Read this, before attending an in-person program or event

As the world reopens and we begin to reintroduce adapted in-person programs and events, we want you to know that the health and safety of our community — our families, volunteers, staff and financial supporters — is our first priority. 

 

Kids Cancer Care has a long history of providing programs to immune-compromised children and we maintain the strictest protocols on infection prevention and control with enhanced cleaning and disinfectant practices, health screening, monitoring and tracking.

 

We are also strictly adhering to the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 prevention and control measures with strict limits on gathering, physical distancing, rigorous hand hygiene practices and the use of face masks in the office and at all in-person programs and events.

 

While we make every effort to minimize the risk of exposure and transmission, it is vital that you make an informed decision when considering whether to attend our in-person programs and events. We ask that you consult your oncologist, primary nurse, or health care team before making your decision.


We also recommend that you refer to the Government of Alberta COVID-19 Information For Albertans page for up to date information on COVID-19. You may also wish to refer to the resources listed at the bottom of this page.

 

We are here to help. If you have any questions, please reach out to our nursing manager Mackenzie Murawsky MMurawsky@kidscancercare.ab.ca or call 403 984 6214.


ABTraceTogether: Free COVID-19 tracing app

COVID-19 Update: May 4, 2020

When the Government of Alberta announced its relaunch strategy for the Alberta economy on Thursday, April 30, Dr. Deena Hinshaw also stressed the importance of maintaining rigorous hand-washing routines, social distancing and avoiding groups with more than 15 people. In conjunction with the relaunch strategy, the Government of Alberta released a new app, called ABTraceTogether. The app traces and alerts individuals should they come into contact with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19. It only works if everyone gets onboard. The more people who download it, the more effective the app will be. By downloading the app, your mobile device can privately and anonymously have virtual “handshakes" with other mobile devices using the app. If the owner of one of those phones has recently tested positive for COVID-19, Alberta Health Services receives an alert and then sends an alert to all of the phone numbers that have had a virtual “handshake” with that phone. It's safe and free to use and by using it, you may help stop the spread of COVID-19, so Alberta can get back to business again.
 

DOWNLOAD HERE


Summer camp cancelled due to coronavirus

COVID-19 Update: April 27

As the Province of Alberta has extended its restriction on social gatherings to last throughout the summer, we have had to cancel all of our summer camp programs. We know it's not the same as being outside in the fresh air at camp, but we would love to see your smiling faces every Thursday at 6 PM at our virtual campfires.


New online programs

COVID-19 Update: April 21, 2020

Our online programs are up and running weekly now. They don’t even come close to seeing you in person, sharing a hug or a handshake, but at least it offers all of us some semblance of contact and community. We hope these sessions give you something to look forward to each week. They sure brighten up our week. Thank you for bringing your smiles, your energy and wonderful attitudes to these sessions. It really does make our day to see you — even if only remotely for now.

Here is our schedule of online programs. Please reach out and share your creative ideas for new program possibilities or if you have a question or concern. We are only a phone call or email away.


Reaching out during the pandemic: offering programs virtually

COVID-19 Update: March 29, 2020

While COVID-19 is wreaking havoc across the globe, Kids Cancer Care is finding innovative ways to fulfill our commitment to the children and families we serve. We’re moving some of our programs onto virtual platforms and we hope you can take advantage of them from the comfort and safety of your home. These online sessions will help break up the monotony of forced isolation and give your kids something to look forward to.

  1. THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE – Dr. Carolina Chamorra-Vina is giving live PEER exercise sessions online for kids of all ages. PEER helps kids to fight the deconditioning and long-term side effects of cancer treatments by building fundamental movement skills, such as running, jumping, skipping, throwing. These sessions will also help build balance, flexibility, endurance and strength, while giving your kids something to look forward to during forced isolation.
     
  2. CHILD LIFE AT HOME – Kim Clark, our child life specialist, is currently developing a virtual Child Life at Home program for kids who are struggling with medical-related fear and anxiety. The goal of these one-to-one online sessions is to introduce your child to medical terminology in child-friendly terms and familiarize them with medical tools and technology through medical play designed to give the child a sense of mastery and control over the process.
     
  3. VIRTUAL TUTORING – Our teachers Karin Schlegel and Nikki Lamarche are matching tutors with students and helping them to move tutoring sessions online.

We are excited by the possibilities of online programming as it will enable us to bring some of our therapeutic programs to families in remote areas across Alberta — something we have been eager to do for some time. If you wish to learn more about our online program offerings, please click one of the email links above. We would love to see your kids at our next virtual session.


Kids Cancer Care office closed temporarily

COVID-19 Update: March 18, 2020

On Tuesday March 17, the Government of Alberta declared a public state of emergency. As a result, Kids Cancer Care is closing its doors at Camp Kindle and at the Calgary office. Although our staff will be working from home, we are always just a phone call or email away.

You’ll be happy to know that we are also busy exploring alternate ways of delivering some of our programs to you and your family. We know self-isolation is nothing new to you, but with the closing of schools and daycares and your children at home, we want to support you in your efforts to keep them busy and active. We will keep you apprised of our developments on this front.

We are hopeful that the threat of COVID-19 will substantially drop to enable us to offer our summer camp programs. Please know that we will continue to monitor the situation, consult our Medical Advisory Committee and keep you informed.

Please continue to register for summer camps and other programs to secure your spots should our programs move forward. We can now confirm with certainty that the following programs are cancelled:

  • Teen Camp (April 3rd - 5th, 2020) 
  • Bereaved Family Camp (May 1st - 3rd, 2020)
  • Spring Family Camp (June 5th - 7th, 2020)

Please know that we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic under the direction and guidance of our Medical Advisory Committee and provincial and federal health authorities. We will continue to make our program decisions with the health and well-being of your children foremost in mind. We encourage you to refer to information posted by the Alberta Health ServicesGovernment of Canada and World Health Organization (WHO) as this information is updated daily.


Temporarily suspending programs

COVID-19 Update: March 13, 2020

The health and safety of the children we serve are our first priority at Kids Cancer Care. In light of the recent directive from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer and the vulnerable health of the children we serve, Kids Cancer Care has made the decision to temporarily suspend all programs until further notice. While we are sorry to have to do this, we trust you will appreciate our higher commitment to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our families.

Please know that we are responding to the situation under the advice of our Medical Advisory Committee and under the direction and guidance of provincial and federal health authorities. We encourage you to refer to information posted by the Government of AlbertaGovernment of Canada and World Health Organization (WHO) as this information is updated daily. 

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this most difficult situation. 


Coronavirus update

COVID-19 Update: March 6, 2020

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, we want you to know that Kids Cancer Care is actively monitoring the situation and is ready to take appropriate action. While the risk of COVID-19 in Canada and Alberta remains low at this time, given the uncertainty of the situation and the vulnerable health of the children we serve, we are taking proactive steps to operate safely and mitigate risk.

Although a small number of confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus have been identified in Canada and Alberta, Health Canada, Alberta Health Services and other Canadian agencies state that the risk to Canadians is low. Our hospitals have strong systems in place to prevent and control infections and the outbreak is being closely monitored by all relevant agencies in our province and across Canada.

Should this issue escalate in Alberta, Kids Cancer Care is ready to respond in accordance with information and guidance from Alberta Health Services and its supporting agencies. Please know that we have plans in place, outlining the necessary steps to prevent the spread of infection and to respond quickly in the event of a COVID-19 incident in one of our facilities.

Serving children with compromised immune systems, Kids Cancer Care has established systems, policies and practices in place to mitigate the spread of infection in order to keep our families, volunteers and staff as safe as possible.

Here at Kids Cancer Care we continue to

  1. Monitor provincial reports on communicable disease outbreaks in the region.
     
  2. Circulate information on our infection prevention practices to families, volunteers, staff and visitors.
     
  3. Conduct health screening prior to camp and outreach programs.
     
  4. Ensure stringent cleaning practices, adapted from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America guidelines, are routinely followed by our professional cleaning contractor (e.g., cleaning common areas and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in common areas at Camp Kindle and in the office).
     
  5. Regular application of a hospital-grade disinfectant at Camp Kindle and in the office. The disinfectant our professional cleaning contractor uses kills harmful bacteria and viruses without causing hazardous effects to the environment or people.
     
  6. Encourage frequent and proper hand washing (with soap and water or a 70% to 90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer) among staff, volunteers and children.
     
  7. Encourage proper cough and sneeze etiquette among staff, volunteers and children (e.g., coughing into a tissue or the crook of your arm, rather than into the palm of your hand).

In response to COVID-19, we are

  1. Restricting access of staff, volunteers, families and/or visitors, who have within the last 14 days travelled to, or through, any of the countries or regions with a risk rating of 3 or 4 on the Government of Canada list of countries with COVID-19 active travel health notices. Medical clearance will be required before returning to work or participating in one of our programs.                                                                                                                                               
  2. Requiring staff and volunteers to regularly wipe down high-touch areas in their office (e.g., keyboard, mouse, telephone) and especially in areas that on-treatment children and youth frequent (e.g., PEER exercise room, Shaw Education Centre and any shared spaces).
     
  3. Implementing additional cleaning and disinfectant measures by our professional cleaning contractor, especially in high-touch areas frequented by on-treatment children and youth. Should there be a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19, or any other communicable diseases at one of our facilities, we are ready to implement our established protocol, which includes employing our professional cleaning contractor to conduct a deep and thorough, four-stage cleaning and disinfectant process.

You can help by

  1. Notifying Health Link 811 if you develop symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing or have concerns about the possibility of recent travel exposure or close contact with individuals who may have been exposed.                                                                           
  2. Staying home if you or your family members are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing.  
     
  3. Informing our nursing manager Mackenzie Murawsky if you or a family member develops cold- or flu-like symptoms within 14 days of attending one of our programs.                             
  4. Washing your hands with soap and water or a 70% to 90% alcohol-based hand sanitizer prior to entering our facilities and repeating this practice after using equipment in the PEER exercise room and other common areas.                                                                                   
  5. Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or with the crook of your arm and disposing of tissues immediately.                                                                                                                    
  6. Familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19 and monitoring developments related to the coronavirus by visiting the following websites:

         Government of Alberta
         Government of Canada
         World Health Organization
         World Health Organization – Coronavirus Q & A 

Kids Cancer Care is a place where children with compromised immunity frequently gather and we strive to ensure that it is a safe, hygienic and welcoming community. At Kids Cancer Care, we are guided by the core values of respect, trust, responsibility, fairness and care. It is through this lens that we are approaching this situation. Thank you for your understanding and support as we work to keep our community, and the families we serve, safe.