Each year the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation produces Impact Report and Honour Roll; a publication that celebrates you – our donors!
Here you will find stories that profile excellence in medical treatment, compassionate care and how donor contributions drive innovation.
There’s no question that the COVID-19 Pandemic is resulting in an increased need for funding outside of our forecasted projects for the year. Our frontline care providers and all support staff that are so essential to healthcare delivery are impacted in myriad ways. Health care has changed and it will continue to do so as new procedures and processes take shape.
Your support for the Royal Alex during this time is inspiring to all of us. Thus far your donations have increased supplies of personal protective equipment carts, mobile care devices, and communication tools for staff and patients. You’ve made a significant difference in care – including the goal of connecting families with their loved ones during critical hours.
It would be an understatement to say the pandemic has caused us to pivot. COVID-19 has delivered a one-two combination punch that has taken away event-based fundraising while simultaneously creating additional need for donor support. Fiscal prudence, responsibility, and transparency are ever-present and always top-of-mind, and so it was a natural decision to build upon our efforts by producing a digital-only version of Honour Roll and Impact Report.
Like our traditional print publications in previous years, all donors are celebrated for changing the trajectory of care for hundreds of thousands of patients at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
But unlike our printed pieces, the costs to celebrate our cherished donors in this medium are significantly reduced. We think you will approve.
So please enjoy this digital report and the innovative approaches to care and research it showcases. And never doubt that every donation we receive, no matter the amount, is received with immense gratitude for the power it holds to transform. Thank you, donors, for all that you do.
President and CEO
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
“As we started down the path of the pandemic response the very first days of worry, quickly became days of uncertainty. As we look forward, we face an ever-changing healthcare environment. We at the hospital are so grateful for the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and its donors who have consistently provided us with kind words and gestures, much-needed supplies and equipment, encouragement for research, and unwavering support for our patients, staff and the community that we serve”.
Ken Stewart, MD, FRCSC, Facility Medical Director,
Royal Alexandra Hospital
Growing Women’s Health Together
Thanks to the dedication and financial support of our community partners such as Shoppers Drug Mart our hospital is able to stay at the forefront of medical best practices and innovative therapies.
The annual Run for Women is only one of many ways that Shoppers Drug Mart supports the advancement of women’s health at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.
The mandate of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women has always been to provide expert patient care for women of all ages and in all stages of life, and it is the mandate of Shoppers Drug Mart to put women’s health first, making the partnership between the two a natural fit.
Over the past decade, Shoppers Drug Mart has contributed more than $2,000,000 to the Lois Hole Hospital for Women providing support for the:
- Colposcopy Screening and Treatment Room
- Maternal Heart-Health Program
- da Vinci Robotic Surgical System
- PRO-NOX Nitrous Oxide Delivery System
- Sonosite Edge 2 Ultrasound Machines
- Lois Hole Hospital for Women Cross-Provincial Chair in Perinatal Mental Health Research
- Seventh Operating Theatre
- Text 4 Menopause app
- Tea for Two Program
Shopper’s Drug Mart has contributed toward the purchase of invaluable, life-saving equipment such as the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System. This state-of-the-art technology enhances our surgeons’ abilities to carry out minimally-invasive procedures that rely on absolute precision, thereby resulting in less blood loss, minimal scarring, a faster healing time, and a much faster return to productive life for our patients.
The support from Shoppers Drug Mart drives innovation in treatment, patient care excellence and research for women from across Alberta and beyond.
Most recently, Shoppers Drug Mart answered the call to provide funding for the creation of the Text4Hope program that supports those struggling with their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a quick text, individuals are connected to receive a free, positive text message every day for three months to encourage the practice of healthy coping strategies.
To date, over 46,000 Albertans accessed this innovative tool, thanks in part to Shoppers Drug Mart.
Whether partnering in the SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women, supporting women’s mental wellness, or through the annual Growing Women’s Health campaign, together, we have made a meaningful difference in women’s health, locally, where it matters most.
Additionally, we are immensely proud of Shoppers Drug Mart’s contribution to initiatives like the Maternal Heart-Health program. The Maternal Heart-Health program is a partnership between the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and the CK Hui Heart Centre, focusing on monthers with pregnancy-related heart complications.
Thank you Shoppers Drug Mart for all that you do for the patients of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and our community at large. It is through partnerships like yours, that excellence in patient care is possible, and it is an honour to stand beside you as we grow together.
“Women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent changes to our health system have impacted our reproductive mental health and bereavement programs, our gynecological cancer surgeries, and our high-risk obstetrical programs, and through it all Shoppers Drug Mart’s continued support is proving to be even more critical in this time of considerable uncertainty. Thank you Shoppers Drug Mart for the more than $2,000,000 you have contributed over the past decade to the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. These critical funds continue to drive innovations in treatment, patient care excellence and research for women of all ages and in all stages of their lives.”
Tracee Pratt, Executive Director, Lois Hole Hospital for Women
Caring Hearts During COVID
When 2020 began, no one would have ever guessed what was in store for the world. Phrases such as social isolation and physical distancing have become part of every day vernacular, phrases that no one had ever considered when the year began.
When the pandemic reached Edmonton, longtime supporters of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Collin and Sherry Prince turned their attention to the mental health of Royal Alex doctors, nurses and staff.
“We made out like bandits,” said Collin Prince.
Before the restrictions now in place regarding outside food provided to staff at AHS facilities, the Prince’s were able to
step up and share their support through a donation of goods.
“We bought enough snacks and water to fill the car,” said Prince.
In addition, their haul included a few handwritten cards that they delivered to the Alex and had passed along to the hospital’s Emergency Command Centre by Foundation staff.
“We wanted the staff to know that we were thinking of them and that we appreciate them,” said Prince. “We hope that it helped lift their spirits.”
Thank you so much, Collin and Sherry, for your generosity and your caring nature and kind support of staff at the Royal Alex. Together we will get through this!
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation CEO Sharlene Rutherford and other Foundation staff members make the delivery of handwritten cards, snacks and water courtesy of the Prince family to grateful Royal Alex Emergency Command Centre staff.
“We made out like bandits, with enough snacks and water to fill the car. We are thrilled to be able to give hand written cards, water and snacks to let the staff know that we were thinking of them and that we appreciate them.”
Collin and Sherry Prince
Blooming With Grace
Vivian Mendes spent many years walking the hallways and caring for patients of the Royal Alexandra Hospital, 50 years to be exact!
She held many roles including unit manager, supervisor, clinical instructor and most recently as a current member and past president of the RAH Women’s Auxiliary — a volunteer group dedicated to creating a better healthcare experience for all.
“Vivian has always been passionate about making the hospital experience for patients and their families the best it can be,” said Gloria Bauer, current president of the auxiliary.
The Women’s Auxiliary plays a significant role in all of the green spaces throughout the hospital, including Vivian’s Garden, a place of calm and beauty found on the second floor of the main building, and recently named in Mendes’ honour.
“Vivian provided an enormous amount of leadership and was the driving force behind the garden revitalization projects at the Royal Alex for both the Ted and Lois Hole Healing Garden and the Atrium Garden,” said Bauer.
The revitalization and dedication of Vivian’s Garden was part of the auxiliary’s 120th-anniversary celebrated throughout 2019. Updates to the garden included trimming the trees to allow for more natural light to permeate, bringing in new plants and soil, and establishing a five-year plan to ensure garden maintenance.
The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation is proud to partner with the auxiliary to recognize Vivian’s contributions to healthcare excellence at our hospital through the naming of the Atrium Garden.
Vivian Mendes at the dedication of Vivian’s Garden in the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
“Vivian Mendes provided an enormous amount of leadership and was the driving force behind the garden revitalization projects at the Royal Alex for both the Ted and Lois Hole Healing Garden and the Atrium Garden. The revitalization and dedication of Vivian’s Garden was part of the auxiliary’s 120th-anniversary celebrated throughout 2019.”
Gloria Bauer, President, RAH Women’s Auxiliary
The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation announces a $1 million donation to the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation for the purchase of a Positron Emission Tomography and Computer Tomography scanner.
“The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF) is proud to support the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation in the funding of their campaign to bring a PET/CT Scanner to the hospital. The EOCF is proud to continue its legacy of supporting health and wellness initiatives, and finding long-term solutions to build strong, vibrant and safe communities. This scanner will ensure that patients in Oil Country are getting the best possible care in order to recover and thrive.”
Janet Riopel, Board Chair, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation
City Centre Mall Opening Doors
for Mental Health
In November of 2019, the Edmonton City Centre Mall planned and orchestrated an in-mall two-month fundraising and awareness-building campaign in support of the recently opened Addictions and Mental Health Access 24/7 clinic located at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
The Mall kicked off the 2019 holiday fundraising campaign by hosting a midday event in the newly redesigned food court on the Mall’s third level that incorporated food tastings, aerial artists and a photo booth. Later in December a Holiday Heart Market was offered on the Mall’s lower level, which revealed an incredible floor mural in support of the campaign.
The clinic provides one point of access to mental health, and addiction supports 24 hours a day, seven days per week for patients and families who need it most.
“It was a pleasure to support such a great cause, and we admire all the work and commitment from everyone at both the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation in collaboration,” said Minla Sadasiwan, Marketing Manager for Edmonton City Centre Mall.
The 24/7 support line is 780.424.2424. For more information on how to access services,
please click here.
Moving For Change
The Monds family raised over $35,000 at the first annual Give a Breath Run in support of lung cancer research and treatment.
After his lung cancer diagnosis, Tim Monds began a personal mission to spread awareness about lung cancer causes, care and the research needed to improve patient outcomes for those faced with the horrible disease.
His goal was to build awareness that lung cancer is not just a smoking cancer, and he is living proof of that.
“My desire to spread awareness continues to this day. Last year, with the support of my family, we created the Give a Breath Walk/Run,” said Monds. “My family and I all chipped in to host the first year of the race in 2019, and we raised over $34,000 for the cause.”
The Monds family’s dream was to make the race an annual event that would build upon the funds and awareness each year.
The exceptional results of year one set the stage for an incredible event to take place in June 2020, however after the COVID-19 outbreak happened plans had to change.
The Monds family, not to be defeated, made a quick decision to adjust the race day and format to be hosted as a virtual run in August 2020 instead. “We didn’t want to give up on the momentum we built in 2019,” said Monds. “With the support of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, we adjusted the registration and are now encouraging racers to register and fundraise, with plans to run safely, on their own, but together in spirit this summer.”
The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation would like to say thank you to the Monds family for their dedication to this important cause. Sign up today to join them in their efforts to create earlier detection methods and improved treatment options for lung cancer patients in the future.
For many, lung cancer is diagnosed at a late stage, making it a challenging disease to treat or control. Race participants and donors will be providing critical funds that support lung cancer research and early detection strategies at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, with support from the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation in partnership with the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
The virtual race will be held on August 8, 2020. Join the race or donate today to a runner in support of lung cancer research here.
“My desire to spread awareness around the need to fund lung cancer care and research continues to evolve and includes the creation of the Give a Breath Walk/Run. My family and I joined together with the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation to start the event in 2019, and our dream of making it an annual event to raise funds and awareness for lung cancer is coming true as we are currently planning for 2020.”
Tim Monds, Royal Alexandra Hospital patient and Co-Founder of the Give a Breath Walk/Run
Lifted Through Loss
When Ryan and Chantal Denis found out that they were pregnant with their first child, a baby girl, in the summer of 2018, they were thrilled.
“It was a dream pregnancy,” said Chantal Denis, “I had the typical horrible morning sickness, and we took a baby-moon to Scotland to celebrate. Everything seemed perfect and normal until I was 30 weeks along.”
On February 4, 2019, Chantal went in for an ultrasound in Sherwood Park and was quickly informed that she needed to travel to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for further testing. A month’s worth of tests and appointments with different specialists soon followed.
“There were multiple complications,” said Ryan Denis. “It seemed that every appointment or test that we had came with more bad news, and I got to the point that I started hoping for a parent’s worst nightmare, that she would have down syndrome or something like that because then she could at least come home.”
Sadly, it soon became clear that baby Eva would not survive. On March 3, 2019, Chantal and Ryan both welcomed and sadly said goodbye to their baby girl.
“We made the decision early on in this journey that we wanted the day that Eva was born to be a joyful, happy day,” said Chantal. “There would be time to mourn later, and we didn’t want her to know pain or sadness. Only love and happiness, and that is what we did. The day that she was born was honestly a beautiful day.”
During this harrowing month, Chantal and Ryan were connected with Pattie Walker, who leads the regional Perinatal Bereavement Program at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.
“When we left the hospital after we lost Eva, Pattie gave us this little box of mementoes, and it became the most valuable treasure to us. We want to ensure that other parents experience this as well.”
Friends and family of Ryan and Chantal’s came together to raise more than $12,000 in support of the program that helped them through their loss.
“We had such an amazing team at the Royal Alex that took care of us physically, mentally and emotionally. We never felt forgotten or that we had slipped through the cracks. The level of comprehensive care that we received was amazing and will stay with us for a lifetime.”
Throughout their pregnancy and through the loss of Eva, Ryan and Chantal Denis always felt supported by the compassionate care from the staff of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.
“We had such an amazing team at the Royal Alex that took care of us physically, mentally and emotionally. We never felt forgotten or that we had slipped through the cracks, even afterward. The level of comprehensive care that we received was amazing and will always stay with us.”
Chantal & Ryan Denis
Giving Back & Looking Forward
“It amazes me how many people do not take their eye health seriously. I was diagnosed with eye cancer in 2018 because my optometrist found irregularities in my eye. I live in Vermilion and had to travel to Calgary to access the CLARUS 700 camera. I am proud to be a donor to the campaign that brought this amazing piece of equipment for patients like me to the Eye Institute of Alberta.”
Arielle Farkash, Patient of the Eye Institute of Alberta and supporter of the CLARUS 700 campaign.
After being diagnosed with and treated for eye cancer in 2018 Arielle Farkash became a donor to the Eye Institute of Alberta.
Teaching an Old Drug New Tricks
Medicine is constantly changing and evolving. New technology, treatments and medicines are being developed at a rapid pace and new studies are being undertaken. But it is not always something new that can make a big impact.
That is what happened when local research discovered a new use for an old drug. Doxycycline is an antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections. However, local research has discovered that taking one of these pills can actually help reduce the size of a heart attack.
When a person has a heart attack, inflammatory proteins called MMPs become activated. These proteins cause additional damage to the heart often leading to a weakening of the heart and other possible complications.
That is where Doxycycline can help. This pill inhibits the MMP enzyme leading to a fuller recovery and better heart health.
Cardiologist Dr. Ben Tyrrell and his team at the CK Hui Heart Centre, funded in part by the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, have begun a clinical study into this discovery with a program within the Vital Heart Program.
“It’s a really interesting trial,” says Dr. Tyrrell, “Doxycycline is an inexpensive antibiotic that has been around for a long time that we are using for its other effects.”
The clinical trial started on January 1, 2020, and so far has six patients enrolled.
“It’s a good start,” says Tyrrell, “We have about 500 major heart attack patients come through the Royal Alex every year and we hope to have 170 patients involved in this study by the end of the year.”
Dr. Tyrrell and his team at the CK Hui Heart Centre are proving that you don’t always need something new to make a big difference through their use of an antibiotic medication to reduce the severity of a heart attack.
“Medicine is constantly changing and evolving, but it is not always something new that can make a big impact. Our local research recently discovered a new use for an old drug. Doxycycline is an antibiotic medication used to treat bacterial infections. We are currently researching the effectiveness of taking one of these pills to help reduce the size of a heart attack.”
Dr. Ben Tyrrell, Cardiologist, CK Hui Heart Centre
The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation is accredited by Imagine Canada for excellence and compliance in five key areas of operations: Board Governance, Financial Accountability and Transparency. Fundraising, Staff Management, and Volunteer Involvement.
Canadian Charitable Registration Number: 11912 6217 RR0001