Sick Kids hooks up with Sympatico/MSN

The Toronto hospital hopes the partnership will increase traffic to its own website.

The Hospital for Sick Children has partnered with Sympatico/MSN to supply health and research-based news on childrens’ health issues. The newly launched section can be accessed from the Health and Fitness tab on MSN’s main page, and features an array of information from medical journals, worldwide research, and Sick Kids’ own resources.

As well, links within stories take readers to the hospital’s website, Dr Ross Hetherington, director, AboutKidsHealth tellsMiC ‘In the last two years traffic to our site has doubled to more than 100,000 visits per month and we’ve invested close to $12 million dollars developing content for the website.’

Hetherington says they are looking for sponsorship opportunities to grow the site. ‘We would like to get some strong sponsors who will share the vision of the hospital.’

The hospital also partners with the Halifax-based IWK Health Centre and other hospitals worldwide for site content. ‘We are negotiating with pediatric hospitals across Canada to work together, using what we have created with as the basis to create a standard, evidence-based library of child health information that will be used across Canada.’

The partnership with MSN is mutually beneficial as MSN gleans credibility via content from one of the top four hospitals for children worldwide. As for the hospital, it hopes that millions of people who click on MSN will also link back to the AboutKidsHealth website.

The website has just received funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and they are now in the process of developing French and Chinese versions. As well, 250 top articles will be translated into Arabic, Tamil, Vietnamese and Spanish. When this exercise is finished in two years’ time, the website could potentially have a user base of 2.2 billion viewers.