Timely, exceptional dedication to health care

Posted on June 30, 2024 | Sponsored Content | 0 Comments

With $70 million raised and another $30 million to go, the QEII Foundation’s We Are Campaign for the QEII Health Sciences Centre won’t stop till it transforms health care for all. Maybe not even then.

With the goal of raising $100 million to fund everything from groundbreaking research to new technologies at the cutting edge of clinical science, the QEII Foundation’s We Are Campaign for the QEII Health Sciences Centre is determined to transform the healthcare system for Nova Scotia, for the entire Atlantic region, and for years to come.
It’s simple, says Campaign Chair and Foundation Board Director Sherry Porter: “At a time when many people are thinking that the healthcare system is broken, we are taking on the issues directly and helping the system advance and provide solutions to healthcare challenges.”

That means enabling projects that contribute significantly to better patient outcomes by reducing wait times, increasing access to new technology, offering more personalized treatment programs, enhancing the role of innovation in day-to-day practice, and attracting talented people to work in the system. “Frankly,” says Porter, “we are leveling up for everyone.”

Launched two years ago to coincide with the Nova Scotia government’s QEII New Generation Project – the largest healthcare infrastructure redevelopment the Atlantic region has ever seen – the We Are fundraising campaign has generated more than $70 million and completed funding for 19 life-changing priorities.

This has involved more than 17,000 gifts from approximately 7,700 donors – all of whom have wrapped their arms around the promise of transformative change that impacts the quality of care for the over one million patient visits, from across the Maritimes and beyond, to the QEII each year. The QEII is more than just Halifax’s hospital. It cares for every community in the province and is the major referral centre for many specialized care services for Atlantic Canada.

“Our role is not to fund the bricks and mortar of new hospital buildings or the basics of health care,” Porter says. “We know the impact we can make now for current patients and families is by by focusing on project-based initiatives that will make the system truly exceptional for everyone right away.”

Some of the campaign’s funding achievements to date include:
  • The $8.5-million Personalized Radiotherapy Program is a world’s first cancer-fighting technology that has the potential to reduce radiation treatments from 25 to five for certain cancers and transform cancer care on a global scale.
  • The $8.1-million da Vinci X surgical robot is providing the most advanced, minimally-invasive surgeries for prostate, kidney, gynecological and ear, nose and throat (ENT) cancers.
  • The $4-million Stewart E. Allen Hybrid Operating Room is deploying new diagnostic imaging technology that will reduce wait times for patients during their rehabilitation journey, while supporting training opportunities for the next generation of medical technologists.
  • The $3-million MAZOR X spinal robot – Canada’s first such device for patient care – is allowing QEII teams to perform the most precise, personalized surgeries possible that result in shorter hospital stays, recovery times and more.
  • The $2.5-million Stryker Mako surgical robot, Canada’s second orthopaedic surgical robot, providing robot-assisted knee and hip replacements customized for each patient’s anatomy.
  • The $2.1-million CAR-T therapy lab, Atlantic Canada’s first-ever at the QEII; a state-of-the-art space dedicated to preparing this lifesaving immunotherapy which is a final lifeline for certain blood cancer patients who’ve tried all other treatment options.
  • The $2-million Cancer Therapy Preparation Lab, doubling preparation capacity and unlocking access to more clinical trials within this leading-edge space, where all chemotherapy and systemic therapy doses are prepared for QEII patients.
  • The $1.2 million Interventional Radiology (IR) suites, equipping QEII with advanced technology for more minimally-invasive procedures than ever before and a new dedicated recovery area, impacting patients with stroke, cancer and more.
The list goes on. Says Porter: “I, myself, am a cancer survivor … twice. So, one of the projects I’m most excited about is personalized radiotherapy. The medical physics team at the QEII came up with a world-leading concept; they invented it and worked with the manufacturer to get it done. That particular program is going to impact all Nova Scotians who need radiotherapy to treat their cancers.”
She adds: “I’m also very excited about what we’re doing in robotics. Our goal is to have a centre of excellence in robotics. As we we stand right now the QEII has the most robots in the country, and they’re all doing very different things, including the very first spinal robot… A centre of excellence means a lot of things. It’s not just surgery. It’s all the research and innovation that goes along with that…. These are all amazing thing to have happen here.”
All of which only propels the nine-member volunteer We Are campaign members – Michelle Awad, Donnie Clow, Dr. Howard Conter, Gord Cooper, Doug Hall, Janet MacMillan Doug Reid, Dr. Mark Taylor, and Porter – to even greater heights.

“Any successful campaign needs a team that’s equal to the task,” Porter says. “I am thrilled with the quality of leaders on the Campaign Cabinet who are extremely passionate about making health care better. It takes a lot of dedication to make this kind of thing come together. I mean, $100 million is a lot of money in Atlantic Canada, and this is certainly the largest healthcare campaign that’s ever been done in Eastern Canada.”

And it’s not over yet. Current fundraising priorities include:
  • Nova Scotia’s first Ketamine Treatment Program at the QEII, providing life-changing help for the estimated 17,000 Nova Scotians living with treatment-resistant depression.
  • Enhancements to the QEII’s Abbie J. Lane gym, an integral part of a patient’s care journey, providing access to exercise and recreation that improves their overall health and well-being.
  • Nuclear medicine scanners to find and diagnose certain diseases like cancer and heart for better treatments and outcomes.
  • Specialized rehabilitation facilities for enhanced recovery.
  • An Innovation Catalyst Fund to fuel the next big, innovative idea.
  • CT simulator is help care teams pinpoint the exact location of a cancerous tumour. And new digital tools for oncology patients and cancer care teams.

With ambitious goals and many innovative solutions for health care being funded, there is definitely a project for everyone to donate to and support.

“We’re doing well, for sure,” Porter says. “But we’re not done yet. We have major commitments in the hopper and more being confirmed over the coming months. We’ve reached 70 per cent of our goal, and I know we’ll reach the end. But we won’t stop there. This is not a one and done kind of thing. There’s too much at stake. We need to ensure the QEII is providing the best, most innovative health care for all. In a way, the We Are campaign has really only just begun.”

To learn more about the We Are Campaign and its Volunteer Cabinet, visit QE2Foundation.ca/cabinet

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