Walmart Canada to support the establishment of the Sickle Cell Disease Patient Amenities Fund
Mississauga – June 29, 2022 - Walmart Canada announced today a partnership with Black Opportunity Fund and SickKids Foundation’s Black Experience @ SickKids Strategy, supporting health equity for the Black community, their families and in particular to improve health outcomes for Black Canadian children affected by the sickle cell disease.
As part of this partnership, Walmart Canada is granting $212,000 to the Black Opportunity Fund to support the establishment of the Sickle Cell Disease Patient Amenities Fund at SickKids, to help patient families with costs not covered by the government.
The grant will also support easier and safer access to at-home medication via a SickKids-developed technology called a capsule shredder, which will be distributed to 13 children’s hospitals across Canada, over the next five years.
Sickle cell disease affects around 6,000 Canadians, primarily people of African descent. Patients with sickle cell disease have abnormally shaped blood cells, which have difficulty passing through veins and organs. Sickling of red blood cells causes pain throughout the body and damage to various organs.
"We are thrilled to welcome Walmart Canada into our partnership with SickKids to help address the impacts of sickle cell disease. It is a debilitating condition disproportionally experienced by people of African descent that can also place considerable financial burden on families,” said Craig Wellington, Executive Director, Black Opportunities Fund. “The donation from Walmart Canada will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of patients and families across Canada. Our mandate is to raise funds from a wide variety of public and private organizations to improve the social and economic well-being of Canada’s Black communities. We are pleased that Walmart Canada shares our vision."
Individuals interested in supporting patients and families affected by sickle cell disease can make a donation via the Black Opportunity Fund's website towards the Sickle Cell Disease Patient Amenities endowment fund or extend the life of the capsule shredders program beyond the initial five years.
Walmart Canada is committed to addressing inequities within the Black community and the importance of providing sustainable solutions to health equity along with social and financial support, based on research and building an authentic and intentional understanding of how it can partner with the Black community and organizations that support the Black community. These investments are part of Walmart Canada’s efforts to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change.
“As part of our strategy to become a regenerative company, we will continue to address inequities within the Black community, which includes our new partnership with the Black Opportunity Fund and SickKids Foundation," said AnnMarie Mercer, Chief People Officer Walmart Canada. "We’re proud of this partnership because it will make a difference. We will use our size and scale to improve health outcomes and help with medical costs for Black Canadian children affected by sickle cell disease.”
Walmart Canada is also proud to continue its long-standing partnership with SickKids Foundation through its annual Children’s Miracle Network to support Canada’s kids, families, and their local children’s hospitals. Walmart Canada has partnered with Children’s Miracle Network for 28 years. Donations made by Walmart associates and customers stay local to support the children’s hospital in their community. To date, Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $190 million to Children’s Miracle Network and more than $30 million to the SickKids Foundation.
About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving 1.5 million customers each day. Walmart Canada's flagship online store, Walmart.ca, is visited by more than 1.5 million customers daily. With more than 100,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is ranked one of the country's top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada was recently recognized as a LinkedIn Top Company of 2021 and was also named one of Canada’s most popular brands (based on Google searches). Walmart Canada has made a commitment to regeneration – focusing on equitable opportunity, sustainability, community, ethics and integrity. Since 1994, Walmart Canada has raised over $500 million to support communities across Canada. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca and on Walmart Canada’s social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.