Celebrating foundation’s history
More than 25 years and $38,000,000 invested in Cape Breton’s health care
For more than 25 years, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation has been working hard to strengthen health care for Cape Bretoners.
That has resulted in more than $38,000,000 invested in health care for our community.
My time with the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation has been relatively short (not quite five years) in relation to our history. And yet it was very apparent to me from day one that we have had significant volunteerism that has been key to our long-term success.
On my desk remains one of my favourite keepsakes — a card from the late Jack Yazer, which I received not long after my arrival at the foundation. The note went on to say that a tree of life had been planted in my name to signify growth and opportunities for me and the foundation.
I treasure this card as a constant reminder of the significance volunteers like Jack have played since the mid-1980s.
Over the past year, it has been inspirational and fun to connect with those who have played a significant role in our history — board chairs, volunteers, staff, doctors, medical professionals and donors. We have been blessed with the gifts of time, treasure and talent from so many.
On May 23, in partnership with the Sydney & Area Chamber of Commerce and the Business and Philanthropy Hall of Fame, we celebrated 15 people or organizations who made significant contributions, including:
Medical community: - Dr. Rex Dunn - Dr. Mahmood Naqvi - Dr. Ron MacCornick - Dr. Bobby Cohen - John Malcom Volunteers: - Mike O'shea - Andree Kelley - Roma Kehoe - George Unsworth Donors: - Cape Breton Credit Unions - Jim Kehoe - Fr. Albert Maroun - Lou Maroun - Joe Anthony - Cape Breton Beverages - Cape Breton mental Health Foundation
These people represent the thousands of folks over the years who have held events, made donations, volunteered time and have served as medical professionals in our community. To all of you who have done the same, thank you for your support.
When celebrating our past, it is also important to acknowledge those that have come before
us and are no longer here. We are forever grateful for the amazing contributions from those who have passed: - Jack Yazer - Irving Schwartz - Aidee Bates - Victor Harriss - Sandy Reeves - Mabel MacDougall
Over our history we have raised money to build a regional hospital in 1994 and a cancer centre in 1998. We have purchased critical and life-saving equipment (MRIs, linear accelerators, incubators, operating room and cardiac equipment). We have created funds to help families when they are at their sickest and need financial support (Cancer Patient Care Fund Pediatrics TLC Fund, Mom & Baby TLC Fund).
We have enhanced the physical space in the hospital by completely redeveloping the 13 in-patient rooms in pediatrics and have funded the expansion of the cancer centre and the emergency department, thanks to the estate of Victor Harriss.
We continue to innovate and evolve. In 2013, we launched and completed the first-ever campaign in Cape Breton for mental health and addictions. Much more support is required, but we have started a new path for funding mental health. Recently the doctors and dentists in the community have donated more than $450,000, showing their level of caring goes way beyond their medical care. And again, more work to be done to assist in physician recruitment and retention.
And today, more than 25 years after we have embarked on a journey to strengthen health care in Cape Breton, our foundation has been awarded the highest accreditation standard in Canada for charity.
We are proud to be the recipient of the Imagine Canada Standards Program, as only one of three charities in Nova Scotia (out of 3,800 registered charities) and the first in Cape Breton to receive this distinguished honour.
As we look ahead to the next 25 years, one thing is for sure — you, our community of volunteers, donors and healthcare providers, will continue to be at the forefront of excellence.
I have often heard there is no silver bullet to fix health care. I disagree. Clearly it’s our people. And in Cape Breton, our people are our strength!
I look forward to the #next25. Until no patient needs us, we