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Welcome to the SPARK Newsletter!

Delivered twice monthly, the SPARK: News e-bulletin provides members and other subscribers with valuable information through the following sections:

National Kids and Vaccines Day 2023

Children's Healthcare Canada and ScienceUpFirst, with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, have declared February 23, 2023, to be National Kids and Vaccines Day 2023 (#KidsVaccinesDay). This year, #KidsVaccinesDay will bring together healthcare leaders and experts from across disciplines to help move the needle (pun intended) and promote vaccine confidence for children in Canada.

Kids & Vaccines Town Hall

On February 23, Children's Healthcare Canada and ScienceUpFirst will be hosting a national, bilingual online Town Hall, during which experts will respond to vaccine questions from Canadians.

The panel of experts include:

  • Dr. Cora Constantinescu
  • Dr. Javed Alloo
  • Dr. Danielle Paes (CPhA)
  • Patricia Laforce
The event will be moderated by Dr. Katharine Smart, Pediatrician and Past President, Canadian Medical Association

Register today!

Do you have questions for our Town Hall Panel?

We invite parents, caregivers or service providers to submit their vaccination questions (routine childhood, Influenza or Covid) in a short video or written.
Learn more about National Kids and Vaccines Day and how you can join the movement! 
February SPARK Theme: Child Health Research

Podcast with Dr. Cindy Blackstock
Launched January 30

Spirit Bears Guide to Reconciliation: Utilizing Jordan's Principle and the Spirit Bear Plan to achieve culturally based equity for First Nations Children

Dr. Blackstock explores the utilization of Jordan’s principle and the Spirt Bear Plan to achieve culturally-based equity for First Nations Children and provide guidance to support them in promoting reconciliation.

Now Available!

Webinar with Dr. Birnie,
Dr. MacDonald, Megan McDonald and Pam Nagy

February 23, 11am ET

Improving Vaccine Uptake: Prioritizing Pain and Fear Management during the Immunization Experience 

Learn about factors that are contributing to low vaccine coverage and low stimulus immunization clinics as a new, critically important model of care to support positive immunization experiences for children and their families.

Register today

Webinar with Dr. Peter Gill and Francine Buchanan
February 15, 11am ET

Delivering High-Quality Care in Pediatric Research through Patient and Family Engagement 

Dr. Gill and Dr. Buchanan will describe how they created partnerships with patients, families, and clinicians from across Canada to identify a Top 10 list of priorities and describe the key values and benefits of family engagement in research, and how this input identified key areas to improve care.

Register today

with Dr. Jason Berman

Launching February 27

Child Health Research: Thinking out of the Typical Health Care System Box

Our guest podcast host, Dr. Katharine Smart, will connect with Dr. Jason Berman to address how research and partnering with stakeholders across the spectrum- from high tech to business partners to patients could be an important part of reshaping tomorrow’s health care.

Read more

Did you miss this webinar?
Indigenous Children: Stories, Strengths, and Strategies for Wellness

As we collectively work to improve the health of and healthcare for Indigenous children and youth, we were joined by John R. Sylliboy and Dr. Margot Latimer to learn more about an initiative to promote wellness that has been receiving great reviews.

The recording is now available!
Looking for a career in the healthcare community?

Do you know someone who may be a great fit for one of these roles? Please forward along the newsletter and help our friends and partners fill these roles.

Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator | SickKids, The Hospital For Sick Children

Vice President, Acute Care | Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

Nurse Practitioner, General Surgery Program | SickKids, The Hospital For Sick Children

Registered Nurse, Pediatric Intensive Care | BC Children's Hospital

Specialty Training/New Graduate Registered Nurse, Labour & Delivery (Birthing) Unit | BC Children's Hospital

Specialty Training/New Graduate Registered Nurse, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)| BC Children's Hospital

Check out the External Job Postings page on our Children's Healthcare Canada website.
Understanding Manitoba Childrearing Families’ Decisions to Vaccinate Against COVID-19 and Influenza 

Family Advisory Committee (FAC) for the Study: We are looking for parents to join the study’s FAC.

Vaccination is recognized as one of the most valuable public health interventions. Despite an important safe and effective method to combat viral infections, rates of influenza and COVID-19 vaccination remain low for Canadian children. The goal of this 5- year study is to understand the perspectives and experiences of childrearing families’ decisions to vaccinate their family members against COVID-19 and flu. The aims are to:
  1. Examine and compare vaccination rates in childrearing families before, during and after COVID-19 onset with attention to how COVID-19 has impacted COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations rates.
  2. Examine childrearing families’ decisions to support vaccine uptake for COVID-19 and influenza.
  3. Identify recommendations/solutions to inform public health services, policy and messaging that support child-rearing families’ vaccine uptake for COVID-19 and influenza.
This project will generate important evidence on childrearing families’ decisions to vaccinate against COVID-19 and the flu to inform public health services, policy and messaging. Recommendations and solutions to reduce vaccine hesitancy and promote vaccine uptake will emerge.
What can you expect?
  • The research team would appreciate your expertise on the research and the different activities that are part of the study.
  • We need your guidance in at least 3 meetings each year. We would also appreciate your guidance throughout the year.
  • Honorariums will be provided for your time spent on the FAC.
Note: The study will be submitted to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research 2023 Spring Project Grant competition. If successful in the competition, the expected start date of the study will be Summer 2023.
Contact Information: Principal Investigator, Dr. Roberta L Woodgate, Canadian Research Chair (Tier 1) and Distinguished Professor, College of Nursing, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba.
Phone: 204-474-8338
CIHI's Navigation and Early Intervention Mental Health and Substance Use Survey

What was your experience accessing mental health or substance use services in Canada? CIHI is collecting data to help improve access across the provinces and territories. Complete this short, anonymous survey to contribute to this important work!

Complete the survey online before May 7th. 

What is CARD™?

CARD™ (C - Comfort, A - Ask, R - Relax, D - Distract) is an evidence-based framework that teaches how to prepare for vaccination.

What are the benefits of CARD™?

  • It reduces stress-related reactions, including fear, pain, dizziness and fainting during vaccination.
  • It improves the vaccination experience for people receiving a vaccine and for those who support them, such as educators, parents and health care providers.
  • It teaches lifelong coping skills that can be used for other stressful situations.

How can YOU help?

  • Collaborate with all vaccination partners, such as school staff, parents and caregivers.
  • Reinforce learning and practice.
  • Remind people of vaccination day.
  • Support people’s choices for coping during vaccination.
  • Praise and celebrate people for actively participating in their health care.

For more information, visit the CARD website. 

SPARK Newsletter Member Content

Children's Healthcare Canada members are invited to submit content (300-word submission with a banner image and URL link). If you are interested in posting an article, resource, or news via SPARK: News, please contact us at .

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