Families and volunteers celebrate at special hospital event

Grand opening celebrations of the new Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital kicked off on Tuesday with a Family and Friends Night marking this special occasion.

Ambassador families and Foundation volunteers got the chance to become acquainted with their new provincial hospital and be recognized for their dedication. The meaningful come and go event gave guests a sneak preview of the facility, before the hospital officially opens to patients later this fall. Guests also enjoyed many family-friendly activities available on the main floor of the hospital, including a photo booth, video station, children’s hospital trivia and a preview of the Foundation’s gift shop, Sprout Gift Co.

For Tara Johnson and her family, the journey towards the new hospital has been many years in the making. Johnson first got involved with the design of the hospital a year after her daughter was born premature with a rare congenital heart defect.

“I did not know how badly we needed a hospital like this until what we needed just didn’t exist,” Johnson said, who sat as a patient-family advisor on the steering committee for the new hospital.

Johnson’s eight-year-old daughter was so excited after seeing inside the new hospital for the first time that she said she wanted to stay overnight for a sleepover.

“Over the years during hospital design, people listened to us and worked to help give us the things that we were missing that we so desperately needed. This hospital means a community came together to make things better for those who need it,” Johnson said.

The hospital also gives a renewed sense of hope to families like those of Payton Sernick, the 2018 Saskatchewan Champion Child who is a two-time cancer survivor, but had to temporarily move to Alberta for treatment last year.

“I’m just so happy that all the babies and kids will have such a nice hospital close to their brothers and sisters,” Payton said.

“The hospital opening is bigger than anything you can imagine to us as parents,” said Payton’s mom, Andrea. “To see the building, walk through the halls, relive our child’s journey realizing the next child will be getting world-class care so close to their own homes for friends and family to visit and support is really the goal everyone has pushed towards.”

A special Block Party event also took place earlier on Tuesday to start off the week of festivities. The party gave stakeholders, partners and other related organizations an opportunity to see the provincial facility and become familiar with the services and programs the hospital will offer.

“These celebrations are about showing gratitude and recognizing all of those throughout this province as to what we can accomplish together,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, President and CEO of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The opening of Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital represents years of vision, dedication and generosity from Saskatchewan people.”

Stay tuned to our social media channels this week for more grand opening celebrations. Be sure to follow @PattisonChildrens on Instagram and @PattisonKids on Twitter!

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