December 14, 2016

Cugnet Family Celebrates Season of Giving with $1 Million Donation for Pediatric Surgical Suite at Children’s Hospital

It will be a first for Saskatchewan, made possible by a generous Saskatchewan family.  The Ken Cugnet family of Weyburn is celebrating the holidays with a special gift of $1 million to help fund a new pediatric surgical suite at Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.  This generous gift to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan “We Can’t Wait” capital campaign will support one of three dedicated pediatric surgical suites, which are a first for the province.

Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet and family

“We ask ourselves often, are we builders or bystanders? We hope this Christmas, in the spirit of giving, that others will choose to be builders for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan,” explains Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet, who is a children’s author and also worked as a nurse for twenty years after training at the University of Saskatchewan.

Located on the ground floor of the new maternal and children’s hospital, these special surgical suites will be designed to meet the unique needs of children who require surgery.  Conveniently located near the dedicated pediatric emergency department, the integrated suites include both an operative area and induction room allowing parents to stay with their child while anesthesia is being administered, offering a reassuring presence when preparing for surgery.

Pediatric Surgery Check-In

“Having to go for surgery can be a frightening experience for any child and their family,” explains Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. “The new Pediatric Surgery Unit will be specially designed to help make each family’s experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We are so incredibly grateful for the Cugnet family’s special holiday gift that will provide the finest care possible for our province’s youngest patients. ”

Working with a special team of anesthesiologists and nurses, pediatric surgeons will, for the first time, have access to equipment and facilities specifically designed for children at every age.

Pediatric Surgery Induction Room
Pediatric Surgery Induction Room

“We are so grateful for the extraordinary generosity of the Cugnet family towards our new surgical unit within Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan,” says Cindy Graham, Saskatoon Health Region’s Director of Surgery Services. “We have had a dedicated team of patient advisors, staff and physicians help design this unit, including our induction rooms, to support parents in staying with their child during anaesthesia. Our teams worked through thousands of details to plan our integrated operating theatres. When the doors open and you walk through the unit, you will see many thoughtful and purpose-built extras, including our private recovery rooms, all designed to improve the surgical experience for Saskatchewan families. Today, we are busy taking this vision of exceptional care and using it to plan how we will make it reality when we open the doors. This donation is critical to helping us realize patient-first, family-first surgical care for our youngest patients and their families.”

Ken Cugnet & Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet

“Our family has always been grateful to those who came before us to build this great province. We are grateful for the schools, churches, libraries, universities and hospitals that were built by those who had so little but worked hard and shared what they could to contribute to the future,” says Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet of the gift made in honour of her late husband Ken Cugnet. “We are proud to make this donation to Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation to build a facility that will be there in the future to serve the medical needs of Saskatchewan families when they come looking for a miracle for their child.”

The Cugnet family gift was a unanimous decision made by the entire family, which includes Jo and Ken’s four sons and their families.

“On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, I want to thank the Cugnet family for their incredible donation to the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan project,” says Health Minister Jim Reiter. “Our government and generous donors like the Cugnet family believe Saskatchewan people deserve a state-of-the-art maternal and children’s hospital that will meet the unique needs of mothers, babies, children and teens. This project will have a long lasting impact to Saskatchewan people for many generations to come.”

Construction on the 176-inpatient bed facility is approximately 33% complete and is scheduled to open in late 2019.

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