Annual Report 2021 - 2022
Planting the Seeds
Every day at the foundation, we experience tiny moments of change. Or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say, moments of change that seem small.
Yet, over time, these moments, these acts of charity, are impossible not to notice. That is, a $20 gift here or a nominal monthly pledge there, has the power to change the course of our healthcare.
It’s important to recognize the tree for the seed it once was, and we never lose sight of what our donors are doing—planting the seeds of change.
The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation has the honour and privilege of observing the power of these seeds that, with the right nurturing, grow tall and mighty.
The Cavarzan Chair in Mature Women’s Health is a wonderful example of this. Starting with one gift and a clear purpose, we now support research and progress that stretches far beyond our lifetimes.
Looking elsewhere throughout the foundation and our many centres of excellence at the Royal Alex Hospital—the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, CK Hui Heart Centre, and Eye Institute of Alberta—we see evidence of many donors’ gifts that have grown over time and led to monumental improvements in how we deliver care: new and expanded programs to support some of our community’s most resilient populations, such as pregnant people experiencing homelessness or those seeking more permanent housing, new programs and software to improve care for high-risk obstetrical patients and babies, more efficient monitoring and resuscitation tools for cardiology patients; new diagnostic cameras and treatment pathways for those experiencing ocular stroke or retinal issues, and more.
And while the majority of donations do not carry their own official titles or lead to endowments, cumulatively they create a network of support for our community, not unlike a forest consisting of an entire interconnected ecosystem of living things—all working together in harmony.
As you read through this annual report, you will discover powerful and heartfelt stories of growth and transformation, made possible by donors like you. Hopefully you shall see—as we do—how a single seed planted by your generosity can take root and grow into something that lasts and endures, providing shelter and bearing fruit for the good of many.
On behalf of our foundation and the hospital we support, thank you for your transformative giving. The seeds of transformation sown by our donors truly shape the trajectory of care for the hundreds of thousands of people who arrive at our hospital campus every year.
Sharlene Rutherford, BPA, MBA
President & CEO
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
George Coon, FCPA, FCMA, ICD.D, CFP
Chair of the Board
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
Blown From Afar, Two Remarkable Seeds Leave Their Mark
The naming and celebration of a Patron is a rare and special act. The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation had not named a Patron for almost ten years, but that changed this past June when the Foundation proudly announced the appointment of Hon. Patron to Lt. Governor Salma Lakhani and His Honour Dr. Zaheer Lakhani.
In the history of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, only three individuals have been named Patron. Long-time donors William K. and Mary Jo Robbins were named Patrons in 2007 for their transformational philanthropy and philanthropist, former board member and former board chair Dale Sheard was named Patron in 2014 for her leadership in bringing the province’s only dedicated women’s hospital—Lois Hole Hospital for Women—to life.
Reconciling Care for Indigenous Women Here and Everywhere
Every patient who comes to the campus of the Royal Alexandra Hospital deserves to be treated with respect, and for the patient’s way of knowing and being to also be respected and valued.
An unfortunate truth came to the foundation’s attention some time ago—our Indigenous brothers and sisters encounter many barriers in accessing healthcare systems here in Edmonton, and elsewhere.
These barriers stem from ongoing trauma and social determinants of health typical of colonization. Many point back to racism and discrimination.
Drawing the Poison of Opioids
Out of Our Soil
There is a poison that has been making its way across our country, one that has seeped into the soil here in our community and harmed our families for far too long: the poison of opioids.
Nurturing Lindsay’s Legacy
Lindsay McGilvery was not an easy person to forget. Known as a “gentle giant” with a playful sense of humour and a generous spirit, Lindsay was always trying to make people smile and feel included. “He had the best laugh,” remembers his life-long friend, Lucy. “When he was laughing, he would just glow.”
Lindsay’s positivity was especially notable despite a lifetime of hardship and struggle. Due to an injury that left him unable to work, Lindsay endured periods of instability, including precarious housing situations that left him without a home. Despite having few material possessions, he was always the first one to share with others what he did have. “He was so compassionate. Always thinking about other people. He would literally give you the shirt off his back and the shoes off his feet if he saw someone needed it. He was just that kind of person,” Lucy said.
Digging Deeper to Provide Shelter
Every year, over 26,000 individuals experiencing homelessness visit Alberta’s Emergency Rooms, with many of them coming through the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Sadly, following these visits, none of these people are provided with housing.
As such, there is no end to the cycle. A person experiencing homelessness visits the ER, is discharged back into homelessness, and often, sooner or later, returns to the ER.
Thank you from
Senior Site Leadership
Thank you, donors, for another year of making an incredible difference at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. In the past year, our team of physicians, midwives and staff have continued to grow and adjust their practices to provide exceptional patient care despite the pandemic-induced pressures and uncertainty.
We want to share our immense gratitude for the support donors have provided, as your support makes the transformation of our care practices possible. We know that each of you has felt the same uncertainty we faced here at the hospital, yet you continued to show your support and did so at unprecedented levels, and for that, we could not be more grateful.
Your contributions are the seeds that help us achieve more, and big or small, they make an incredible difference. You are providing new, advanced equipment and technologies that help patients get home faster and recover with fewer side effects. You support patient and provider care essentials and give critical dollars that support research and innovation that allows for future change and growth in our clinical care practices.
Quite simply, we could not achieve these new levels of care without you. Thank you for your support once again.
Janie Clink, RAH & SCH
Senior Operating Officer
Dr. Colin Peterson, MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP
Interim Facility Medical Director, RAH
Five Years of Impactful Growth
The Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society recently celebrated five years of life-changing support for the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.
Since its inception in 2017, the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society has raised over $750,000 for critical medical equipment and programs for the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. This group of dedicated community supporters has impacted the tens of thousands of women and their families who rely on the hospital each year.
New Operating Room Allows for Further Advances in Women’s Healthcare
After years of advocacy and fundraising for an operating room dedicated specifically to women’s health, this specialised operating room finally opened its doors inside the Lois Hole Hospital for Women – to much excitement and enthusiasm. Equipped with brand-new, cutting-edge technology, this state-of-the-art operating room allows care providers to serve a higher volume of patients, resulting in lower wait times and shorter hospital stays.
A Change of Heart
John Beatson will be the first to tell you he used to suffer from a form of “White Coat Syndrome”—an aversion to visiting the doctor’s office. An aversion that, in part, stemmed from his 34-year-long career as an officer with the Toronto Police Service and the Edmonton Police Service.
“As an officer, most of the time when you visit the hospital it’s because someone is dead, dying or in distress,” he explained.
John held this view until he experienced a life-changing medical emergency that would have killed him if it weren’t for the medical professionals at the CK Hui and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Emergency Department…
Growing a Far-Reaching Ecosystem of Research and Support for Eye Health
In the lab of Dr. Ian MacDonald, Interim Director of the Eye Institute of Alberta and the inaugural holder of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation’s Research Chair in Ophthalmology, there is a unique and far-reaching study taking place. It is focused on a common eye condition called age-related macular degeneration.
According to the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, “age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common eye diseases to cause vision loss after age 60, affecting nearly 2 million Canadians and accounting for 90 per cent of new cases of legal blindness in the country.”
Of the two forms of AMD (“dry,” and the less common “wet”) there is sadly little in the way of treatment. For dry AMD, there are no current treatments, and the only option for wet AMD is injections to treat the blood vessels under the retina… uncomfortable, to say the least.
Progress Activated and Fractures Identified in Alberta Women’s Health Foundation’s Inaugural Year
In its inaugural year the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation began work on its mission to effect change and close the gap on the disparities in women’s health and womens’ health research. The first significant milestone in the Foundation’s pursuit came in the form of its first thought leadership report, “Finding the Fractures: The Pandemic, Women’s Health Disparities, and the Path to Equity.”
The province-wide survey was created to measure the pandemic’s impact in the following areas: work-life, physical health, mental health, stress, and family dynamics.
"We Are Not Equal"
International Women’s Day 2022 marked one-year of impact for the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation and with it the launch of a campaign to forge the path to women’s equality and #BreakTheBias.
In the spirit of the day—and to celebrate the one-year anniversary, as well as all of the progress that’s been made to improve the state of women’s health in our province—we are thrilled to share the inspiring and eye-opening video entitled “We Are Not Equal.”
Everything’s Coming Up Rosies
On September 24th, 2022, at the 48th annual AMPIA Rosie awards, the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation’s “We Are Not Equal” video won the award for the category of “Best Promotional Production.”
The video was honoured for its depiction of the many instances where women face biases, as well as how they deserve more recognition, respect, and, of course, equality.
Board of Directors
What does “Seeds of transformation” mean to you?
A Year of Record-Breaking Growth
The Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation Board is pleased to present the Audited Financial Statements
for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. These statements represent our fiduciary duty to report to
donors of the Foundation’s achievements in fundraising activities, investment returns, and disbursements made to the Royal Alexandra Hospital and its medical centers of excellence.
The Foundation’s hardworking teams continue to strive to achieve financial growth. The Foundation is thrilled to share that over the last fiscal year; we saw the highest fundraising and charitable gaming revenues in the Foundation’s history. A 33% increase in fundraising net revenues led to a 25% increase, in a total of over $ 11 million in community support. Our cost per dollar raised for fundraising activities (including charitable gaming net proceeds) is 23 cents (a two-fiscal year average). In addition, the Foundation’s investment portfolio also grew, showing a 25% increase since the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
A continued focus on tight control of operating expenses also contributed to overall positive financial performance in an extraordinary year as the Foundation continued adapting to ongoing waves of the pandemic.
As life began to return to pre-pandemic operations, community support for the Foundation did not falter. Despite continued financial uncertainty for many donors and corporate partners, contributions didn’t merely continue; they grew! Thank you to everyone who provides this much-needed support. Your gifts allow for the best care possible for the hundreds of thousands of patients who rely on the Royal Alexandra Hospital each year. You are each genuinely making a difference.
Vice Chair and Chair, Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee
Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation