Calgary, AB, Dec. 14, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern Alberta has a significant rate of critically ill and preterm births requiring the care of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). When these babies are born too sick, too early and too small, they are immediately transferred to the highly specialized, perinatal care team at the Foothills Medical Centre. As Southern Alberta's population continues to grow, our health system must be prepared to care for an ever-increasing number of tiny, vulnerable patients and their families.
TransAlta has stepped forward as the largest corporate contributor to the Newborns Need campaign. Their commitment is critical to creating a sustainable future where investments in vital health initiatives create a better future for Southern Alberta's families. This investment from TransAlta will support the growth of the Foothills Level 3 NICU from 39 to 58 beds, as part of the overall $66 million Newborns Need campaign.
"TransAlta invests in the communities where our people live and work in order to create a meaningful impact. Our investments fill a recognized need and support the sustainability, diversity and youth in these communities," said Executive Vice President of Legal, Commercial, and External Affairs Kerry O'Reilly Wilks. "We are pleased to be able to make a difference for the families across Southern Alberta who will utilize this NICU."
With the support of this investment, Calgary Health Foundation will help to build the most advanced and innovative NICU in Canada. The planned ?down to the studs' renovation will provide capacity for newborn babies for the next 20 to 30 years and generate vital information through clinical research to lower the rate of preterm births in Southern Alberta. Calgary Health Foundation looks forward to recognizing TransAlta for their significant gift as the space becomes a reality.
"TransAlta's milestone investment contributes to a state-of-the-art, Level 3 NICU facility for Southern Albertans. Their gift improves the lives and health outcomes of our most precious gifts in the areas it operates. The $2 million commitment ensures families from the province's southern border to Red Deer county receive exceptional care and transformational outcomes for the most at-risk newborns," says Sandy Edmonstone, Board Chair, Calgary Health Foundation.
Colten and Chelsea Bodie, from Lethbridge County, spent 94 days in the Foothills Medical Centre NICU with their son, Blair who was born at 27 weeks, 4 days weighing 1,234 grams. Blair needed emergency transport to Foothills Medical Centre NICU with the support of the southern Alberta neonatal transport team. Today, a bright, healthy and vibrant young boy, he recently celebrated his third birthday. Blair's parents, Colten and Chelsea, are forever grateful for the care that Blair received in the NICU. It is families like the Bodie's who will continue to benefit from the world class care at Foothills Medical Centre NICU, thanks to the generous gift from TransAlta.
"Foothills staff are angels on earth. We would not have our precious little man without them. They literally laughed with us, cried with us, fought with and for us. He was loved as if surrounded by family there. We could thank them for a lifetime and it wouldn't be enough." Chelsea Bodie
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