What began as a neurosurgery initiative in 2013 has since evolved into a robust, multidisciplinary partnership between SickKids and seven Ukrainian cities. The goal? Leveraging SickKids expertise to train Ukrainian doctors, so kids across the country can lead long, healthy lives. Here’s how we do it:
Fellowships and Observerships
In Toronto, fellows and observers shadow world-renowned SickKids experts, learning the best and latest techniques in everything from neurosurgery to neonatology. When they return home, they bring that expertise with them. Even a single fellow or observer can be a change agent, their impact amplified over time as they teach skills, share knowledge, and deliver lifesaving care.
Advisory Trips to Ukraine
Led by Ukraine Paediatric Fellowship Program Directors Drs. James Rutka and Myroslava Romach, each advisory team consists of SickKids doctors across multiple disciplines. In Ukraine, they guide surgeries, offer clinical consultations, and teach new procedures and patient care practices. All of this—and more—is done in less than a month. But the impact? That lasts forever.
With the proliferation of electronic health-records and sequencing technologies over the last decade, SickKids has been amassing an infinite trove of clinical and genetic data. But these inputs are isolated and self contained in their respective corners of the Hospital. We don’t have a unifying platform to link all internal and external data sources, and make them accessible in a way that helps patients.
For all the buzz about AI in medicine, clinical application is still in its infancy. But SickKids is
already ahead of the pack. We’re building machine learning models to predict cardiac arrest in the ICU
and whether a thyroid nodule is malignant. We have the data, the computing power and world-class
machine learning scientists. We have all the pieces to build a leading AI program and deliver 21st-century data-driven, personalized medicine.
It is our vision to create a platform that integrates and safeguards disparate data sets, and enables real-time analysis for seamless, widespread use. To be a data commons that feeds global research through partnerships with health-care organizations and industry leaders. To be an international leader in paediatric health-care AI.
When SickKids was built on the current site nearly 70 years ago, it was a state-of-the-art hospital reflecting the latest medical practices and technologies. Today, parts of the building don’t meet modern building codes. SickKids is a world-renowned paediatric hospital, but you wouldn’t know it to look at our clinical spaces: a neonatal intensive care unit where anguished families are crammed five to a room. An emergency department overrun and threadbare. Hallways that double as storage closets. A hospital at a crossroads.
As our facilities deteriorate, Toronto’s population grows—along with demand for our services. At the same time, our patient cases have become more chronic and complex. Because of medical and technological advances, more kids are surviving serious illness. Our challenge now is to help them thrive long-term. But we can’t do that in a 1949 building. Meanwhile, COVID-19 has lent new urgency to our cause and validates our plans to modernize infection control and emergency preparedness, and build a hospital hardwired for the utmost safety and patients, families and staff, whether it’s a new coronavirus or seasonal flu strain.
Every aspect of the new clinical campus will be designed to better serve patients and families. Single-patient rooms will offer more privacy and infection control. Technology will be woven into all aspects of care: hospital-wide electronic records, portable equipment that comes to the bedside, modular rooms that can convert to any kind of clinic: orthopaedic one day, diabetes the next. The keyword is adaptable. We’re building a hospital for the next 70 years.