Interprofessional Week at SickKids

The Sasha Bella Fund was very happy to participate as sponsor of SickKid's first IPP week. About 100 SickKids nurses, doctors and allied care providers signed up for the first full day of activities held at Hollywood Theatre. The day was begun with welcome remarks by Margaret Keatings and then I spoke about Sasha's experiences, beginning with three short videos showing some of Sasha's milestones: thriving and starting to fully walk in December 2005, playing with an IV filter four months into our stay at SickKids and then together at home while Pamela worked on her IV tubes and our sweet peach passing mom the alcohol swabs just two days before she died. My remarks focused on communication challenges and appears below.

David Nicholas provided an overview of the theory and development of the IPP framework and priorities at SickKids hospital ending with examples of new initiatives and sharing dominant themes for parents and families (communicate, collaborate, coordinate) and the child/patient (comfort, respect, communication, choice).

Ivy Oandasan then reviewed wider social frameworks including emerging legal requirements that all care providers take courses in interprofessional education to learn team collaboration skills and a pressing need for 1200 learners to be accomodated yearly by volunteer mentors and coachs and to open up training and preceptorship roles within care settings. IPP education will be woven into medical licensing with the aim that by 2009 all health care graduates across the disciplines will be competent in collaboration. This competency is seen as marking a "fundamental shift" within health care provision nationally in order improve patient outcomes and enhance family-centred care objectives while using scare resources more effectively.

The stage was then taken over by "IPP Live", a theatrical presentation focused on a family meeting when a mom wants to take her daughter home. After the family was acted out, it was repeated with the audience shouting out "stop" so as to intervene and better direct the flow of the meeting.

I had to leave early at this point as Pamela had her hand's full with Mia and our new baby Eve who joined us Saturday morning and is doing just great. During the one short break I had an opportunity to meet Frank Gavin, a dedicated member of the Family Advisory Committee at SickKids Hospital as well as both nurses who had cared for Sasha and nurses excited to talk about their new initiatives. I was thrilled to hear that the Heart Centre is restarting the parent's group meetings!

Poster displays presented on Thursday and Friday will relate new IPP initiatives including:

Physiotherapy Clubfoot Clinic

ACTS (Acute Care Transport Services Team)
The Chronic Pain Program
NF1 (Neorofibramatosis type 1) Team
Decision Tree for Feeding in Paediatric Palliative Care
Rheumatology and Neonatal follow-up clinics
Annual Congenital Hand Program Family Picnic
The Beanstalk Program (6A)
2007 World Transplant Games
The Medical Directives Committee
Newborn screening
Admission Medication Reconciliation
The Good 2 Go Transition Program
Research into cross-cultural patient care in NICU
IPP "Leadership in Action" education workshop
SCOPE (Strategic Career Opportunities for Professional Excellence)
Preceptorship Initiative, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - IPC Working Group

SickKids Hospital was designated a Best Practise Spotlight Organization candidate by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario in the spring of 2006.

SickKids IPP efforts are being coordinated by Bonnie Fleming-Carroll and supported by Michele Durrant and Natasha Brownrigg. The Sasha Bella Fund thanks them for their commitment to family-centred care with the inclusion of Sasha's story and for the continuing privelage of being able to give back to SickKids Hospital for the dedicated care provided to our peach.


  1. Anonymous7:12 AM

    Hi guys,

    I still enjoy calling past your website and reading the stuff of late has been so good especially as a parent close to us here in Australia recently lost her 4 year old - Jordan's liver friend. To read your experiences and what you are doing is truly wonderful, inspirational and very informative and I thank you for continuing with what you are doing.

    Congratulations also on the birth of Eve. I had tears in my eyes when I read that. I bet Mia is enjoying being a big sister. All the best with your new baby.

    Take care... lots of love... Leisa.