On August 9, 2016, the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre turned 50 years old.
More than 30 years ago, when the old Janeway hospital in Pleasantville, St. John’s still existed, fundraising initiatives were undertaken by medical and support staff and the Janeway Auxiliary. But as the needs of the hospital grew, so did the time commitment required to obtain funding for the facility.
On May 30, 1985, the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation was formed with a mandate to assume responsibility for all Janeway Hospital fundraising activities. Today, 31 years later, the Janeway Foundation continues to be supported by a dynamic network of staff, donors, volunteers and health-care professionals, all of whom contribute to its success.
I’m Lynn Sparkes, Executive Director of the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation. I’ve worked in the not-for-profit charitable sector for over 21 years, beginning my career with the General Hospital Adult Foundation. In 2002, I changed direction and joined the Janeway Foundation team where I soon realized that children and their families were very much a part of who we are and what we do.
Each member of the Janeway Foundation team has a role to play in the betterment of child health care in our province, and I am very fortunate to work with such a dedicated and compassionate group of individuals.
Throughout the years, my colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to assist the Janeway to stay current and to keep pace with the progress in pediatric health care. Whether through the purchase of the latest advancements in medical equipment; the funding of life-saving pediatric research and staff educational opportunities; or the development of specific pediatric programs, we feel truly privileged to be a part of a community that shares our vision of a healthier future for our children!
Personally, I have had the great pleasure of working with hundreds of medical professionals and have witnessed first-hand the wonderful work that they do each and every day. I have had the good fortune to meet so many of our province’s children – from the little premature baby that could fit in the palm of my hand, to the 15-year-old teenager who had suffered a stroke.
I have seen laughter, tears, hugs, good wishes, and some amazing celebrations. But most of all, I have seen hope on the faces of so many family members!
I can say with certainty that it’s because of the generosity of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that the Janeway Foundation will continue to be here to lend a hand – to purchase that vital piece of equipment that will mean less invasive surgeries for our smallest patients or to provide funding for our staff to learn about the newest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of specific illness and injury.
The people in our communities, who continue to give so willingly of their time and financial support, have a strong passion for the health care of our children. It is an honour for me and our Janeway Foundation team to work with and help our communities in their fundraising efforts on behalf of the Janeway Hospital.
The Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre’s 50th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to thank our donors, volunteers and medical team – it is because of them that the Janeway Foundation is able to make an investment in the health care of our province’s most precious resource – our children.
I have been inspired by the courage and determination of all of our Janeway kids. I am thankful that they have taught me one of my greatest life lessons, and that is to never lose focus on what is truly important in life, and to never say never!
Happy 50th anniversary, Janeway, and thank you to all those who have made it the facility that it is today! ■
This story was written by Lynn Sparkes, Executive Director of the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Did you know that donations to the Janeway Foundation have funded many advancements to the Janeway Hospital over the decades? Check it out!
- 1980s: New emergency department; specialized equipment for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, including neonatal incubators (Isolettes);
- 1990s: Equipment for the Children’s Rehabilitation Department which was merged with the Janeway Hospital; CAT scan and ultrasound equipment dedicated to pediatrics;
- 2000s: MRI and direct digital radiography X-ray system; echocardiograph machine; and the construction of the Pediatric Research and Family Resource Centre; and
- 2010s: Integrated operating rooms; state-of-the-art fluoroscopy unit; and equipment for the tele-mental health program.