Meet Dr. Laurence Givelichian: Building Saskatchewan’s Children’s Hospital Behind the Scenes

He may not operate a crane or pour the concrete but Dr. Laurence Givelichian has been a driving force behind Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan for almost a decade. With a tenacity matched only by his tenderness, Dr. Givelichian responds to critics of the project with a simple-yet-potent question:

Dr. Laurence Givelichian“Why is it ok that our children receive a lower level of care than our grown-ups?”

But the provincial head of pediatrics, who is a dad himself, is quick to point out that Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan is more than just bricks and glass.

“The new hospital is expanding our vision for province-wide pediatric excellence. We believe that a child in Swift Current should have the same standard of care as a child in La Ronge as in Regina or Saskatoon. We’re building with the whole province in mind. No matter where you live, there will be access to maternal and pediatric healthcare.”

Dr. Laurence Givelichian & patients

When the new maternal and children’s hospital opens, Saskatoon will be one of only a handful of Canadian cities that can boast a state-of-the-art children’s hospital, a renowned teaching hospital, and a top-ranked medical school in one central location. These facilities, paired with the Canadian Light Source, Canada’s national synchrotron facility, will allow specialists to improve upon every aspect of pediatric and maternal care.  The vision is to see Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan become the “Mayo Clinic of the North” – an internationally recognized hospital, conducting cutting-edge research to make significant advances in maternal and pediatric healthcare. This visionary goal, according to Dr. Givelichian, will revolve around, not just a building but, what matters most: kids, moms-to-be and their families.

Asked what it will be like to walk through the doors for the first time, Dr. Givelichian looks out the window behind him out onto the construction site and says, “It will be beautiful… a very emotional moment. We can’t wait.”

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