IWK Health Centre – Halifax, NS

Some of IWK Health’s patients and families have been given a new reason to smile. On Wednesday, October 6th, IWK Health officially opened four new Smilezones at the IWK. Generously donated by Jim & Elaine McGivern and McGivern Family and the Halifax Wanderers FC, the bright, fun Smilezones feature: colourful murals, new seating and furniture, sensory development equipment, drawing boards, tablet stations, cell phone charging stations and even TVs with kid-friendly technology. It’s all meant to help improve the experience for patients and families during their visit to the IWK.


There are four new Smilezones at the IWK including: the Orthopedic Clinic; Shared Clinics; Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic; and, the Family Newborn Lounge. These are some of IWK’s busiest spaces and the impact of brightening them will benefit thousands of families each year. Children and families waiting for their appointments will now be welcomed with animal-themed, dinosaur-themed and soccer-themed wall murals and new furniture. Sensory equipment and kid-friend technology will provide a positive distraction. The Family Newborn Lounge with its comfortable furniture and artwork will now serve as a soothing oasis for new parents to unwind.


“After hearing of the great work being done by Smilezone Foundation in children’s’ hospitals in Ontario, we thought there is no reason why the patients and families of Atlantic Canada should not enjoy the same benefits. We are delighted to have been the catalyst in bringing Smilezone to the IWK,” says Jim and Elaine McGivern.


“As a club committed to making our community stronger through sport, the opportunity to improve the experience of children visiting the Orthopedic clinic at the IWK was a perfect fit.  Thank you to the Smilezone Foundation and the McGivern Family for leading this initiative and thank you to the dedicated healthcare professionals at the IWK who provide the families of our community with such passionate care,” says Derek Martin, Founder & President of Halifax Wanderers FC.


Specific Features in the Smilezone Transformation Include:

  • Fresh Paint
  • Colourful murals featuring animal, dinosaur and soccer themes
  • iPad stations
  • Comfortable furniture
  • Custom storage
  • Sensory development equipment
  • Drawing Boards
  • Charging Stations
Thank you to our IWK Smilezone Donors, the McGivern Family and the HFX Wanderers FC, for their generous support!

Our Smile Stories

Dr. Krista Jangaard President & CEO, IWK Health