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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:

Children’s Healthcare Canada Welcomes New Board Leadership

It is with great pleasure that Children’s Healthcare Canada welcomes a new Chair of the Board of Directors, Ms. Julia Hanigsberg, effective October 13th, 2022.

Ms. Hanigsberg is the President and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada’s largest pediatric rehabilitation hospital and an academic health science centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. She has served the Children’s Healthcare Canada board for seven years, including five years on the Executive Committee, two years as the Chair of the Governance Committee, and two years as the Vice Chair of the Board.
Children’s Healthcare Canada CEO, Ms. Emily Gruenwoldt conveyed “My warmest thanks to Ms. Hanigsberg for accepting this leadership position at such a critical time for Canada’s children and youth. We look forward to working with Ms. Hanigsberg to improve the capacity of health systems serving children, across the continuum of care.”

Supporting Ms. Hanigsberg in the role of Vice Chair of the Board is Dr. Krista Jangaard. Dr. Jangaard is the President and CEO of IWK Health Centre, an academic, tertiary care centre for women, children, youth and families located in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

Outgoing Board Chair, Mr. Bruce Squires reflects, “Children’s Healthcare Canada is fortunate to be led by two strong champions for children and youth. Ms. Hanigsberg and Dr. Jangaard bring diverse leadership experiences and will strongly represent the broad health service needs of children, youth and families living in Canada.”

The Children’s Healthcare Canada board thanks Mr. Squires for his leadership over the past two years and welcomes Ms. Hanigsberg and Dr. Jangaard to their new roles.

Health Policies at #CHILDHEALTHCAN2022

Children’s Healthcare Canada is excited to host everyone in person again, safely!  The safety of all attendees is of utmost importance to us. We will be monitoring the COVID-19 status and following guidance from the Public Health Agency of Canada as well as following standards set forth by the venue and Ottawa Public Health.  The following protocols will be in place to reduce risk onsite: 

  • All in-person conference attendees are required to show proof they have received 3 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the onsite registration process. If you are not vaccinated; we invite you to register to attend our conference virtually
  • All in-person attendees must wear a properly fitting mask covering their nose and mouth while in the Children’s Healthcare Canada meeting space. Masks may only be removed when actively eating or drinking while stationary.  A limited number of disposable masks will also be available at the Children’s Healthcare Canada Registration Desk.
  • Although there is no capacity limit, we will endeavour to have rooms at only 80% capacity at all times.  We will limit admission to rooms to ensure there is no overcrowding.    
  • Hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes will be available throughout the venue.  

As an added layer of preparedness, the Children's Healthcare Canada Conference Team took part in a Pandemic On-Site Protocol course and are certified in monitoring and maintaining a safe environment for all during events.

We need to continue to work together as a child and youth health community to manage risk and keep each other safe.  Please visit our conference website to learn more about our Health Policies.


Statement on the National Shortage of Children’s Pain and Fever Medications

Recent news reports have emerged regarding a shortage of children’s pain and fever medications across the country. This shortage is not due to a manufacturing or safety issue. But rather, a convergence of supply chain issues limiting the ability of manufacturers to receive the raw compounding ingredients; and children returning to school, are driving higher than normal, earlier than usual, and sustained viral infections in children and youth.

Children’s Healthcare Canada recognizes how stressful it can be for families to have a child in discomfort. We strongly advise caregivers of children experiencing pain or fever symptoms to connect with their healthcare providers. This includes general practitioners, pediatricians, specialists, and pharmacists, to determine the best approach to manage children’s pain and fever.

Read the full statement.

October SPARK Theme: Child Health in the Community

Now Available
Getting the Facts Straight: Tackling mis/disinformation through patient-provider relationships

Listen now!

October 26
Creating Community Partnerships for Greater Equity and Access to Children’s Health 

Register today!

Now Available
Healing the Healthcare System: Staff burnout, honest leadership, and collaboration 

Listen now!

October 31
Community hospitals: Key to an integrated healthcare system for children and youth 

Details coming soon

Nov 29 - Dec 1, 2022
Annual Conference
Energy, Optimism and Leadership: A Bright Future for Child Health in Canada

Visit our website for more info!

Western University is Seeking Feedback from Clinicians and Families


Western University is currently recruiting Canadian rehabilitation health professionals who have experience working with children with Cerebral Palsy and complex communication needs to complete a survey The purpose of the survey is to help us understand the current language comprehension assessment practices and needs, and to introduce you to a new assessment tool called the Computer-Based Instrument for Low Motor Language Testing (C-BiLLT). The survey is anonymous and can be completed online. If you are interested, please see the flyer attached for more information, or you can email the Research Coordinator, Sarah, at Thank you!

Access Clinicians survey here.


Western University is currently recruiting Canadian parents or caregivers of children with Cerebral Palsy and complex communication needs to complete a survey . The purpose of the survey is help us understand your experiences and needs related to assessment of children’s language comprehension, and to introduce you to a new assessment tool called the Computer-Based Instrument for Low Motor Language Testing (C-BiLLT). The survey is anonymous and can be completed online. If you are interested, please see the flyer attached for more information, or you can email the Research Coordinator, Sarah, at Thank you!

Access Families survey here

SickKids is Recruiting for a Clinical Director, Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology
Are you a strategic and visionary leader? We are currently recruiting a Clinical Director for The Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology. Consider joining our dynamic and progressive team in diagnostic imaging as we advance towards Precision Child Health, and our major campus redevelopment over the next decade. In this role you will provide operational and strategic leadership for the growth and development of our people, our technology, and partner with leading clinicians to further enhance services in this World Class Organization. 

Read more and apply online
Making visible the life stories of families of children who are immunocompromised during COVID-19.
For this study, primary investigator Dr. Roberta L. Woodgate is looking to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of families of children living with an immunocompromised condition (IC). You can participate in one or both of the following:
  • Participation in this study involves families taking part in virtual interviews and a photo-taking activity. In-person interviews may be arranged upon request.
  • Participation is voluntary and confidential.
  • You will receive an honorarium in appreciation of your participation.
  • If you are unsure of whether your child's condition is an IC and would like clarification, please feel free to contact us.
Youth Advisory Commitee
  • We are also looking for children/youth with an IC and their siblings to be part of a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC)
  • Throughout the study, the YAC will give advice and input to Dr. Woodgate and her research team on different aspects of the study.
  • The YAC will meet around 3 – 4 times per year.
  • All activities are voluntary.
  • Members on the YAC will receive an honorarium for each meeting attended, as well as for any additional work outside of meetings.
  • No previous research experience is necessary.
If interested, please contact us at or call (204)-480-1051

Sexual Health Resources for Teens From AboutKidsHealth

AboutKidsHealth has recently created a new learning hub for teenagers with resources on sexual health, including the reproductive systems, contraception and consenting to sexual activity. The contraception article provides details on what the different types of contraception are and how they work. The resource on consenting to sexual activity includes information on what consent is, what it means to give consent and whether consent can be taken back. It also includes information on how old teens need to be to consent to sexual activity in Canada, as well as factors to consider when determining whether a sexual relationship with someone is safe and appropriate.

AboutKidsHealth is SickKids’ health-education website and features more than 3,500 articles on a range of health topics. For more information on teen sexual health and other health topics, visit  

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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