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SaskEnergy, Students, RUH Foundation Team Up to Brighten Lives of Children in Hospital

September 28, 2007

SaskEnergy, Students, RUH Foundation Team Up to Brighten Lives of Children in Hospital

What do SaskEnergy, a group of artistic students from St. Bernard School in Saskatoon and the Royal University Hospital Foundation have in common? They are all dedicated to making life better for sick children in the Pediatric unit at Royal University Hospital.

Here's how. In 2004, SaskEnergy dedicated $500,000 over a five-year period to the Foundation for children's research. Today, the RUHF Royal Care Campaign was presented with the third installment of $100,000 from the SaskEnergy Centennial Research Fund for Children's Health.

SaskEnergy and the RUH Foundation have devised a way to create a permanent reminder of a gift that is working behind-the-scenes on research into childhood illnesses. The elevator doors on the pediatric unit are now decorated with children's art as a way to remind patients and visitors that children are our future.

 "The SaskEnergy Centennial Research Fund for Children's Health was established to support medical research initiatives funded by the RUH Foundation," said Pat Atkinson, Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy. "Today's donation will allow research to continue in the vital area of pediatric illness, with the goal of improving health services for Saskatchewan children and their families."

Dr. Alan Rosenberg, Director of Pediatric Rheumatology at RUH is the principal investigator into an initiative which studies how early conditions in childhood, or in the womb, impact illness and disease later in life. "SaskEnergy's contribution supports this important work. We look forward to the results of Dr. Rosenberg's research, and the many other research projects made possible through the on-going contribution of the SaskEnergy Centennial Research Fund endowment," Atkinson said.

 "Royal University Hospital Foundation is grateful for the generous support of SaskEnergy," says Zeba Ahmad, Chairperson of RUHF. "This donation to pediatric health research has a long term impact on health care for children in Saskatchewan. The Foundation works hard to publicly recognize outstanding gifts such as this. Because the contribution is targeted at pediatric health research, we believe it is fitting to recognize the gift with a creative expression of thanks from children."

Grade two and three students at St. Bernard School in Saskatoon were invited to create artwork representing summer, spring, fall and winter in a contest to decorate the four elevator doors leading to the four children's units at RUH. The winning artwork has been applied to the doors using a sophisticated technology. The area is now livelier for young patients and their families.

Congratulations to the artists: Mikhaila Paslawski, Mark Armstrong, Ryley Heck and Sabin Catana. There were so many great pieces of art that the judges selected one more colourful piece, created by Jade Kennedy, to frame and hang in a patient's room on the ward. All the art will serve as a permanent reminder of the caring students and of SaskEnergy's generous gift.

The RUH Foundation is a registered charity that raises money to invest in research, equipment and patient care at Royal University Hospital. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the health of children and adults living throughout Saskatchewan. For more information please visit www.ruhf.org or www.royalcare.ca.

For further information, please call:

Dave Burdeniuk Katherine Lawrence
Manager, Communications Fund Development Officer, RUH Foundation
SaskEnergy Phone: (306) 655-1063
(306) 777-9842 or (306) 535-6569 (cell)