SickKids Enters a New Era

SickKids next step is a big leap. We are front and centre on the global stage for paediatric health so as scientific advancements and discoveries are made we have the opportunity to improve and adapt. How are we driving change?


BREAKTHROUGHS IN RESEARCH: Groundbreaking research is our best weapon in the fight against disease and congenital childhood conditions.

Meet Dr. Salter, Chief of Research at SickKids

SickKids Chief of Research Dr. Michael Salter is optimistic about the future. He recently established a five-year strategic plan for the Institute with an emphasis on innovation, integration and translation of new knowledge. He believes a key differentiator of our research enterprise is our increasing integration of research and clinical care. We are making groundbreaking discoveries about fundamental aspects of biology and translating these discoveries into new ways of understanding disease and into novel therapies that will transform child health.

Thanks to the breadth and depth of our Research Institute, ranging from the study of molecules right up to population health, we are a world leader in paediatric research. Salter believes our greatest opportunity to advance child health in the coming years is through applying genetic breakthroughs to all areas of health research, creating a paradigm shift in how we view and treat illness.

Unlocking the genetic map of each patient and gaining insight into how variation affects the whole will allow us to develop precise, novel therapies to treat each individual. We will no longer look at a patient as having ‘cancer’ but rather as an individual afflicted with a rare disease, and we will develop therapies to address their specific needs. From rare genetic diseases, to cancer, to cystic fibrosis, with genome sequencing, gene editing and individualized drug development, we are at a crossroads to breaking through with research.

Image collage of 3 doctors who work at SickKids

EXPANDING OUR REACH: Where you live shouldn’t determine if you live. That’s why we’re expanding our reach outside the hospital walls to bring an exceptional level of care to as many children as possible. At home and around the world.


Meet Dr. Chantelle Browne-Farmer, Clinical Fellow, Haematology/Oncology at SickKids

Dr. Chantelle Brown-Farmer is a Clinical Fellow in Haematology/Oncology at SickKids. As a part of the SickKids Caribbean Initiative (SCI), she was selected as the first candidate from Barbados to complete a two-year fellowship at SickKids, after which she will return to Barbados as the second paediatric haematologist/oncologist on the island.

We have now entered the global arena: SickKids is extending an excellent standard of care to children globally. Browne-Farmer believes that SickKids is able to expand its reach to develop a seamless system of children’s health care by identifying key areas in need and providing medical advice and strategies for long-term sustainability. SickKids assists with the development of strategies for enhancing the capacity of care of areas in need around the world. We also empower health-care professionals on the ground, by giving them an opportunity for training which they wouldn’t have otherwise.

Browne-Farmer envisions this cutting-edge model expanding to other resource-poor environments through collaboration. By continuing to strengthen global partnerships, SickKids is taking on an even bigger fight for children’s health – not just in our own backyard but around the world.

How is SickKids driving change?
MISSING HOME: Kids are not mini-adults – their needs are different. That’s why we fight so hard to make joyful childhood moments part of the SickKids experience. Like therapeutic clowns, pet therapy, and prom nights to bring comfort to children through difficult times.

Meet Fatima Da Silva, Patient Service Aid (PSA) at SickKids
Fatima Da Silva is not just hopeful; she is certain of SickKids’ future. As a Patient Service Aide (PSA) she is tasked with the job of keeping our patients safe. She and the team of PSAs at SickKids are constantly fighting germs that would otherwise spread infection from room to room. After working at SickKids for 27 years, she can speak firsthand to the continued drive at SickKids to fight infection and prevent harm.

“I see how we are always trying to improve,” says Fatima. “The future of SickKids is in good hands.”

The PSAs and infection control practitioners are a critical component of Caring Safely, the hospital’s initiative to improve patient safety across the organization. Every day Fatima cares with compassion. She believes that her direct and daily interactions with patients and families give her and her colleagues a unique perspective of the inner workings of the hospital. Our battle-ready PSAs represent a critical team joining our fight against the greatest challenges in child health.