Scott Smed Memorial History
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here to view a video on the history of the Scott Smed
For some years limited amount of services were available for families experiencing a stillbirth or neonatal death. In November 1995 a group of clinicians working in the area of pregnancy and infant loss within Calgary Hospitals struck a steering committee to examine the services offered to these families from a regional perspective.
The committee identified numerous areas needing enhancements. Some of the key areas requiring improvements was in the area of memory building, services and supports for families, and the need for increased staff education.
The committee developed several recommendations to deal with these issues. One recommendation being the need for co-ordination of services on behalf of these families.
In 1999 the Director of Women's Health, with the support of the Director of Calgary's Grief Support Program made a proposal to the Calgary Health Region requesting funding for a part-time Pregnancy and Infant Loss Coordinator and therefore recognizing the unique needs of parents experiencing an infant loss.
In October 2000 the first Pregnancy and Infant Loss Coordinator was hired to provide assessment, development and implementation of services for families experiencing a perinatal loss. This position is also responsible for providing grief counseling to families following discharge from hospital.
Over the past three years, the program has continued to grow into a formalized program offering a standard of care for families including memory building, reading materials and support groups. Educational seminars for healthcare professionals are also an important component of the program.
The continued mandate of the program is to ensure ongoing staff training along with expanded family support services and it is their hope that the program can expand it's borders to also encompass loss through miscarriages.