Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation Reshapes IT with VC3
The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation in Edmonton, Alberta has a mission to advance and advocate for specialized physical and mental health care for children across Western Canada. Lucy Papp is the CFO, and she’s the executive responsible for overseeing IT. Technology is important to the Foundation. They rely on it to communicate with donors and stakeholders and to equip their staff with the tools they need to operate daily.
When Lucy started with the Foundation, they were receiving IT support at no charge from the same government organization that provides IT for hospitals in Alberta. However, as the Foundation and the importance of technology grew, there were signs that this arrangement wasn’t going to help them achieve their goals to expand their digital capabilities and continue to stay relevant with donors.
Inadequate IT Support Caused Constraints
The IT problems the Foundation experienced created constraints for staff. They were limited in the types of hardware they could use. Help desk response time for some issues or requests took a long time because they were assigned a low priority by the health care IT department.
Lucy recognized the criticality of IT addressing hospital needs first. However, she was also acutely aware of her team’s struggles with issues like unreliable internet and excessive delays for simple tasks, such as installing a font, which should only take a few minutes but instead took months.
One day it became apparent that their IT situation wasn’t just slowing them down – it was stopping them. They were conducting a board meeting in their office and couldn’t get to the documents they needed because the Wi-Fi didn’t work. It was time to make improvements.
Upgrading their Wi-Fi and hooking up to fiber internet was the first step they took to modernize IT. Then Lucy initiated the search for a managed IT services provider.
“We really needed to get an IT partner,” recalled Lucy. “We're a not-for-profit foundation so we're not going to invest in an IT department. We knew that there were providers out there who would do what we needed.”
VC3 Understood Needs and Provided a Glimpse of the Future
VC3 was among six IT companies invited to the Foundation’s request for proposals. Lucy’s previous positive experiences with VC3 provided her with valuable insights into their capabilities. When the Foundation’s selection team ultimately chose VC3 as their provider, it was driven by a belief that VC3 had the people who best grasped the Foundation’s needs and could guide their future direction.
This really struck home for Lucy when she visited VC3’s Edmonton facility to gain a deeper understanding of their operations. As she was touring, her guide shared a project VC3 had developed for an organization similar to the Foundation, integrating multiple data points into a single dashboard. This sparked a vision for the future in Lucy’s mind.
Impressed, she thought, “That’s exactly what I want.”
Lucy’s choice to partner with VC3 was quickly affirmed during the onboarding process. VC3 skillfully navigated the complexities of government bureaucracy and maintained clear, step-by-step communication with Lucy and her team, ensuring they were well-prepared for each phase of the transition.
Hybrid Workforce Equipped and Secure
At the same time VC3 was transitioning the Foundation to their own IT infrastructure, they also implemented an initiative to improve remote access and upgrade hardware. This not only better equipped people to work effectively and securely during the COVID lockdown, but also set the organization up for a hybrid workplace when restrictions were lifted. Enabling staff with the flexibility to work from home is a benefit that people continue to love, and it means that the Foundation can accommodate 100% remote roles as well, which was something that wasn’t previously possible.
Another benefit the Foundation has experienced because of their partnership with VC3 is a step up in their security posture with the addition of cybersecurity awareness training. Training people in how to recognize and respond to potential cyber-attacks was important to the Foundation’s board but had not been addressed by the previous provider.
When it comes to their overall security, VC3 worked with the Foundation to implement a robust security strategy. Lucy’s confidence in VC3 to build an effective cyber defense was confirmed when the Foundation successfully passed a third-party security assessment. VC3 continues to be proactive in discussing with Lucy any upcoming security improvements that can strengthen the Foundation’s network.
Strategic Guidance a Cornerstone of Success
The partnership between Lucy and VC3, and particularly with her Strategic Advisor Chris A., is a cornerstone of their success. Lucy describes Chris as a “great advocate” for the Foundation.
“We have such a great working relationship and we’re always talking about the next thing. Chris and VC3 are my trusted advisors,” Lucy said. “I just couldn’t be successful in my role without having this kind of strong working relationship.”
The need for IT guidance has grown as Lucy’s role as CFO has evolved. Oversight of the Foundation’s technology has become a bigger responsibility and a consistent topic at board meetings. IT not only takes more of her time; it’s more complex than it used to be and involves more risk mitigation than ever before.
Since VC3 took over their IT management, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation has seen significant improvements in operations which enable them to better fulfill their mission. There’s been a noticeable transformation in the flexibility and effectiveness of staff because of the way they’re equipped to communicate and collaborate with technology. Plus, security remains top of mind with everyone through consistent cybersecurity awareness training.
The partnership with VC3 has been a major turning point for the Foundation. With VC3, they’ve reshaped their approach to IT, becoming more efficient and secure. Technology is no longer a stumbling block but a catalyst for progress, positioning the Foundation to accomplish more as they advance and advocate for children’s health.
About the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation (StolleryKids.com | @StolleryKids)
The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation advances children’s health care right in your own backyard by funding specialized care at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and in communities across northern Alberta: state-of-the-art equipment and facilities; sub-specialty education to train the brightest medical minds; leading-edge research to discover new treatments and cures; and specialized programs that improve family-centered care, child and youth addiction and mental health services, and patient and family outcomes. Together, we can give all kids the best chance to live a long and healthy life.
Lucy Papp, CFO
Stollery Children's Hospital
We have such a great working relationship and we’re always talking about the next thing. Chris and VC3 are my trusted advisors,