Upopolis: A Social Community for Kids in Hospitals

Health

Upopolis The Healthy Place for Kids
Being admitted to hospital can be quite frightening for anyone, especially children.  They often don’t know what is going on, and feel isolated from family, friends and school. Depending on their illness, for some the hospital stays can be quite lengthy. It is a challenging time for the children and their families.

I was recently invited to the launch of a new social community,  Upopolis 2.0™ in Southwestern Ontario at the Children’s Health Foundation in London.  It was quite exciting to see how the new program would help create a more positive hospital stay for the young patients.

Technology helps break the isolation

The Kids Health Links Foundation founders know the isolation associated with hospital stays first hand; they wanted to help alleviate the stress that comes with it for the children and their families and keep them connected to loved ones and friends.  Children these days rely heavily on social networks; once they are in hospital, they can no longer chat with friends on the networks as most hospitals do not allow access to the internet.

That is where Upopolis™  comes in…it is a private, secure social community that connects young hospital patients to their family, friends and school.

With Upopolis™ young patients can:

Stay connected

  • receive and send e-mail from friends, family and invited contacts
  • instant message chat with other Upopolis™ members

Share their experiences

  • write and upload photos to a personal blog
  • create and join online discussions with other Upopolis™ members

Stay up to date

  • receive and respond to homework assignments from teachers
  • read exclusive kid-friendly medical information about their conditions and procedures
  • learn about hospital events and information

Upopolis allows the children to connect across this secure, social network and gives them the opportunity to network and share experiences, thoughts and feelings with other kids under similar circumstances across the country, empowering them to build and maintain connections outside of their hospital bed. It is paving the way with innovative technology in caring for the whole child, making their hospital stay less stressful and less frightening.

Looking towards the future

Conceived by the founders of Kids Health Links Foundation, and inspired by their personal experiences; Upopolis was developed by Telus Health and initially launched in December of 2007.  Since then, Upopolis has connected many children in care across Canada with other patients, their friends and loved ones. It has expanded to 9 hospitals in total across Canada with more to join soon; the goal is to ultimately expand across North America and internationally to enable any child in medical care to join the Upopolis™ community.

Find out more at www.kidshealthlinks.org

Upopolis was recently redesigned {Upopolis 2.0} to include new features including private and public discussion groups called My Spaces, enabling children to share information and photos and discuss topics on common interests. The restructured site also features a personalized newsfeed to keep users informed on everything that is important to them. All previous features have been updated to make it easier for patients to surf through the network site with ease.

Telus Health will continue to provide site expansion, managed Web hosting, application support and maintenance service.

As technology is such a big part of our day to day lives, it was great to see it being integrated into the Hospital in such a valuable way. I was very impressed, and could see what an incredible difference this can make to the patient’s emotional well-being during their hospital stays.

 

What are your thoughts? 

You can follow any of the above organizations on twitter @TELUSHealth @CHFhope @kidshealthlinks

 



One Response to “Upopolis: A Social Community for Kids in Hospitals”

  1. First Off I want to thank you for Representing Upopolis in such a great Light your blog article really tells the true Stories of Upopolis.
    Upopolis is a Private Social Secure Networking Site that offers tremendous hope for many Kids that are alone and isolated the kids that are part of the Upopolis program are quite inspiring and those who are part of this program are really gifts .Upopolis has changed many Life’s not only for the Kids but for The Volunteers ,Web Administrator’s , and Child Life Specialists who dedicate their time every day to the Private Social Networking Site the Children of Upopolis have inspired many of the Staff and teach us that Life is often Short but it’s how we live that makes the difference . You know it’s all Thanks to Katy McDonald and Christina Papaevangelou who created this Idea thanks to them thousands of Kids are impacted by one the Generous donation of Telus Health as there Campaign is to give where you live Telus Health is a Company that stands for Good Morals it’s a Company that you could Work for and Invest in as they Lead in Donating and Volunteering in Charitable Programs across Canada and Toshiba for providing the Laptops that give Kids something to Connect and Play while being Hospitalized it’s with this Kids like Maggie are provided with a sense of hope .
    Maggie is a remarkable girl she has gone through allot in her Life she is an Inspiration to me as Knowing Maggie she has overcome so many obstacles and has remained Positive through the whole situation I am so honored to know Maggie personally as she is truly a Gift and a blessing to know I know Maggie is going to grow up to do remarkable things I am so glad to be a part of One Upopolis as what Basile Papaevangelou has given to all the Upopolis Children can’t not be described in Words the work he has done to build Upopolis is Tremendous and has taken an incredible amount of time and also to Glyn Ganong who is Katy’s mother has Volunteer also a large amount of her time and has worked with the Children of Upopolis its all of the Staff that make this program special you know many people can put together a website and build a Social Networking Site but with Upopolis its different here in the Upopolis world it’s like a family where it does not matter which Hospital your from it’s the matter that your just a Child that is alone and Isolated and needs a gift of Hope Upopolis is one of the Greatest Story’s out there and that I know all of the Upopolis Kids and Staff are incredibly grateful .
    Thank-you for Blogging about Upopolis as Upopolis is an incredible Place .

    Anonymous
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