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IWK Health is dedicated to providing quality care to women, children, youth, and families in the Maritime provinces and beyond. Services are delivered through our Children's Health program, Mental Health and Addictions program, and Women's and Newborn Health. Across all three our approach is rooted in a collaborative model that integrates talented people with new technologies, research, training, and clinical excellence. We’re proud to provide the most complex levels of care in our region; we’re a strong advocate for the health of families; and we’re a global leader in research and knowledge sharing.

A snapshot of care

In just one recent year, the IWK helped with:

  • 4,587 babies deliveries
  • 32,953 visits to Children’s Emergency Department
  • 106 LifeFlight transfers
  • 261,469 outpatient clinic visits
  • 65,297 virtual appointments
  • 3,936 pediatric surgeries
  • 2,860 adult health surgeries
  • 36,474 mammograms
  • 14,030 acute inpatient admissions
  • 34,906 COVID-19 Tests
  • 52,955 COVID-19 vaccinations

The ways we help

Tertiary care
A form of care that is highly specialized and complex.

Primary Care
Care to which users have direct access. This type of care can include diagnosis and treatment; referral to secondary health care services; prevention care; and heath promotion and education. Primary health care might involve visiting your family doctor or nurse practitioner, talking to a dietician or a pharmacist, or calling a toll-free health advice line to talk to a health professional.

Secondary Care
Care for which patients do not have direct access and for which they must be referred from some other part of the health system. This category includes most Health Centre specialist services.

Teaching and research
The IWK is a respected centre for its world-class research into disorders and diseases affecting children and women. As a teaching institution, the IWK is affiliated with Dalhousie University and serves as a primary clinical resource for pediatric and obstetric teaching of a broad range of health professions including medicine, nursing, other allied health services and child life. 

Reaching farther
Specialists from the IWK take their expertise to Maritime communities in the form of traveling clinics; through computer-based videoconferencing technology; and a team of nurses and respiratory therapists who travel by air and ground ambulance to outlying Maritime communities to stabilize and transfer critically ill newborns, older children, and mothers with high-risk pregnancy situations.


Although Halifax has been home to a children's hospital since 1909, the original Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children opened in 1970, with the help of a generous donation of $8 million from Dorothy Johnson Killam, wife of the late Izaak Walton Killam.

In 1996, the IWK Hospital for Children and the adjacent Grace Maternity Hospital (operated and funded by the Salvation Army) merged and were known as the IWK Grace Children's Hospital until the early 2000s when the institution shortened its name to the IWK Health Centre. In 2019 the organization formalized the name to simply IWK Health, recognizing their presence throughout the community.