Cel­e­brat­ing foun­da­tion’s his­tory

More than 25 years and $38,000,000 in­vested in Cape Bre­ton’s health care

Cape Breton Post - - Community Connections - Brad Ja­cobs Build­ing a Foun­da­tion Brad Ja­cobs (@Brasco23) is the CEO of the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion (@be­causeu­care). He has more than 19 years of lead­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence in the char­i­ta­ble sec­tor and lives in Syd­ney River. Email, brad.ja­cobs

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

need you.

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