Major fundraising campaign for Fredericton hospital renovations complete

A new and improved pediatric unit at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton is one step closer to reality.

The Chalmers Foundation says it has completed its largest fundraising campaign to date and raised its goal of $2.2 million to overhaul the unit.

It provides care to children from infancy up to 17 years of age with a wide variety of health conditions.

Officials say the money from the "Care for Kids" campaign will be used to improve outpatient clinic space in the pediatric unit.

The unit's 12 inpatient rooms will also be refurbished to reflect a more family friendly environment for children and their families.

"Currently we have lots of children that come in for procedures and we just don't have the space to be able to accommodate them," Dr. Mark Messenger, a local pediatrician, said in a news release. "We have specialists that come and do traveling clinics here, and the hope is to have the space to address all of those things."

The funding will also go towards creating a designated space for children dealing with mental health issues – the first of its kind in the area, according to Dr. Linda Hoyt, chief of psychiatry for the Fredericton region.

Over the past two years, a total of 155 children have been discharged from the unit with a psychiatric diagnosis.

"These youth are the next generation, they are the future of our society," said Hoyt, "and if we don’t support them now, we will lose that opportunity to help them."

It's expected the renovations will be completed by January 2018.