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Significant Milestones

Coming of Age In More Ways Than One

A scan of the past three decades illustrates an exciting and illustrious journey for our hospital.

1974 – 1984

  • On May 17, 1974, patients were treated through our outpatient clinics. The first patient was hospitalized on July 22, 1974.
  • In 1975, Dr. Leslie Ivan became the first Chief of Neurosurgery at CHEO. He was joined in January 1977 by Dr. Enrique Ventureyra who became the first fellowship-trained Pediatric Neurosurgeon in this region and who would later go on to replace Dr. Ivan as chief of Neurosurgery.
    PDF symbol Learn more about the development of pediatric neurosurgery at CHEO.  
  • In 1977, CHEO opened a dental clinic.
  • In 1980, CHEO opened the Burn Treatment Centre. A 630-gallon hydrotherapy tank was purchased with the help of the CHEO Foundation and area firefighters. (The tankwas retired from CHEO in 2003 and sent to Bosnia where it continues to be put to good use.)
  • The Sports Injury clinic received its first ‘break’ in February of 1981 and was staffed by orthopedic surgeons and physiotherapists.
  • The Pulmonary Function Lab took its first breath in June of 1981.
  • The Poison Information Centre became one of two regional centers across the province in 1981.

1984 – 1994

  • In 1984, CHEO established the Research Institute making the link from bench top to bedside patient care even stronger.
  • In 1985, community volunteers built CHEO’s on-site Child Activity Centre (a centre for patient recreation).
  • The first two bone marrow transplants in Canada using unrelated HLA compatible donors were performed at CHEO in 1988, much to the credit and efforts of Dr. Lothar Huebsch and Dr. Elizabeth Hsu.
  • 1989 saw the birth of the Neonatal Transport Team. At the time it served all hospitals in the region, transporting neonates as far away as North Bay and Maniwaki.
  • On April 17, 1991, CHEO performed its first cardiovascular surgery marking the beginning of CHEO’s CV Surgery program.
  • The Heliport was built on CHEO grounds in 1992. Shared with the Ottawa Hospital, this lifesaving addition revolutionized patient transport and now sees the landing of an average of 4 flights a week.

1994 – 2004

  • YouthNet / Réseau Ado, a mental health promotion program for youth, was launched in 1996 with satellites across Canada and more recently in the UK.
  • In February of 1997, the Health Services Restructuring Commission reaffirmed the viability and importance of CHEO for the community of Eastern Ontario.
  • On April 1, 1998 CHEO began providing pediatric health care to patients from Baffin Island.
  • In 2001, Tony Clement, former Minister of Health and Long-Term Care presided over the official ground breaking ceremony of the first phase of construction for CHEO's redevelopment project –a $45 million dollar endeavour.
  • CHEO’s Telehealth program was established in 2001, now providing consultative services to community hospitals throughout Eastern Ontario.
  • 2003 also marked the Cochlear Implant Program’s tenth anniversary. One hundred and sixty implants have been performed at CHEO, dramatically changing the lives of its recipients.
  • In 2003 the CHEO telethon celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The telethon is CHEO’s single largest fundraiser and over the course of the past 20 years has raised just over $40 million dollars.
  • In 2004, the CHEO Research Institute celebrated its twentieth anniversary with the opening of the new Apoptosis Research Centre. The Governor General was in attendance for the official opening of the new facility.

2005 - 2009

  • In 2006, CHEO launched “Let’s Keep Kids Out of the Hospital” – a campaign that advocates for public awareness and public policy that directly impacts the well-being of children and youth.
  • CHEO also launched its “surgery virtual tour” in 2005/2006, helping to answer the many questions that come up before children undergo surgical procedures.
  • A new state-of-the-art catherization laboratory for closed heart procedures opened in October 2005.
  • CHEO launches the Click program (Child Life Interactive Computers for Kids) with Microsoft Canada, the CHEO Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network. This allows patients to stay connected with family, friends and schoolmates from the bedside during lengthy hospital stays.
  • In 2006, CHEO assumed responsibility for the Ontario Newborn Screening Program – with a dedicated laboratory for the screening of rare metabolic, endocrine or blood disorders. This will help gets children the treatment they need as soon as possible.
  • Rogers’ House – a new palliative and respite care home – officially opened on CHEO grounds in May 2006. In partnership with the Ottawa Senators Foundation, this residential hospice offers planned and emergency respite and end-of-life care, grief and bereavement support for families, as well as education and support to community caregivers.
  • In 2007, Dr. Paul Moroz and Dr. James Jarvis performed the first Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR) instrumentation procedure in Ontario on five-year old Fatima to treat a complex congenital spinal deformity. With the insertion of this device, Fatima can continue to grow at a normal pace. Also in 2007, CHEO opened a new eating disorders program providing, for the first time, a specialized treatment program for severely ill children and youth who need to be hospitalized. The program addresses their complete medical, psychiatric, academic, psychological and nutritional needs.
  • In 2007/2008 CHEO developed a new model of care to provide pain management for children and youth who suffer from chronic pain.
  • Also during that time, CHEO introduced a new electronic system for triage and tracking in emergency – enabling the care givers to quickly access critical information and increase the number of patients they can treat.
  • In 2008, CHEO launched a new program – called Parental Presence at Induction (PPI) -- that invites a parent into the operating room while their child is being prepped for surgery and into the recover room when their child wakes up – reducing fear and anxiety significantly for both parents and children.
  • Also that year, CHEO was recognized as a top performer for its efforts in improving operating room start times.
  • In 2008 CHEO and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center (ROMHC) teamed up to provide a single leadership of programs delivered at both hospitals – to help patients and families in the region get the services they need in an integrated, family-focused fashion.
  • In August 2009, CHEO opened its new, 86,000 square foot critical care wing. Named in honor of CHEO’s former President and CEO Garry Cardiff, who retired in 2006 after 20 years at the helm of the hospital. The new $58 million addition houses the emergency department, the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units and the medical day unit for children and youth afflicted with serious illnesses requiring outpatient treatments.
  • CHEO opens their off-site Centre for Healthy Active Living, with clinics focused on Obesity and Type 2 diabetes

2010 - Today

  • In September 2011, CHEO launches CHEO Connects - free information series for parents in the community
  • At the end of 2011 CHEO scientist discovers gene for Joubert Syndrome
  • In 2012, CHEO launches CHEOnext – most comprehensive strategic review in CHEO’s 40-year history
  • In 2012 and 2013 CHEO is recognized as 'Top Employer' in the region
  • In 2012, CHEO launches “Healthy Kids” program, in cooperation with CTV
  • In 2012, CHEO joins forces with OPH, The Royal and YSB to launch Bridges Project – a new program to help meet the needs of teens in acute mental health crisis
  • In 2013, CHEO achieves best flu vaccine rate in region
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