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For Immediate Release
October 17, 2014
(LONDON, Ontario) – Today, representatives of the Ontario Paramedic Association (OPA) travelled to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) to make a substantial donation - over 200 purple caps knitted by its members. Representing over 1500 paramedics from across Ontario, OPA is committed to promoting injury prevention and raising awareness for Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Donated purple caps will be given to newborns in support of The Period of PURPLE Crying® program at LHSC throughout the month of November. Proudly supported by Children’s Health Foundation, the program educates parents and caregivers about infant crying patterns and coping strategies.
“Paramedics are often the first responders in cases of trauma to newborns and infants,” explains Glen Gillies, Executive Secretary, Ontario Paramedic Association. “We are delighted to partner with LHSC to raise awareness of the Period of PURPLE Crying and support Ontario communities, paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers.”
Robin Gillies, who coordinated OPA’s cap donation, works as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher answering emergency calls and dispatching paramedics. Having had experiences with shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma through her work, Robin wanted to help prevent these kinds of injuries from occurring.
She felt compelled to start knitting caps and donating to the campaign, led by LHSC’s Trauma Program. Along with her mother, Robin donated 100 purple knitted caps in 2012. Then, partnering with the OPA, Robin arranged for the donation of over 200 caps to LHSC this year.
“LHSC, including Children’s Hospital, the Trauma Program and Women’s Care, extends our sincere thanks and appreciation for the Ontario Paramedic Association’s generous donation of purple caps,” says Ann Turcotte, Coordinator, LHSC Trauma Program. “OPA’s donation and support for the program highlights the important partnership between health care professionals, first responders and our patients.”
OPA’s paramedics weren’t the only ones to answer LHSC’s call for knitters made in September. Knitters and crocheters from across the region and beyond donated an additional 2,400 purple caps. “We are overwhelmed by the kindness and thoughtfulness of those who donated their time, skills and fabric,” says Jane Harrington, LHSC Injury Prevention Specialist. “Thank you for taking great care in making purple caps for babies and helping us spread an important message to new parents and caregivers.”
In total, over 2,600 caps were donated in 2014. Since 2011, over 15,500 handmade purple caps have been donated by community members.
New this year, LHSC will be holding a social media photo contest in support of The Period of PURPLE Crying program. Parents and caregivers of babies who receive a purple cap during the month of November 2014 can enter to win a newborn photo shoot with Laura Rowe Photography.
To enter, photos of newborns wearing the purple caps will be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest using the hashtag #LHSCPurpleCap. Full details are available at www.lhsc.on.ca/purple.
About London Health Science Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 139 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 65 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
About Ontario Paramedic Association
The Ontario Paramedic Association (OPA) provides leadership and direction to Paramedics on a Provincial level through the pursuance of self-regulation and the promotion of the science of Paramedicine. OPA serves patients and over 1500 Paramedics by advocating for the highest ethical, educational, and clinical standards. For more information visit, www.ontarioparamedic.ca.
For more information please contact:
London Health Sciences Centre
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
519-685-8500, ext. 75724
Ontario Paramedic Association