Hospital at Home

A growing number of children and teens in our community are becoming seriously ill with cancer, as well as life-threatening disorders affecting their blood and immune systems.

Over the past five years, the Alberta Children’s Hospital has experienced:

  • 40% increase in patients requiring blood and marrow transplantation (BMT)
  • 56% increase in immunology patients
  • 30% increase in newly diagnosed cancer patients

While the team at the Alberta Children’s Hospital delivers world-class care, the unfortunate reality is that current therapies can be incredibly taxing – both physically and mentally – on children and their families. To help ease some of their hardship, community support is enabling specialists to provide a whole new level of family centred care through Hospital at Home – the first program of its kind for children in Canada.

Last year, 100 young people benefited from this program, with the team administering more than 75 types of medications in the comfort of the family living room. Hospital at Home saved 13-year-old Lauren Gamble from having to spend over 50 more nights in hospital while she undergoes treatment for bone cancer.

“I get very emotional just thinking about it,” says her mom, Lindsay. “The toll this diagnosis takes on a child’s mental health cannot be underestimated. For us, Hospital at Home gives Lauren the mental strength she needs to push through the physical treatments. It has allowed us to enjoy moments as a family that wouldn’t have been possible had she been admitted. We will cherish these memories forever.”

Continued community support will help:

  • increase the number of drug therapies offered
  • create capacity for blood transfusions
  • provide access to more families from out of town
  • double the number of young people who will benefit from this crucial program.

“While we are advancing research to find therapies with less toxic side effects for kids undergoing treatment, we know it’s equally important to make their current journey as manageable as possible. By providing care in their homes, we are saving families multiple days in hospital and relieving some of the emotional and practical stress that comes from that. With the generous support of the community behind us, we can provide this unparalleled level of care for children and their parents.”
– Dr. Victor Lewis, section chief of the Hematology, Oncology and Transplant program