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Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital marks first anniversary, over 15K emergency pediatric visits

Click to play video 'Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital the result of decades of advocacy' Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital the result of decades of advocacy
WATCH: For years, volunteers and donors have been dreaming of the opening of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon. Ryan Kessler reports.

It was an important milestone for the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Thursday as it celebrated its one year anniversary.

The hospital saw over 15,000 visits to its pediatric emergency department by June 2020, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

During that time, the hospital performed over 2,300 surgeries and delivered 4,109 babies.

Read more: Saskatoon couple welcomes 1st baby of 2020

“It’s hard to believe a year’s passed,” said Health Minister Jim Reiter.

The hospital’s opening was rocky, plagued with nearly 600 concerns — from moving a desk to serious safety concerns with the building.

Read more: Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital working on nearly 600-item task list

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Reiter said seeing concerns raised isn’t uncommon for “a project of this magnitude”, adding “most” of the concerns have been addressed one year in.

A statue of a little boy playing the trumpet was unveiled outside the hospital to commemorate the anniversary. Jim Pattison, the hospital’s namesake, was among those at Thursday’s unveiling.

The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital unveiled this statue of a boy trumpeter to mark the hospital’s one-year anniversary.
The Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital unveiled this statue of a boy trumpeter to mark the hospital’s one-year anniversary. Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/Global News

The statue was inspired by Pattison, who played trumpet as a child.

“I appreciate being invited to come and I’m very happy to be here,” said Pattison, 91, who was born in Saskatoon and now lives in Vancouver.

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Officials with the hospital said they’re excited to see it serving the province, after over a decade working to get it built.

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“Dreams do come true,” said Brynn Boback-Lane, president and CEO of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

“This is proof positive that when you believe in something, you work hard for something, it will happen.”

Boback-Lane said Thursday’s celebration also recognized the “remarkably heroic” efforts of staff who have been working amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.