Calgary

Alberta to get first children's hospice

The province's first hospice for terminally ill children will be built right next door to the new Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary.

The province'sfirst hospice for terminally ill children will be built right next door to the new Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary.

The$7 millionfacility — a two-storey house with 11 beds —will be called the Rotary-Flames House because of financial donations by the Rotary Club and the Calgary Flames hockey club.

Brenda Fischer, a vice-president of the Calgary Health Region, was one of the people behind the new hospice, which is set to open in September 2008. The resemblance to a family home is deliberate, she said.

"We want this to be an alternative to home, not an alternative to hospital. So if they need hospital care, they'll be admitted [to the hospital] and we do have some palliative suites here for some children who need that extraordinary support during their end-of-life journey, but this is an alternative to home. This gives them another place to get care."

The Rotary-Flames House will be one of only six children's hospices in North America, Fischer said.

The project is expected to be completed by June of next year.

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