Putting Childrens' Health Needs First

NEO Kids Foundation is dedicated to building awareness for children’s care needs and raising funds for services, equipment, and research to help our youngest and most vulnerable patients.

A healthy beginning builds a healthy life.


We raise funds to support the health of our children in the North.

Children need their own voice in health care, champions to herald their health care rights, and resources to help treat their unique medical needs, especially in Northern Ontario.


We want our children cared for closer to home.


  • Trust

    Build relationships based on trust and accountability

  • Kindness

    Compassion and empathy is embedded in everything we do

  • Family

    Foster a community to form a healthier future


NEO Kids is Northeastern Ontario’s hub for specialized children’s care.

Located at Health Sciences North in Greater Sudbury, NEO Kids is not merely a building or a program. NEO Kids is a philosophy and approach to care.

The goal of NEO Kids is to ensure as many children as possible can stay in Northeastern Ontario to get the care they need, in a child-and youth-centred environment.



  • Children receive the best health outcomes when they are treated in an environment that caters exclusively to them.

  • Children’s health outcomes and quality of life improve when care is provided as close to home as possible.

From before birth to 17 years of age, the NEO Kids & Family Program provides care for families and children through a continuum of services–inpatient care, outpatient services, and care in the home and community.

The NEO Kids and Family Program at Health Sciences North include the Birthing Centre, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatrics, NEO Kids Outpatient Clinics, Children’s Treatment Centre, and the Violence Intervention and Prevention Program.

NEO Kids Foundation Staff

Patricia Mills


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Melanie Snyder

Gifts & Planned Giving Coordinator

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Shanna Crispo

Events Coordinator

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Taylor Austin

Marketing and Events Intern

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Board of Directors

Nick Foligno

Honorary Chair

Nick Foligno is the Honorary Chair of NEO Kids Foundation. Nick currently plays for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, serving as the team captain. Previously he played for the Ottawa Senators and the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. Nick is director of the Janis Foligno Foundation, which was created in honour of his mother and seeks to provide support to local charities who are committed to finding a cure for cancer. In 2013, his daughter Milana was born with a rare heart condition and understands the stress and fear of having a sick child, and the impact it has on a family. Having dealt with NEO Kids first-hand, Nick believes that there is a need to better serve children and young patients in the North. Nick and his wife Janelle have two children – Milana and Landon and are expecting a third child this spring.

Mick Weaver


Mick Weaver is the Founding and current chair of KICX for Kids, a fundraising campaign for the NEO Kids pediatric unit at Health Sciences North. Mick and his wife Juliana launched the new Broadcast license Sudbury’s KICX 91.7FM in 2008, with Mick now serving as the General Manager and General Sales Manager at Larche Communications in Greater Sudbury. Through KICX for Kids and his involvement with HSN, he has become passionately engaged with NEO Kids Foundation. Mick believes in treating kids closer to home and is committed to delivering the vision of NEO Kids Foundation.

Julie Desimone

Executive Member

Julie DeSimone is the owner of DeSimone Foot & Ankle Centre. She has a Bachelor of Science in Podiatric Medicine and was a former Director of the Chiropody Department at Laurentian Hospital for 9 years. Due to her dedication to promoting health care in the North, Julie has recently been appointed as a director of the inaugural NEO Kids Foundation Board and has been chosen as chair of their NEO Kids Foundation Fundraising Committee. She was also the Chair of Meals on Wheels Sudbury, Director of the Ontario Society of Chiropodists, as well as many other local charities.

Richard Spadafora


Richard Spadafora is a Senior Manager, Tax at KPMG in Sudbury, having joined the company in 2005. Richard holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Laurentian University and received his designation as a Certified General Accountant in March 2007 and as a Chartered Accountant in November 2007. Having witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by families who are required to seek treatment outside of Northern Ontario, he is passionate about ensuring that children from Northeastern Ontario have access to quality healthcare in the North. Richard is also actively involved in coaching in local minor hockey and soccer.

Rick Bartolucci


Rick Bartolucci was elected as MPP in 1995 and served until 2014 in the Sudbury riding. As a former city councillor, cabinet minister and Sudbury MPP, Rick is known for being a successful advocate for various community projects. Rick has recently used his public platform to voice his support for NEO Kids as he believes in equitable health care for Northern Ontario children. As a father of two and a grandfather of four, Rick has strong family values that further his commitment to NEO Kids.

Dionne Elgie

Regional Member

With close to two decades of experience in finance, education, administration, media, production and internet industries under her belt, Dionne Elgie brings a wealth of knowledge to her current role as President of Village Electric, a multimedia production studio, located in Sault Ste Marie, focusing on high quality video and audio recording, photography, livestreaming and virtual set design. Dionne is also Project Manager at her digital consulting firm DIG – Digital Intelligence Group, Project Manager at Village Media, a growing community of digital news sites across Northern Ontario, Director of Mackinac.com and editor-in-chief of Sault Ste. Marie content on NorthernOntario.travel.

Dr. Janis Goldie


Dr. Janis Goldie is a professor and Chair of the Communications Department at Huntington University. She has an extensive background in research, communications, and leadership roles. Janis brings substantial board and governance experience, and also feels very passionately about NEO Kids. She is a mother of two young children and has experienced the monetary, time, and emotional strains that traveling out of town for children’s care can have on a child and their family.

Kristen Pollesel


Kristen Pollesel completed her Honours Bachelor of Commerce from Laurentian University and shortly after started working at the family business, Crosstown Chevrolet, currently serving as General Manager. Over the years, Kristen has held several positions throughout the dealership which has allowed her to fully understand the dynamics of all departments while developing her strong leadership and management skills. Her experience working at Crosstown Chevrolet has also increased her involvement within the local community through charitable events and sponsorship opportunities, and she is passionate about assisting children in Northeastern Ontario.

Patricia Mills


Patricia Mills is the President of NEO Kids Foundation. With a background in journalism and publishing, Patricia has over 25 years in the communications and business field. She was previously the publisher of Northern Ontario Business magazine and Sudbury Living Magazine Group. In 2014, Patricia launched her own company patriciaAmills Inc., where she provides advice to clients on marketing, sales, communication strategies and business development.



41 Ramsey Lake Road South Tower, Level 1
Sudbury, ON P3E 5J1

Charitable Registration
# 74238 0322 RR0001


T: 705.523.7100 x1234
E: neokidsfoundation@hsnsudbury.ca

Help our children get the care they deserve,
right here in the North.