Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who were recently in town for a trade event, took the time to join the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago for a visit to Shriner’s Hospital for Children.
Once the patients got over the initial confusion of seeing Mounties in the hospital – one patient asked if they were under arrest — the event brought smiles to the faces of both children and families alike. RCMP Constable Francois Picard-Blais and Constable Jennifer George handed out stickers and stuffed animals to excited children who were eager to take photographs and share their stories with officers and accompanying Consulate staff.
Constables Picard-Blais and George then took some time to learn about the Shriner’s mission as a non-profit medical provider and were able to see the inner-workings of a US hospital.
The visit provided a great opportunity to share insight about our respective health care systems, opening discussions around insurance, quality of care and the effects of the new federal health care law. Picard-Blais, George and the Consulate staff were also able to share information about the Canadian system, which was particularly interesting to workers at the US hospital.
Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago’s Oak Park neighborhood is one of the busiest hospitals in the Shriner’s network. Children from around the world, including Canada, seek treatment here for orthopedics, neuromusculoskeletal conditions, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate treatments. As a non-profit medical network, Shriner’s Hospitals are mostly funded by donations and grants.
“We were pleased to have the opportunity for our RCMP officers to visit with patients and their families at the Shriner's Children's Hospital of Chicago. Citizens from both the United States and Canada have benefitted from the hard work, dedication and generosity of this great organization, and this was an excellent chance for us to give back." - Consul General Gitane De Silva.
The Consulate General of Canada in Chicago and Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago look forward to building a relationship that can support collaborative efforts for future events, fundraisers and networking.