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Oilers score a big win for kids and their families

October 10, 2014

'84 Oilers

Alumni reunion raises funds for new Stollery ambulatory clinic

Story by Sharman Hnatiuk

Jack Pinchuck wasn’t even born when the Edmonton Oilers won their first Stanley Cup in 1984.

But the 13 year old will certainly remember the legacy they have left behind.

Jack helped Oilers legend Wayne Gretzky unveil a plaque commemorating 30 years of that championship win at the official opening and naming of the Edmonton Oilers Ambulatory Clinic at the Stollery Children’s Hospital on Oct. 10.

“I loved how the Oilers donated a lot of money to build a new clinic for pediatrics,” says Jack, a liver transplant patient who will be using the new clinic on a frequent basis.

“I think my Dad was even more excited than I was. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I’m glad I got to take part in it.”

Pediatric patients and their families have improved access to specialty health services thanks to a $15.8-million renovation that brings under one roof more than 40 clinic services — previously located at different Edmonton-area Alberta Health Services (AHS) sites — which will enable patients to see multiple specialists during a single visit.

Each service has been given additional rooms so more appointments can be booked and more patients seen. Two new rheumatologists and a new gastrointestinal (GI) physician have been added to address increasing demand for their services.

The additional space will provide sufficient capacity for an expected 30 per cent increase in patient volume over the next 10 years.

The Government of Alberta contributed $13.8 million to the project, along with a legacy gift from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, which is part of a $2-million donation from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.

AHS President and CEO Vickie Kaminski says consolidating services in one location will lead to a more team-based approach to care.

“An ENT (ears, nose and throat) physician could be seeing a pediatric patient with a tracheotomy and have a question for a respiratory therapist or speech pathologist. Now that ENT doctor can just walk down the hall and have that discussion,” says Kaminski.

Key outpatient services now available at the Edmonton Oilers Ambulatory Clinic include allergy/immunology; ENT; gastroenterology; pediatric infectious diseases; pulmonary function lab; home nutrition support program; rheumatology; chronic pain; nephrology; neurology; hematology; Kidclot; respirology; and an oncology survivors clinic. A Clinical Investigations Unit, which will provide clinical services and research activities across a wide range of pediatric specialty practice, will open in the near future.

The Edmonton Oilers raised money for this clinic through a reunion event at Rexall Place which brought together many members of that 1984 Cup-winning team.

“It was important for all of us involved that we create a charitable legacy in the community,” says Kevin Lowe, Oilers Entertainment Group Vice-Chairman and Director of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.

“It was important to the Oilers organization — and especially Wayne Gretzky — that we leave a legacy in honour of the ’84 team. There is no better place and no better partner than the Stollery.”