Sandra Schmirler Foundation Helps Protect Babies in Crisis by Funding Leading-Edge Equipment

Children’s Health Foundation Celebrates the Sandra Schmirler Foundation’s Generous Grant Towards a State-Of-The-Art Giraffe Omnibed

Children’s Health Foundation (CHF) expressed their sincere gratitude to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation in Children’s Hospital’s B Tower Atrium on March 8, as they celebrated the generous grant of $35,000 towards the cost of a much-needed Giraffe Omnibed for Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).    

For 22-years, the Schmirler Foundation has been a long-time valued supporter of the NICU at Children’s Hospital. With past grants totalling $215,000, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation’s generosity has been used to help build our new NICU and fund specialized equipment, including: physiological monitors, preemie breast pumps, a CPAP machine, a vein viewer and a jet ventilator. 

Darren McEwen, representative of the Schmirler Foundation, emphasized how wonderful it was to be back in-person and see their mission being carried out – caring for babies in crisis through direct giving to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) facilities across Canada.  

This time in the B Tower had a particularly special feeling, as Darren’s brother and sister-in-law joined him. His nephew, aged 11, has received care numerous times from different care teams at Children’s Hospital. Darren’s parents also joined in as proud supporters of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation where they are Champions’ Circle monthly donors.  

It was truly a celebration of the impact Children’s has on kids from all across Western Ontario.  

Neonatologist and Director of Children’s Health Research Institute, Dr. Victor Han, and several members of the NICU team gladly shared a presentation using an older Omnibed model they brought to the Atrium and explained that pre-term babies must have a life-enhancing, warm and comfortable environment to support optimal development.  

The Giraffe Omnibed is an advanced, developmentally supportive “microenvironment” that is specifically designed to promote the growth and stability of fragile newborns in the NICU. Our Children’s Hospital is the third largest children’s hospital in Canada and has one of the busiest NICUs in the country. 

With our NICU being a Level III unit, it cares for the sickest and smallest of neonates. Many of the 1,000 fragile babies our NICU sees each year will need a Giraffe Omnibed for the first few weeks or even months of their lives.  

Children’s Health Foundation extends our heartfelt thanks to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation for empowering the dedicated staff in our NICU to provide the best care and most hope for the littlest patients at Children’s Hospital.  


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