BRIDGES TO BETTER CARE
ANNUAL REPORT
2020-2021

Bridge_Icons_v2-01
Bridge_Icons-02 (1)
Bridge_Iconsv3-03

Bridges to Systemic Change

Our lives are shaped by the experiences of our time. And right now, we’re living in the most unprecedented of them—informed by large and profound movements that are well beyond one province and a single health authority or, for that matter, a single hospital campus.

Movements framed in calls for socio, economic, and political equity; women-specific health and research equity; and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Calls for purposeful change, long overdue, are resounding. Layer on the double health crisis of an unrelenting global pandemic and daily deaths from opioid poisoning and we are hard pressed to find a more compelling time as now in recent history.

As a leader of a major health foundation blessed to work with a vast and diverse community of donors, I recognize that our hospital is both steeped in these issues and positioned to contribute to solving them. The Royal Alexandra Hospital campus, situated on the triangular tract of land defined geographically between Kingsway Avenue and 111th Street, is a location for big solves.

That’s because it’s a place where some of society’s greatest complexities are found.

Race, ethnicity, income, and gender can and do shape social determinants of health. They influence how individuals access the health system and, ultimately, their ability to live a healthy life. In an equitable society, the distribution of society’s benefits, including those of health, are not skewed by race, income, or gender.

The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, in its mission to support excellence in care for all Albertans, supports the life-changing work of the Royal Alex. As you read this annual report, consider the narratives and how closely they align with or directly bridge to a solution. This is a hospital that strives for equity and equality and supports the continued strive for justice and fairness in all social systems. It also strives for and continually reaches the highest echelons of excellence in acute care, despite the ongoing challenges of an aging infrastructure.

Thank you to our donors for what you continue to enable here. Your generous contributions ignite the talent, skill, and knowledge of our healthcare teams, who are the engine of significant change and progress. As it turns out, these wins impact change well beyond the inside of the hospital and bridge out to our city, province, and country—resulting in a more equitable space for all.

Sincerely,

Sharlene Rutherford
President & CEO
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation

A Message From
Our Chair

Dr. Zaheer Lakhani, Board Chair for 2020

A few words from Dr. Zaheer Lakhani, our Board Chair for the past two years, about the power of donors standing by our side, providing steadfast support, and leaving tangible reminders that we are not alone.

What's Inside?

  • Crossing From The Unknown Into The Known

    In February 2021, after several years of passionate campaigning, much anticipation, and an historic $3.5 million fundraising campaign, the Royal Alexandra Hospital launched its newly purchased PET/CT scanner into full operation.

    READ STORY

  • What is the LUCAS Pump?

    Not only does the hospital’s new LUCAS device perform more consistent, effective chest compressions, doctors and researchers have found that it is also safer and more efficient to use when treating COVID patients.

    READ STORY

  • Thank You to Donors from Our Frontline

    Messages of gratitude from staff on the very frontlines of care—listen to one of our nurses, one of our program managers, one of our protective services leads, and one of our physicians.

    READ STORY

  • A Thank You from Our Senior Leaders

    Two of our site’s senior leaders, Janie Clink and Dr. Colin Peterson, share their perspective and our hospital’s collective appreciation for our donors and the monumental difference they’ve made in the fight against COVID-19.

    READ STORY

  • “Give a Breath” Second Virtual Walk/Run Breathes Life into Lung Cancer Detention and Research

    With support from his family and friends, Tim Monds started the Give a Breath 5k three years ago to raise funds and awareness for lung cancer research—a disease he is currently battling.

    READ STORY

  • Partnerships—Working Together with Community Agencies & Organizations

    While the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation performs independent fundraising campaigns for certain programs and equipment for the site, we are often just one piece of the puzzle.

    READ STORY

  • CK Hui Heart Centre—A Decade of Cardiac Excellence

    As former Chief of Cardiology Dr. William Hui steps into retirement his contributions and leadership are honoured and recognized.

    READ STORY

  • Harvest Celebration—Online and On-Air

    Every year, we look forward to hosting the Harvest Celebrationone of the city’s most entertaining and heartwarming fundraising galas. While we recently had to pivot away from an in-person gathering, the silver lining (or should we say, purple lining?) is that the newly-digital televised program now reaches about ten times more Albertans, from an even wider swath of the province!

    READ STORY

  • Bridging the Many Gaps in Women’s Research and Healthcare

    Celebrating the successes of the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation in their inaugural year. The AWHF was created to support the advancement of care in women’s health, and to help bridge the urgent gaps within women’s health research, an area historically underfunded and sometimes nonexistent.

    READ STORY

  • Newly Funded OBIX System Connects Mothers And Babies With Their Doctors—and Keeps Them Closer To Their Families

    The Lois Hole Hospital has recently become home to new software that helps expectant mothers spend as much time as possible at home, away from the hospital, while still receiving top-quality perinatal care. What the OBIX system provides is real-time remote monitoring for mom and baby, connected to specialists at the Lois Hole.

    READ STORY

  • Uniting Women in the Spirit of Better Healthcare

    Standing tall behind the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and providing crucial support is a very special group of influential women—the members of the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society. The new Chair of the society, Lisa Diamond, shares her enthusiasm for the group’s work and highlights some of the latest initiatives.

    READ STORY

  • A Steeper Climb For One Of Our Hospital’s Own

    Tracee Pratt has been proudly serving as Executive Director of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, leading and inspiring teams to provide the type of care and healing for which the hospital is known. Now she has found herself in new territory, facing a chilling diagnosis that has transitioned her from hospital leadership to hospital patient.

    READ STORY

  • A Bridge in Bloom

    Through the simple act of selling flowers, Save-On-Foods has found a beautiful way to support women’s health.

    READ STORY

  • Eye Institute of Alberta Team Creates New Vision-Saving Treatment Pathway for Ocular Stroke

    Thanks to the advocacy of a team of doctors, the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation was able to help fund the acquisition of a Fundus Camera, a specialized low power microscope with an attached camera, which will assist emergency physicians in identifying ocular strokes in patients.

    READ STORY

  • Philanthropy: An Act Worthy of Consideration by All

    Ophthalmologists support professional development and education, residency programs, and other staff-related development opportunities at the Eye Institute of Alberta.

    READ STORY

ROYAL ALEXANDRA HOSPITAL

April 2020 – March 2021

CROSSING FROM THE UNKNOWN INTO THE KNOWN

A very young Dianne McMurray—now Director of the Diagnostic Imaging department at the Royal Alex—on a trip with her family. Sadly, Dianne’s own mother is someone whose story might have been different if a PET/CT scanner had been available during her healthcare journey.

A PET/CT scanner is an incredible, next-gen imaging system that allows physicians to identify diseases in their earliest stages and determine their exact locations.

With our new PET/CT scanner, wait times for access to necessary treatment will drastically decrease, leading to healthier, happier patients and more success stories. Saving lives and saving time.

A PET/CT scanner is an incredible, next-gen imaging system that allows physicians to identify diseases in their earliest stages and determine their exact locations. Using an extremely advanced camera, it images the body at the molecular level, providing diagnostic information unattainable through traditional medical imaging systems. 

This means doctors can find potentially life-threatening issues before symptoms occur or abnormalities can be detected with other medical tests.

These diseases include cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, or neurological disorders, and other medical conditions. This new PET/CT scanner will empower medical care providers to detect, diagnose, and treat a wider range of health problems. From a research and training perspective, it will be particularly effective for our radiologists and neurologists.

And even more good news for patients—the scan is quick, painless, and non-invasive. 

 The Royal Alex’s new scanner is now Canada’s highest resolution digital PET/CT system, which will be used as a lead diagnostic tool within Alberta Health Services and have a remarkable impact on the advancement of healthcare in Edmonton and northern Canada. Thanks to this latest technological acquisition, the Royal Alex will be able to treat more patients, with more accuracy. 

In the past, we have heard stories like Dianne McMurray’swhose mother Janet, a seasoned registered nurse, needed a PET/CT scan to determine whether a spot on lung was cancerous. Janet had to wait two months for a PET/CT scan, which was unavailable at the Royal Alex at the time, exceeding the expected wait time of ten days. Janet died the day after her results finally came back. While the results of the scan were negative and Janet did not have cancer, her daughter Dianne wonders if better access to a PET/CT scan would have led to a different outcome for her momless anxiety, less agony, and a more relaxing last few months with her family. 

 With our new PET/CT scanner, wait times for access to necessary treatment will drastically decrease, leading to healthier, happier patients and more success stories. Saving lives and saving time. 

 This dream would not have become a reality without the support of our amazing donors all over Alberta. A sincere thank-you to everyone who contributed to the campaignyou made this happen! A particularly heartfelt shout-out to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation for their donation of one million dollars towards the purchase of the PET/CT scannera genuinely life changing gift to the Royal Alexandra Hospital. 

What is PET/CT?

What is the LUCAS Pump?

Not only does the hospital’s new LUCAS device perform more consistent, effective chest compressions, doctors and researchers have found that it is also safer and more efficient to use when treating COVID patients.

Thanks to CP, New LUCAS Chest Compression Device Saves Patients and Doctors Alike

A COVID patient is placed in the prone position to allow for better breathing during their treatment. The patient deteriorates and requires resuscitation.

WITHOUT the LUCAS Pump

The patient gets turned into the supine position (“supinate” first approach) so they may receive chest compressions. Flipping the patient takes more time and may cause worsen the patients condition.

A physician must then do chest compressions manually.

Manual compressions increase the risk of exposing the physician to COVID due to the close proximity of the patient and their breathing.

WITH the LUCAS Pump

The patient stays in the prone position so the LUCAS pump may perform the chest compressions. With the LUCAS pump there is less delay for resuscitation because there is no need to change the patient’s position.

The LUCAS pump performs the chest compressions more consistently and effectively. This frees up the physician who would otherwise be doing the chest compressions.

Thank You to Donors from Our Frontline

Messages of gratitude from staff on the very frontlines of care—listen to one of our nurses, one of our program managers, one of our protective services leads, and one of our physicians.

Click the Play Buttons for messages from our Frontline Workers

Pat

Manager, Medicine Program,
Royal Alexandra Hospital

Will

Team lead with protective services,
Royal Alexandra Hospital

Dr. Bakshi

Internal Medicine Physician,
Royal Alexandra Hospital

COVID-19 STATISTICS

April 2020 – March 2021

"Give a Breath" Second Virtual Walk/Run Breathes Life into Lung Cancer Detention and Research

Founder of the walk/run, Tim Monds, stands with members of his family ahead of the 2019 event.

2021 Thank you from Tim Monds, Founder of the Give a Breath Run

Participants in the Give a Breath Run

As it’s been said, if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer.

Fortunately, there are many heroes working and campaigning behind the scenes to raise funds to combat this horrendous disease, and to remove the stigma that it’s ‘just a smoker’s disease.’

Led by Founder Tim Monds (a non-smoker who has an ongoing battle with lung cancer), this year’s virtual Give a Breath 5k walk/run was the third annual and second virtual edition of the event.

This year’s race saw 166 registrants come together from all across Canada, all in the name of lung cancer research. The event succeeded in raising more than $25,000, resulting in the three-year total reaching over $100,000!!!

These funds will be used to support lung cancer research and advancements in early detection methods for the devastating disease currently being explored at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

The event succeeded in raising more than $25,000, resulting in the three-year total reaching over $100,000!

“Thank you for supporting Give a Breath and the research and the amazing work being done towards lung cancer research, we appreciate everyone’s participation and donations!” said Tim Monds, Founder of the Give a Breath 5k walk/run.

Despite the success of 2021’s walk/run, cancer research and treatment centres continue to need our help and the team forges ahead in its mission to improve methods for early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, currently being funded by the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation in partnership with the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

The dream is for the walk/run to become a provincial-wide movement that raises funds and awareness for lung cancer research, and continues to break down the stigma.

Please save the date for next year’s Give A Breath 5k run/walk, set for June 4th, 2022!

A Thank You from Our Senior Leaders

On behalf of the Royal Alexandra Hospital physicians, midwives and staff we want to share our immense gratitude for the support donors have provided over the past year. When we look back at the last fiscal year that began in April of 2020 it is hard to process how much all of us have endured. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a life-altering effect on everyone, but perhaps no one has been more affected than the medical teams who are on the front lines of the response, which includes those who work at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. The wear and tear the pandemic has had on our physicians and staff is hard to articulate, yet even today, nearly two years later, they continue to march on.

Our message to each and every donor is simple, thank you, thank you, thank you. Your contributions, big or small, make an incredible difference not only in our ability to obtain the necessary equipment our staff needs to care for patients but also in our physicians, midwives and staff’s ability to continue on. Knowing the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation donors are behind them makes each difficult day just a little bit easier to handle. Thank you for your support once again.

Sincerely,

Janie Clink
Senior Operating Officer,
Royal Alexandra Hospital

Dr. Colin Peterson
Interim Facility Medical Director,
Royal Alexandra Hospital

Partnerships

Working Together with Community Agencies & Organizations

While the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation performs independent fundraising campaigns for certain programs and equipment for the site, we are often just one piece of the puzzle. We collaborate and cooperate with a variety of generous groups and organizations who provide large-scale donations, grants, and support for a variety of initiatives. We are pleased to highlight a few of our trusted partners who lent major support this past year.

The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation generously donated $2.2 M to Operation Frontline Impact, benefiting 40 foundations, including the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation. These funds went to support our frontline healthcare workers through one of the most challenging periods of the pandemic, helping by addressing their mental health and distress.

The Royal Alexandra Hospital became a proud grantee of the McConnell Foundation’s Nourish Food Rx: COVID-19 Patient Food Security Fund in the amount of $50,000. The goal of this grant is to help improve access
to culturally appropriate food for Indigenous populations. Through the Indigenous Health Program, the RAHF chose to extend a portion of the funds to several local community partners, including Native Counseling Services of Alberta (NCSA) and Ambrose Place, to support and expand existing programming.

The Bissell Centre and Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation are two organizations with shared goals and visions for supporting the health and wellness of Albertans, in particular those going through the most challenging circumstances. The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation is a regular supporter of Bissell-led programs like The Coldest Night of the Year event, and the Bissell Centre is often a key contributor in community programs from the Royal Alex for supporting those in the city experiencing homelessness.

The Royal Alexandra Hospital also became a proud recipient of a grant from the Heyoka Healing Society. The grant’s aim is to address systemic gaps that Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited persons face when being discharged from a hospital setting, as well as when attempting to engage with healthcare resources. Through this partnership the foundation hopes to enable an ease of referral from the hospital site, inclusive of women’s programs and units, medicine units, and Indigenous programs and clinics to Indigenous-focused, community-based services, provided by the Heyoka Healing Society.

CK Hui Heart Centre

A Decade of Cardiac Excellence

Walking the Path of Leadership

As former Chief of Cardiology Dr. William Hui steps into retirement his contributions and leadership are honoured and recognized.

It has been said that the function of a great leader is to inspire others to learn more, do more and become more. By that definition and many others, Dr. William Hui was a case study in leadership. 

During his tenure, Dr. Hui provided leadership in building a nationally acclaimed program, leadership in education and mentoring, and leadership in advancing cardiac care in the province.

It has been a decade since the doors to the CK Hui Heart Centre opened with Dr. William Hui at its helm as one of the long-standing leaders on the cardiac team at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

“The official opening of the CK Hui Heart Centre on May 2nd, 2011, and the arrival of our first patients on May 16th marked a new era in heart care at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. It was a day that everyone on our cardiology team will forever remember,” said Dr. Hui. “The CK Hui Heart Centre consolidates all of the important cardiac services at the Royal Alexandra Hospital under one roof and cares for thousands of cardiac patients each year.”

“It is our patients that are at the heart of everything we do. These are the people who touch us, motivate us, and inspire us the most, and it was an honour to be the leader of this centre of cardiac excellence when it opened and to practice here ever since,” said Dr. Hui.

As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the CK Hui Heart Centre, we also celebrate the man whose family the centre was named after.

“Dr. Hui was a dream chief to work with,” said Andrew Otway, former President and CEO of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation. “I recall the early days of the master plan and functional programming when Dr. Hui jumped in and guided the planners and architects in what became the CK Hui Heart Centre in the Robbins Pavilion. Dr. Hui insisted that the health authority build upon best practices demonstrated at other world-class facilities, and it is because of him that we have the incredible heart centre today.”

“Dr. Hui was committed to ensuring this facility was designed to his very high standards, high standards to ensure the very best of treatment and care for the patients who would rely on it for many years to come,” said Otway.

As a result, the facility holds artistic beauty and a sense of holistic healing. The stunning physical environment with its open spaces, natural lighting and inspiring artwork was a welcomed addition to the Royal Alex campus for all those who frequent its halls. It is in those halls that Dr. Hui’s legacy will forever be remembered.

Thank you, Dr. Hui, for all you have done for the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, our hospital, and most importantly, our patients. Your presence will be deeply missed.

Lois Hole Hospital For Women

April 2020 – March 2021

Harvest Celebration—Online and On-Air

Every year, we look forward to hosting the Harvest Celebrationone of the city’s most entertaining and heartwarming fundraising galas. While we recently had to pivot away from an in-person gathering, the silver lining (or should we say, purple lining?) is that the newly-digital televised program now reaches about ten times more Albertans, from an even wider swath of the province!

Looking back at Harvest Celebration 2020 and 2021

Harvest Celebration looked a bit different in 2020, and in 2021. 

Held virtually for the first time in 2020 due to the pandemic, the annual fundraiser for the Lois Hole Hospital for Women set the stage for a new type of Harvest Celebration. In lieu of an in-person dinner gala, the 2020 edition of the gala aired as a star-studded one-hour TV special on CTV Edmonton. The 2021 fundraiser followed suit the next year, building upon the first virtual event’s successes by bringing new ideas, new faces and new reasons to support Alberta’s only dedicated women’s hospital.

The late Lois Hole—Alberta’s 15th Lieutenant Governor and namesake of the Lois Hole Hospital—herself once said that the hospital represents a “new source of hope, especially for women.”

As seen in the Harvest Celebration 2020 TV program, in 2004 during her last public address Lois Hole went on to share, “Hundreds of Albertans worked very hard to get this project [the Lois Hole Hospital for Women] off the ground and they did so because they wanted to give women from all across western Canada a place where they will receive the very best care, second to none, anywhere.”

We are pleased to share that these virtual editions of the gala very much kept that hope alive.

Thank you again to our donors, sponsors, presenters, artists and entertainers, partners and all those who joined us for both efforts, with an extra special thank you for our Presenting Sponsor, Syncrude, who announced an extremely generous donation of $250,000 during the 2020 campaign.

For both programs, we were fortunate to hear from key healthcare leaders from across the country, our Harvest Co-Chairs, brave former (and current) patients, and several special performers. The 2020 celebration featured famed Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden

While the 2021 program was headlined by the iconic Canadian band, Barenaked Ladies.

In 2020, not only did we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and all of the exceptional care it provides, Harvest Celebration also served as the platform to officially launch an entirely new entity.

In a poignant message delivered by Sharlene Rutherford, President and CEO of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, announced the launch of the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation—a new pan-provincial fundraising brand supporting the advancement of care and research in women’s health.

In 2021, we launched a brand new online 50/50 to accompany Harvest Celebration, to give supporters a chance to win a huge jackpot while supporting the life-saving care that happens at the Lois Hois Hospital every day.

Thank you again to everyone involved, and we hope you’ll join us for the next Harvest Celebration! We are certain we’ll have more important stories and more entertainment to share with you. 

Bridging the Many Gaps in Women’s Research and Healthcare

“As a long-time supporter of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Alberta Blue Cross is proud to partner with Alberta Women’s Health Foundation,” said Dianne Balon, Vice President of Government at Alberta Blue Cross. “It is more important than ever to encourage others to focus their attention on advances to improve health outcomes of all women.”

On International Women’s Day 2021, the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation launched a new fundraising brand, the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation (AWHF). The AWHF was created to support the advancement of care in women’s health, and to help bridge the urgent gaps within women’s health research, an area historically underfunded and sometimes nonexistent. The AWHF seeks to meet the increasing need for funding related to women’s health initiatives through the development of meaningful partnerships across public, private, and philanthropic sectors.

To say the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation has had a successful first eight months is an understatement. 

Starting in March 2021, AWHF launched #RefocusTheResearch, a campaign that challenged Albertans to shift their attention, money, and energy away from women’s external appearances to women’s internal health, using powerful visuals of beauty industry-style ads layered with anatomical imagery. The campaign is designed to raise awareness about the information gap between women’s and men’s health, as women often present symptoms differently when sick, and are often overlooked by the medical system as a result. 

For Mother’s Day, recognizing that the day could be an especially painful date for some women and would-be mothers, the AWHF put out a call for women to share their stories of why it was a difficult day for some to celebrate. With permission, the AWHF gave voice to several of these women, sharing their emotional tales of struggles with infertility, loss of pregnancy, and loss of dreams. Again playing off common retail industry advertising, a social media campaign was launched to encourage people to donate to the AWHF for Mother’s Day and ‘give the gift of health’ instead of only purchasing common presents such as chocolates, jewelry, and the like. These gifts enabled the foundation to continue funding research that improves the lives of women and girls. 

Around the same time, the AWHF launched a survey to measure the effects of the pandemic on women. As many studies show, the pandemic has amounted to a “she-cession” with negative impacts on the finances, childcare, mental health and well-being of women in comparison to men. The AWHF has committed to finding where exactly these gaps exist for Alberta’s women, and giving voice to those who have not been heard.

The AWHF also supports Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI). With over 160 researchers, WCHRI’s projects focus solely on women’s health research excellence dedicated to improving the health and lives of women and children. WCHRI is the only research institute in Canada to focus on both women’s and children’s health, including perinatal health.

Along with WCHRI, The Alberta Women’s Health Foundation and WCHRI became a key founding member of the Women’s Health Collective Canada, a joint effort with Women’s College Hospital Foundation in Toronto and B.C. Women’s Health Foundation in Vancouver to raise more funds for research and increase public awareness about women’s health. 

With the shared vision of raising awareness about the historic gaps in women’s health research, The Alberta Women’s Health Foundation would not have had such a successful first year without the help of the Alberta Blue Cross, the launch sponsor and partner of the AWHF. Through their incredible support, the AWHF has already achieved so much – and this is just the beginning. 

“As a long-time supporter of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, Alberta Blue Cross is proud to partner with Alberta Women’s Health Foundation,”  said Dianne Balon, Vice President of Government at Alberta Blue Cross. “It is more important than ever to encourage others to focus their attention on advances to improve health outcomes of all women.”

Newly Funded OBIX System Connects Mothers And Babies With Their Doctors—and Keeps Them Closer To Their Families

The Lois Hole Hospital has recently become home to new software that helps expectant mothers spend as much time as possible at home, away from the hospital, while still receiving top-quality perinatal care. What the OBIX system provides is real-time remote monitoring for mom and baby, connected to specialists at the Lois Hole.

What is the OBIX Perinatal Interface System?

An expectant mother living outside Edmonton experiences an unknown difficulty with her pregnancy. She visits her local health center for an assessment.

WITHOUT the OBIX System

The local physician does an assessment and determines the issue is too high-risk to handle on-site, and recommends she receives treatment at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.

The expectant mother is transported to the Lois Hole, which can take hours depending on where she lives. She receives care at the Lois Hole and must stay there for days, weeks or months for monitoring, depending on her condition.

Unfortunately, it is difficult for her family to visit during monitoring. Since her support system is less available, her mental health may be impacted.

WITH the OBIX System

With the OBIX system, the expectant mother’s medical records are sent to specialists at the Lois Hole and fetal heart surveillance data is shared in real time.

The local physician and the Lois Hole physicians can collaborate to determine the best path of treatment—which means the expectant mother is able to receive a higher level of prenatal care at her local centre, closer to home.

Remote monitoring can happen at home or her local health center, making it much easier for family and friends to visit and provide needed support.

Uniting Women in the Spirit of Better Healthcare

Standing tall behind the Lois Hole Hospital for Women is a very special group of influential women—the members of the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society. This group of selfless, community-minded and passionate women have dedicated countless hours raising awareness and important funds for a variety of initiatives at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. 

Perpetually committed to advocating for excellence in women’s health and wellbeing, these women resolved to not let the effects of COVID-19 dampen their efforts. They resolved to overcome challenges presented by the pandemic by leveraging their collective creativity, innovation, and partnership.

Throughout 2021, the Women’s Society continued to host their critically important What The Health: Mind and Body Talks lecture series online. From September to June, each month What The Health covered a variety of topics related to women’s physical and mental health, spanning a variety of topical, contemporary subject matter, from menopause to gender identity and talking to teens about sexuality. 

The lectures allow women a safe space to ask questions, get answers and get personal. 

What The Health would not be possible without the support of Alberta Blue Cross, the main  sponsor of the What the Health Series. We thank and commend Alberta Blue Cross for continuing to uplift and advocate for advancements in women’s healthcare.

“I am thrilled and excited to be a part of this amazing and growing group of dedicated society members. My passion for advancements in women’s health adds so much happiness to my life.”

Lisa Diamond, Chair of the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society

One of the newest and most innovative philanthropic projects added in 2021 would be Bid & Benefit, the society’s first-ever virtual auction. In its inaugural launch, the auction raised $6,834.00 for the Lois Hole Hospital for Women!

The Women’s Society also created a new collaborative initiative by partnering with So Pretty, Cara Cotter, a beloved Edmonton jeweler, and other notable creators to create the Hope Box.  Featuring gorgeous goodies from local artists and makers such as Pura Botanicals, Justine Ma, and LD Designs. All proceeds from the sale of this artisanal collection of goods have been going to benefit the women’s society.

This year marked another major evolution in the Women’s Society in the form of new leadership. The society welcomed none other than Lisa Diamond, a longtime volunteer and founding member of the society, as the newest Chair of the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society!

“I am thrilled and excited to be a part of this amazing and growing group of dedicated society members. My passion for advancements in women’s health adds so much happiness to my life. To me, it is of utmost importance to support the Lois Hole Hospital we are so lucky to have here in Edmonton. We are fortunate to have a specified hospital for not only women’s health and care, but also for research. And now I have been given the amazing opportunity to lead and guide the society for what I hope will be a tenure full of many fundraising opportunities to support the women that deserve and require the use of our wonderful facility.”

While the women of the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society generously volunteer their time, energy and expertise, the group acknowledges that the society would not be what it is without the support of their donors—especially those who have committed to giving on a monthly basis. It is these supporters who form the foundation for the society’s pursuit of advancing women’s healthcare and making a world of difference.

A Steeper Climb For One Of Our Hospital’s Own

Tracee Pratt has been proudly serving as Executive Director of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, leading and inspiring teams to provide the type of care and healing for which the hospital is known. Now she has found herself in new territory, facing a chilling diagnosis that has transitioned her from hospital leadership to hospital patient. Her new hope is to stay strong on her journey to return to her team and her role at the hospital, and share her newly gained wisdom and perspective from the other side.

Tracee Pratt, Executive Director, Lois Hole Hospital for Women and Sharlene Rutherford, President and CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation

A Bridge In Bloom

Through the simple act of selling flowers, Save-On-Foods has found a beautiful way to support women’s health. 

Every year around Mother’s Day, Save-On-Foods launches a campaign called “Bunches of Love” flowers, where 100 percent of net proceeds are donated to women’s health programs across Western Canada. The “Bunches of Love” campaign helps drive crucial advancements in women’s health and wellness for women all across the country.

 The Lois Hole Hospital for Women was again fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries from the Bunches of Love campaign, this year receiving $18,000 in donations! These funds go towards investments in critical equipment needs, research and training, helping the Lois Hole provide the best possible care for all the women who come through its doors. 

“This is just such a lovely campaign and gesture from Save-On-Foods, going the extra mile to support mothers and women all across Canada, and reminding us that supporting women’s health is just as important as ever—if not more than ever, ” said Sharlene Rutherford, President and CEO of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation.

“Given the difficulties of the pandemic and the past year, we are so appreciative of Save-On-Foods for their continued support, and so glad we have such strong partners beside us, standing up for women and women’s health,” Rutherford continued. “On behalf of everyone at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, thank you, Save-On-Foods.” 

Eye Institute of Alberta

April 2020 – March 2021

Eye Institute of Alberta Team Creates New Vision-Saving Treatment Pathway for Ocular Stroke

I believe this will be a new standard of care for treating ocular stroke. Our goal is to have a Fundus camera at every emergency site in Alberta where an ophthalmologist can be consulted.”

The window of opportunity to treat an ocular stroke is only about 4.5 hours.   

Characterized by the sudden onset of one’s vision going completely black in one eye, an ocular stroke is a serious medical condition often leading to permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Patients who suffer from ocular stroke are often unaware of other serious medical conditions which need urgent treatment, and are at a higher risk of brain stroke. As an ocular stroke affects vision without other symptoms or pain, many who experience one often do not visit the emergency room, opting to see a family doctor or optometrist and miss the crucial time frame in which clot-dissolving treatment can be provided in an attempt to save their vision. Once this window has elapsed, patients often receive the news that their loss of sight is irreversible.

Thanks to the advocacy of an interdisciplinary team of ophthalmologists, neurologists and emergency medical professionals, the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation provided funds to install a fundus camera for the ER department to detect ocular strokes early. A fundus camera is a specialized camera designed to photograph the retina which is the eye’s interior surface, acting like the film of the camera. The fundus camera is also equipped with OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) technology to image the microscopic layers of the retina and detect the earliest changes when the blood supply to the retina is lost. 

As vision loss may have many causes, this user-friendly camera helps ER physicians and ophthalmologists determine swiftly and accurately whether an ocular stroke has occurred. As an added bonus, the fundus camera can also be used to diagnose a variety of other serious eye-related health issues such as a detached retina, diabetic retinopathy, pressure on the optic nerve, and cancers of the eye—thanks to the camera’s advanced imaging system.

Spearheaded by Dr. Imran Jivraj and two ophthalmology residents, Drs. Matt Benson and Meghan Smith, the team created a pathway to treat ocular stroke in the emergency room to catch ocular strokes in patients sooner, avoiding vision loss as much as possible. “It’s devastating to see people come in with vision loss with little we can do about it if they’ve missed the window of opportunity for treatment.” Dr. Jivraj said. “With this new pathway, patients presenting symptoms of an ocular stroke will have the eye evaluated right away by ER doctors, ophthalmologists and neurologists on-call who can work together to decide the best course of treatment to help save a patient’s vision.” 

The fundus camera is due for installation in the Royal Alex emergency department later this year, making it one of Canada’s first ER departments to have this type of emergency ophthalmic imaging system. The Eye Stroke Pathway is the first of its kind in Canada. The ER staff at the Royal Alex were thrilled at how easy the fundus camera is to use and how it captures excellent photographs of the retina within minutes. The fundus camera is roughly the size of a desktop computer and, outside of a few bright flashes of light, is non-invasive to patients.  

There has already been interest and excitement about the fundus camera and this new ER pathway program in other medical sites across Alberta, including a hospital in Calgary that wishes to adopt the same pathway program for their ER. “I believe this will be a new standard of care for treating ocular stroke. Our goal is to have a fundus camera at every emergency site in Alberta and expand the Eye Stroke Pathway,” said. Dr. Jivraj. 

“There are so many people to thank for making this pathway program a reality. Particularly Meghan Smith and Matt Benson, the two stellar residents who have worked tirelessly to move this program forward, as well as our emergency medicine and stroke neurology colleagues at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.” 

Dr. Jivraj also has some words of thanks for the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation: “This project could so easily have lost momentum without funding. Ultimately getting funding for a project like this breathes life into a program that will help diagnose eye problems early and at a treatable stage before vision loss becomes irreversible. We are so grateful for the Royal Alex Foundation.”

Philanthropy: An Act Worthy of Consideration by All

Physician giving is alive and well at the Eye Institute of Alberta. The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Enhancement Fund is a perfect example of how ophthalmologists at the Institute improve patients’ lives in their greatest moment of need by investing in education and training.

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Enhancement Fund supports professional development and education, residency programs, and other staff-related development opportunities. Multiple ophthalmologists, including Dr. Matthew Tennant, support the fund and do so with great pride.

“I’ve worked at many hospitals during my career, but the Eye Institue of Alberta, found within the Royal Alex Hospital, is an exceptional place,” said Tennant. “The Alex is an inner-city hospital that takes amazing care of people from all walks of life, and those of us who work here know just how special it is.”

The Eye Institute of Alberta is the only hospital-based comprehensive eye treatment centre in northern Alberta and home to the University of Alberta’s Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Tennant and his colleagues feel incredibly grateful to the call the Institute their home base.

“I was lucky enough to do my residency in ophthalmology at the Alex, and I continue to practice at the Alex today. In the past, I served as the department’s residency training director, so I am intimately aware of the value of continued training and education,” said Tennant. “When called upon to support our current and future ophthalmologists by funding ongoing training and education, it is my pleasure to do so. I believe it is important to invest in this incredible centre of eye health excellence that I have the sincere pleasure of calling my home.”

When physicians become donors, they motivate and empower others in the Royal Alex community to give. Thank you to Dr. Tennant and his peers for leading by example, showing our hospital community that they view philanthropy as an act worthy of everyone’s consideration.

Ophthalmologists support professional development and education, residency programs, and other staff-related development opportunities at the Eye Institute of Alberta.

Board of Directors

  • Dr. Zaheer Lakhani

    CM, FRCP
    Chair

    For our loved ones to get the medical care each one of us deserves, all of us have a role to play. The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation Board is a group of community volunteers  who really want you, and those you love, to receive the BEST tertiary care if and when it is ever needed.

  • George Coon

    FCPA, FCMA, ICD.D, CFP
    Vice-Chair

    I met with the CEO in 2012 to discuss joining one of the board committees as a community member. I wanted to give back to my community but was interested in learning more about the foundation and health care. My earlier experiences with hospitals were not positive so finding a chance to have a different experience was something that appealed to me. My volunteer work with the Foundation has been incredible and I am so proud of the difference the organization has made. Thank you to our donors, the staff of Royal Alex Hospital Foundation and to the staff and physicians at the Royal Alex who have given so much to our community.

  • Dr. Bill Anderson

    M.D., FRCP(C), FCAR

    I have had a strong relationship with the Royal Alex Hospital from when I was a child and got to follow my father around on weekend morning rounds. My grandfather was the Superintendent of the Alex in the early 1920 -1930 era. I have worked at the Royal Alex as a janitor, porter, groundskeeper, medical student and now as a radiologist. I have always loved how the Alex has been the workhorse hospital in Edmonton and northern Alberta caring for all patients across the north and always doing so in a caring and collegial environment. When asked I was honoured to serve on the Foundation’s board as part of its legacy to the hospital.

  • Krista Ference

    I have been a director with the Foundation for six years, this being my last in my second of two terms. Looking back, I can’t imagine a more deserving foundation of people’s time and donations. Collaborating with our esteemed colleagues within the board and the foundation to fundraise and help solve critical issues for all of the centres of excellence on the Royal Alexandra campus is critical to the betterment and the future of top notch health care in our city and beyond. I’m proud to be a part of that.

  • Mez Irani

    Becoming part of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation’s Board has been such a rewarding personal experience. I have watched in awe as the community of donors make real change possible at the hospital. From housing pregnant homeless women, to funding a 24 hour, seven days a week mental health centre, to obtaining a PET/CT scanner, it is truly remarkable to see what can be achieved when an activated group of volunteers, staff and donors come together for the greater good and I am so proud to play even a small role in that success.

  • Paul Lanni

    FCPA, FCA

    I am passionate about helping to create opportunities to improve health care within our community, and by supporting the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, I know that we are having a positive impact on so many individuals and families within our city and beyond. 

    Women’s health is of particular importance to me and my family, and I feel that being a part of the Foundation has allowed me to help the Lois Hole Hospital for Women to elevate its reach and further fulfil its critical and all-important mission.

  • Dan Lefaivre

    FCPA, FCMA, ICD.D

    I am inspired by the work the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation does in supporting excellence in health care for Albertans.  Funding research, education, advancing women’s health, Access 24/7, leading technologies, and supporting front line workers, are just a few of the outstanding contributions of the Foundation.  Working with management and the board to advance the excellence in governance, and stewardship of donor dollars motivates me to do my best work in supporting the Foundation.

  • Paavo Montandon

    BA, CIP, CRM

    I joined the Foundation for many reasons. I wanted the chance to learn from an incredible peer group while at the same time playing a role in supporting women’s health and healthcare access in general including mental health resources for all who need it on an inclusive basis and recognizing that barriers exist for new Canadians, First Nations and all visible minorities.

  • Alain Moore

    Living in Fort McMurray for many years, I’ve seen the tremendous impact the hospital has for Northern Albertans and even beyond. So I was honoured to be able to support the team as a Director when the opportunity presented itself. I am amazed each day by the commitment of the Foundation’s staff who work hand-in-hand with the leadership of the hospital to identify and then successfully fund life-saving equipment and programs.

  • Kimberly King

    I have always had a passion for giving back to my community and joining the Royal Alex board allowed me to do just that and so much more. Volunteering for the Foundation has granted me the opportunity to work with, and learn from, Edmonton’s best community and business leaders, the chance to become a founding member with the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society and the opportunity to communicate the critical message about the need for infrastructure investment in the Royal Alex; an important project I am extremely passionate about.

  • David S. Tam

    BScPharm, LLB

    I have had the privilege of observing with wonderment, the intricate and refined inner workings of the Foundation. What a marvellous sight! Joining the Royal Alex Hospital Foundation gave me the opportunity as a grateful donor to contribute back to the hospital’s community and provided me with even more joy than ever imagined. I saw firsthand, the difference between “care” and “caring”; in life let us all strive to be “Caring”!

  • Liza J. Wold

    I was motivated to join the Board after witnessing and being impressed by the Foundation’s successful campaign to open the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. I chose to become a member of the Inner City Health and Wellness campaign cabinet after learning about the hospital’s multi-faceted and collaborative community approach to assist our city’s most vulnerable population by breaking the cycle of continually finding themselves in the hospital’s emergency care system. I was impressed with the foresight of the Board and Foundation’s willingness to take on an unpopular, yet critical issue helping those who need help the most.

  • Dianne Balon

    I understood what the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation was all about a long time ago, and when I was seeking out where to give my volunteer time, I sought out members of the Foundation’s Board to ask them about the organization’s trajectory and plans. Life collided with my own personal health journey, and I chose to become engaged as a Director, as I could see what they do is such a huge value to the women, children, and residents of Alberta.

  • Sandra Hawes

    Q.C.

    As I am a proponent of health equity, it is a privilege to be part of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Board. With the hospital’s number one priority being the building of better healthcare, I am truly motivated to garner community support for the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

  • Dr. Rustom Appoo

    D.MD

    My association with the Alex began 16 years ago when my wife became pregnant with our son.  She had many complications and was at the hospital often. I saw the need for money and started donating. With our second child, my wife was at the hospital almost every day in her third trimester for monitoring. As my businesses grew I increased my donations to the Alex but did not have the time to volunteer. A few years back as the kids had gotten older and my businesses more mature I decided that I had the time and energy to make the commitment and I am so glad that I did. The Royal Alex is a special place and I am proud to sit on this board. 

  • Carlie Persson

    CPA, CA

    I joined the board of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation after hearing many inspiring stories of innovation and compassion tied to the work the foundation was doing. Not only at the Royal Alex Hospital but beyond in areas such as women’s health, cardiology, mental health and work with vulnerable populations. To be part of such a passionate organization focused on making a difference in the health of Albertans has been a very rewarding experience.

  • Victoria Burgess

    After my father had a life-altering accident many years ago our family spent a great deal of time accessing the healthcare system. This started with acute care and continued through to home care over a span of 10 years. This gave me a deep appreciation for the work that happens, often quietly, in our hospitals. I believe strongly in giving back to the communities where we live and work and chose to serve as a volunteer for the Foundation for more than ten years now.  During my volunteer experience, I had the opportunity to learn about the work being done at the hospital. I was thrilled to join the Foundation Board to support the transformational work being done within the hospital at the Eye Institute of Alberta, Lois Hole Hospital for Women and CK Hui Heart Centre.

  • Sharlene Rutherford

    B.PA, MBA
    President & CEO, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation

  • Judith Hockney

    BN, MN
    Senior Operating Officer, RAH & SCH (Retired)

  • Dr. Colin Peterson

    MD,CCFP(EM) FCFP
    Interim Facility Medical Director, RAH

  • William K. & Mary Jo Robbins

    Patrons

  • Dale Sheard

    Patron

Financials

As Chair of the Finance and Risk Management Committee for the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, it is my sincere pleasure to present to you the Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. These statements represent our fiduciary duty to report to donors of the Foundation achievements in fundraising activities, investment returns, and disbursements made to the Royal Alexandra Hospital and its medical centres of excellence.  

 Through the efforts of the Foundation’s hardworking teams, charitable gaming revenue increased significantly over the prior fiscal year. The development of revised Investment Policies, and the engagement of a new Outsourced Chief Investment Officer, also contributed to positive investment income returns.  Tight control of operating expenses also contributed to overall positive fund performance in what was an extraordinary year as the Foundation adapted to the pandemic.  

The support for the Foundation throughout a challenging year for all was incredibly moving to witness. Though many donors and corporate partners faced a financially uncertain future donations continued to support our hospital and those working on the frontlines of the global health pandemic. Thank you to everyone who made contributions. Your gifts allow for the best care possible for the hundreds of thousands of patients who rely on the Royal Alex each year and supported the tireless work of the hospital’s frontline physicians, nurses, and staff.” 

Dan Lefaivre, FCPA, FCMA, ICD.D
Chair, Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation

To make a donation or
for more information, please visit:

780 735 4723

Royal Alexandra
Hospital Foundation

10240 Kingsway,
Edmonton, AB

T5H 3V9

@RAHFoundation

       

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