By 1960, the hospital took the name it holds today: the Alberta Children's Hospital. In 1972, the provincial government purchased the hospital for $2 million from the Foundation who used the revenue to create an endowment fund. Support from the Foundation to the hospital has continued ever since. In the early years, children with septic tonsils, polio and club foot accounted for most of the hospital admissions. Patients stayed on average from one to two months. Today, the Alberta Children's Hospital provides a complete range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services. Because children heal better at home, specialists make every effort now to minimize the length of hospital stay for patients and provide expert care through the hospital's out-patient clinics.