Children’s Hospital Foundation Celebrates World Prematurity Day with Gift From Sandra Schmirler Foundation to HSC Winnipeg NICU

Winnipeg MB – Thanks to a $90,000 grant to Children’s Hospital Foundation from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, the tiniest, sickest babies in Manitoba have more of the equipment clinical teams need to provide safe, comfortable care.

The grant was used to purchase two Draeger Baby Leo incubators, which provide optimal temperature regulation to help premature babies grow, while also giving care teams and parents quick and comfortable access to the baby.

“Premature babies are incredibly fragile, but resilient,” says Dr. Michael Narvey, Section Head, Neonatology, HSC Winnipeg. “Ensuring they are comfortably placed in their beds with easy, safe access for the clinical teams who need to position them for treatments, and for their parents to be close to them, is vital for healthy growth and healing.”

Since its inception, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation has provided grants of nearly $300,000 to Children’s Hospital Foundation for specialized equipment like incubators and veinfinders.

“Our mission is to raise funds to purchase life-saving equipment for premature and critically ill newborns to give them each the chance to grow up and be a champion, like Sandra,” said Bernadette McIntyre, Chair, Sandra Schmirler Foundation. “We are proud to help the NICU team support these babies and families in Manitoba.”

In addition to comfort, the Baby Leo incubators were designed with infection prevention and control in mind, which is essential to protect vulnerable babies from germs and infections like COVID-19.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, babies and families in the HSC Winnipeg NICU have been able to stay together thanks to the design of the state-of-the-art facility and equipment like these incubators. Private rooms with sleeping accommodation for a parent mean that even families who needed to self-isolate due to infection or travel from out of province, were able to safely stay together.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of partners like the Sandra Schmirler Foundation and our shared commitment to helping the sickest children,” said Stefano Grande, President and CEO, Children’s Hospital Foundation. “When communities come together to help the most vulnerable children and improve the health of kids everywhere, we can make anything possible.”

In addition to equipment like incubators, donors to Children’s Hospital Foundation support families and babies in NICU through ongoing initiatives like the newborn reading program and the Veteran Parents Program. To learn more about how you can help sick and injured children, visit

November 17 is World Prematurity Day. More than 30,000 babies are born prematurely in Canada every year.

The new NICU at HSC Winnipeg opened December 1, 2019 in HSC Winnipeg Women’s Hospital. It is a state-of-the-art 60-bed, multi-acuity unit where approximately 1,200 of the sickest newborns from across Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario and Nunavut are cared for every year.



Celebrating 50 years of community impact (1971-2021)

Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba is dedicated to ensuring that every child treated at HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital has the best care and experience possible.  Since 1971, with incredible donor support, the Foundation has raised more than $150 million to help sick and injured children from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, and Nunavut. Funds support important programs that bring comfort to sick children, life-saving equipment, and health research to improve the lives of children everywhere. Let’s make anything possible. Learn about your impact at


About Sandra Schmirler Foundation

The Sandra Schmirler Foundation sees a future where every hospital NICU has the necessary life-saving equipment to handle any emergency and save the lives of babies born premature and critically ill. Our dream is that all babies born too soon, too small or too sick will be cared for in a NICU equipped with state-of-the-art life-saving equipment close to their homes, family and friends. With support from individuals like you, we have given over $5.9 million to fund life-saving equipment in NICUs in hospitals across Canada.


For more information, contact:

Katherine (Kat) Fox
VP, Marketing & Communications
Children’s Hospital Foundation
C: 204-330-2294