Back to top

Thistledown Foundation

Canada’s Children’s Hospital Foundations (CCHF) and Children’s Healthcare Canada (CHC) were thrilled to announce a $26 million investment from the Thistledown Foundation to support Canada’s 13 acute care children’s hospitals across the country. A donation of $2 million to each of these hospitals, including the IWK, was made to support urgent local needs identified during the pandemic.

Thanks to this incredibly generous gift, the IWK was able to fund some of its highest priorities to support patients and families. 

Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) is a network of trusted information, educational resources and tools designed to help children receive the highest standard of care, whether treated in a pediatric or general emergency department. The IWK will develop, test and implement an additional educational module for TREKK for use in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI to ensure patients and families have access to efficient emergency care in their local communities.

The Helping Kids Smile Again initiative will help provide ongoing care for children and youth with significant medical conditions and dental care needs. The IWK will be able to address the backlog of cases, reduce wait lists and support ongoing and enhanced prevention focused on access to routine dental care, nutrition, food security and education. Thistledown Foundation’s donation will also help create a provincial task force to explore innovative strategies to increase local capacity for pediatric dental care.  

The gift from the Thistledown Foundation will also help to re-invigorate the IWK’s cafeteria, often considered the “heart” of the IWK for families from across the Maritimes who are at the IWK for long periods. The gift will help ensure enhanced accessibility for those with complex needs while providing culturally appropriate spaces and meals and enhanced health and well-being. It would provide a place of normalcy and calm for families during what is often a stressful and scary time. There is no greater gift than being able to keep families together.   


Share this Story with Others!

Zaccari, IWK Patient


Born with a rare and life-threatening kidney disease, Zaccari needed a kidney transplant to survive. In February 2018, his mom received the call that would save her…

Alyssa Rose, IWK Patient

Alyssa Rose

After experiencing frequent headaches and blurry vision, Alyssa was diagnosed with a tumour on her brain stem that required a complex surgery.