March Mover and Shaker
We want to thank Sherwin Williams for being a dedicated partner of Smilezone through their on-going support of our Smilezones and for being this years 24-Hour Hockey Tournament Ice Sponsor! We are thrilled to be growing our relationship with Sherwin Williams through our newly evolved partnership in the years to come. Without their generosity our tournament would have no ice - and let's be real, field hockey is just not the same!

Thanks to this months Mover and Shaker Sherwin Williams for creating the quality paint we use in every Smilezone transformation and for their honest commitment to helping children across Ontario.
Ask An Expert: Audra Jesso
Learn how Smilezones helped a family during a time of loss and new life in this interview with Project Manager of Regional Acute Pediatrics Services for Orillia Soldiers memorial Hospital, Audra Jesso.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Orillia Soldiers memorial Hospital?
I am the Regional Program Manager of Children’s Services at OSMH. The Program Manager is accountable for driving the OSMH organizational vision and values in partnership with a highly engaged inter-professional team to support evidence based Paediatric Health Care resulting in the best patient and family experience. I am accountable for leading and developing a team that strives for excellence in clinical practice and overall engagement in program growth and development. 

Can you tell us about the amazing children you care for and how your team chose which items would benefit them the most?
The Neonatal ICU infants are the most fragile and the team partners with the parents to support a model of care that together enhances the growth and development of these neonates to achieve transition to home successfully after many weeks of hospitalization.
The most medically fragile child who is cared for at home that may require medical supportive devises becomes a part of our paediatric team for their life span. The family and team work together through the emotion of improved health and also deterioration of health, which always challenges everyone involved.
Then there are those children and families that have a chronic paediatric illness such as Asthma or Diabetes that require intermittent care to support their ongoing health and wellness with a chronic illness.

How important are some of the Smilezone integrations to the children you care for at OSMH?
The Smilezone integrations to the Outpatient Paediatric Clinics and Inpatient Paediatric Unit have had such an outstanding impact. The welcoming environment, open and warm waiting room and improved patient and family assessment rooms have supported ease of the child and family hospital visit. The close proximity to the Paediatrician Offices to the Outpatient Clinic Specialty Teams has resulted in enhanced moments in care for the children and families. Previously, some of these moments occurred over two separate visits but due to the newly renovated space by Smilezone the teams communication, collaboration in care and ease due to close proximately has provided so many enhanced moments that were unexpected and now invaluable to our care delivery model resulting in more efficient and effective care.

What features from the Smilezones do you and your team find the most helpful in your work?
I can most definitely say that the Muskoka themed larger, brighter and child and family friendly environment integrating our indigenous culture has clearly captured the essence of our community and team. To have each specialty clinic have its own space supports more effective working relationships, efficiency in getting work done and having mutual shared spaces that support collaborative meetings, patient assessments and knowledge sharing has enhanced our team’s morale resulting in improving the patient and family experience.

What sort of reactions have you seen from the kids when they enter or engage with the Smilezones?
It is a space to roam and wonder that is kid and family friendly, we cannot thank Smilezone enough. One of the most incredible observations is that when parents are waiting with their child they walk around the clinic space and have their children look for the animals in the art work, teach their children colours by finding the clinic location by colour when they are visiting. All the while the child is awaiting a medical appointment but is less stressed due to the child friendly space where they can have fun without risk, roam within a safe and friendly space and continue to stimulate the learnings of a child. These are a few examples of making the patient experience for children enhanced through eliminating the often sterile and restrictive hospital space to one that prepares their child for the best clinical visit possible.

Are there any special moments that you can tell us about?
shared by a mother who was so grateful for the kitchen renovation; this wonderful space supported a family party for her ailing Grandfather and her growing preterm son, named after grandpa. The new kitchen provided a warm space when losing a Grandfather and introducing their family to their fragile preterm child who may not get home before the loss of the grandparent. 

They used the newly renovated Smilezone kitchen for this small family celebration. It gave them a beautiful meeting space to laugh, cry and eat to celebrate both vulnerable family members of their family who were struggling for their health.  It was a tragic yet joyful time for this family and incredibly emotional to be part of. 

What is the biggest change you have noticed since the transformations?
The greatest change since the clinic transformation has been the impact to the inter-professional team which was an unexpected success. An inter-professional team that has always been highly engaged and committed to delivering the best care has achieved a new level of excellence. 
The team now has a work environment that supports enhanced care delivery opportunities. An example is having the Paediatrician offices located within the clinic space has streamlined and enhanced the patient experience e.g. a quick clarification or change in treatment is completed and carried out in the moment preventing a second visit to the hospital.  The team has set new goals in collaboration of care, have created outpatient group activities and has had more room to create innovations in care to enhance the experience in for children and their families. It has been incredible to be part of and observe great people getting very greater. 
Next month we interview dedicated volunteer for Seasons Centre for Grieving Children, Ben Kiatapis! If there are any questions you would like him to answer, send us an email and we will do our best to include them in our interview.
Toronto Rock Charity Game
It's that time again! One of our favourite events of the year is just around the corner. On Saturday March 16th The Smilezone team of staff and volunteers will be kicking it with the stellar Toronto Rock lacrosse players for the annual Charity Game against the Rochester Nighthawks!

It's not too late! Purchase your tickets here and join us at the Scotiabank Arena for some fan favourite activities!

Mystery Ball
Limited Edition Jersey Auction
Helmet Raffle
Merchandise Kiosk
50/50 Draw
Ball Drop
and MORE!

You don't want to miss this years custom designed St. Patrick's Day theme!

$1 of every ticket sold goes back to Smilezone Foundation.

Smilezone Transforms
Youth Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services and Foothills medical Centre
Thanks to Calgary Flames player Sean Monahan, The Calgary Flames Foundation, KPMG and Fairmont we were able to complete our first ever Smilezone projects out of Ontario!

Youth Substance and Mental Health Services
The main waiting room and hallway have been completely transformed with bright, uplifting and inspiring colours with mural themes selected by the youth patients themselves, storage, seating, relaxing lighting and so much more!

Foothills Medical Centre

Two of Foothills Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Units and focal hallway are now adorned with nature-inspired themes reflective of the First Nations cultures of Calgary! We revamped the spaces with a new plant terrarium, bubble hockey table, bean bag chairs, cubbies and plenty of storage.

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people to make these projects happen and are thrilled to have extended our presence to help children in Calgary.

Check out other Smilezone transformations

Smilezone Sneak Peek
Check out our April newsletter for more

Upcoming Builds
Thanks to Joan Waechter we will be transforming three Smilezones at Headwaters Emergency Pediatrics this April! Check out next months newsletter for all of the juicy details.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Wishing all of you a safe, fun and green St. Patrick's Day!
Let us know how you and your family celebrated this year by tagging us on social media!
Lace up Those Skates!
Don't forget to register for this years 24-hour hockey tournament! You and your team can choose what you're playing for; a Gesturtek, iPads, sensory, murals? this year YOU get to decide! Registration closes May 1st click here to sign up.
Contact Us

Smilezone Foundation
557 Chartwell Road
Oakville, Ontario
L6J 4A8