Upopolis Now in Alberta!

On Wednesday June 29th, Stollery Children's Hospital launched Upopolis, becoming the first healthcare organization in Alberta to join this social network that connects hospitalized and chronically ill youth across Canada to one another, family and friends. 

“The Stollery has among the highest inpatient volumes in the country and serves a diverse patient population from across western Canada,” said Lois Wolgemuth, manager child life services, Stollery Children’s Hospital. “Upopolis can provide online social support for our patients and help them connect with others in a safe way, stay connected to their communities, and relate to other children and youth on a similar health care journey.”

Upopolis differs from typical social networks by delivering therapeutic benefits for the youth who use it. These benefits include being able to access medical content written in kid-friendly language so patients can better understand their diagnosis and treatment plan; and enabling connections with other patients who share similar diagnoses through public and private discussion groups, which can lead to new friendships, shared experiences and new interests that form a broader support network for the patient.  

“Through the overwhelming support of TELUS as our technology partner, as well as our many individual and corporate supporters, today over 1,700 kids in children’s hospitals across Canada have been able to take advantage of Upopolis,” said Basile Papaevangelou, chairman and founder of Kids’ Health Links Foundation. “Having Stollery Children’s Hospital join our Upopolis family puts us a major step closer to our goal of bringing Upopolis to all Canadian children’s hospitals, of which there are now only 3 remaining. Our bigger vision is making Upopolis available in every medical treatment facility that serves children and teens across the country, and we are forging ahead towards making that a reality.”

For more info about this exciting event, check out the full press release here.  

Upopolis, KHLF & TELUS recognized in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly

UPOPOLIS Rocked "The Rock"!

Our Newfoundland & Labrador launch of our UPOPOLIS Program was a great success! Though the temperature was chilly, we certainly basked in the warm welcome received from Eastern Health and Central Health, our newest UPOPOLIS sites.

We were so excited to have The Honourable Steve Kent, Deputy Premiere and Minister of Health and Community Services attend the event, and it was a tremendous honour for Kids' Health Links Foundation and UPOPOLIS to be spoken about by him later that day at the House Of Assembly - a short video clip can be viewed HERE!

A HUGE thank you to TELUS Health and Eastern Health Newfoundland & Labrador in particular for helping us rock "The Rock" by organizing and promoting this province-wide event!

Upopolis launches in Newfoundland and Labrador!

St. John’s – Newfoundland and Labrador will welcome TELUS Health and Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) to the province on Thursday, November 20, 2014 to make a province-wide announcement affecting pediatric patients and their access to youth-friendly medical content and social connections with families, friends and schools while undergoing treatment.

The Honourable Steve Kent, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Community Services, along with representatives from Eastern Health, Central Health, TELUS Health and the Kids’ Health Links Foundation will be present for the provincial launch of this initiative.

Note to editors: Cameras and reporters welcome to attend

When: Thursday, November 20, 2014 9 a.m.

Where: Paradise Youth Treatment Centre 7 Mallow Drive (off Paradise Road)

What: Interview and Photo Opportunities: • Honourable Steve Kent, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador • David Diamond, President and CEO, Eastern Health • David Thomas, Vice President, TELUS Health • Basile Papaevangelou, Chairman and Founder, Kids’ Health Links Foundation

Follow the conversation on Twitter using #Upopolis.


For more information, please contact:

Jill Yetman TELUS Media Relations 416-992-2639 jill.yetman@telus.com

April Ganong Kids’ Health Links Foundation 905-817-1717 april@kidshealthlinks.org ###

Allison Sohanlal (CCLS) joins KHLF!

KHLF WELCOMES CCLS, ALLISON SOHANLAL TO OUR TEAM! We are very excited to announce that Allison Sohanlal has joined the KHLF Team as our National UPOPOLIS Program Manager.  Allison brings with her over 11 years of clinical experience as a certified child life specialist (CCLS) working with children and families who have experienced illness, loss and/or trauma.  Most recently, Allison has dedicated the last five years at SickKids in Toronto as the UPOPOLIS Super User (administrator) since its launch in 2009.

Allison holds a Masters in Child Life and Family Centered Care and is an assistant professor in the McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences, Child Life Studies Program. She is also on the board of directors of Hospice Toronto. Allison, with her child life background and extensive experience with UPOPOLIS over the years, will help us expand UPOPOLIS from a fantastic social platform for hospitalized kids, to a very important therapeutic modality integrated into the practice of care in hospitals and care centres across the country.

Allison is excited about joining Kids' Health Links and continuing her advocacy for the needs of youth with hospital experience:

"I have seen UPOPOLIS grow in leaps and bounds over the last five years and am thrilled to continue to develop and support the success of this therapeutic network across Canada.  You cannot begin to measure the positive impact UPOPOLIS has had on the patients I have worked with - who find comfort in a safe and secure space to meet other youth who understand their unique experiences and challenges.  UPOPOLIS allows them to express themselves, give and receive support and to connect with their hospitals in a new and engaging way.  It is incredibly rewarding to work with the Kids' Health Links Foundation who not only support the child life profession, but the patients and families across Canada that we are lucky enough to work with every day!"

Welcome to the Kids' Health Links family, Allison!!

Upopolis 2.0 Canada-wide launch event

Celebratory Cupcakes!
Celebratory Cupcakes!

UPOPOLIS Announces Canada-Wide Launch Event

Making cyber-safe connections even easier for paediatric patients across Canada


Toronto, Ontario – The Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) is pleased to announce its Canada-wide launch event to be held June 18th, celebrating the release of the newly redesigned and revamped Upopolis 2.0, a private online social network available exclusively to paediatric patients in hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout Canada.

Developed in partnership with TELUS Health, the new UPOPOLIS 2.0 makes it even easier for hospitalized youth to connect with one another, with family and with friends.

“The idea for UPOPOLIS was inspired by my daughter’s near-death experience in 2002, followed in 2004 by the death of a close friend of hers after an extended battle with cancer,” says Kids’ Health Links Foundation co- Founder and President Basile Papaevangelou. “Both required lengthy hospitalizations, creating a sense of isolation and loneliness at times, which is often the experience of hospitalized kids and teens. At its core, UPOPOLIS was created to help paediatric patients connect with family and friends and to also enable them to form new ones with patients at other hospitals and healthcare facilities. We’re honored to be able to work with Telus and our hospitals and healthcare facilities to offer UPOPOLIS 2.0 to these young people.”

Along with its psycho-social benefits, UPOPOLIS users can share photos, chat, play games and much more. A particularly important feature of UPOPOLIS is its kid-friendly medical content. Written specifically for kids & teens and reviewed and verified by medical professionals, this library of information allows paediatric patients to learn more about their medical conditions and treatments.

“At TELUS, we take pride in connecting millions of Canadians with the people and information that matters most to them. For us, helping connect hospitalized kids with a safe and secure social network is an extension of that,” said Paul Lepage, President of TELUS Health. “Our commitment is to provide the best healthcare information technology solutions in Canada and leverage our unparalleled telecommunications network to give healthcare providers life-saving reach nation-wide from coast to coast to coast. We consider it a privilege to support ground-breaking initiatives like UPOPOLIS because we care about turning information into better health outcomes for all Canadians.”

Hospitals that are part of the UPOPOLIS network and that will be participating with in-hospital events on June 18th include: The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto, ON; McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton, ON; IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS; Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Ottawa, ON; Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, ON; CHU Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, Montréal, QC; and Children's Hospital London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON.


At the Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF), our mission is to use technology to alleviate the stress, isolation and loneliness of children in medical care, and keep them connected with their family, friends and school community.

We believe that positive emotional well-being can be fostered by maintaining family connections and encouraging active social participation. By providing technology that enables this well-being, we hope to help children heal faster and better overcome traumatic medical experiences. For more information about the Kids’ Health Links Foundation and UPOPOLIS, visit www.kidshealthlinks.org.