We are WOMEN'S Donor impact report 2017 – 2018

we are women's Leadership messages

As Canada’s leader in health for women and health system solutions, Women's College Hospital (WCH) is working hard to improve care for everyone. From marginalized populations in inner-city Toronto to families living in remote communities in northern Ontario, WCH is at the forefront of breaking down barriers and creating better access to better care.

As we reflect on the past year, we are so proud of what we've accomplished together. Your donor support of our hospital has led innovative models of care, advanced research that redefines health and introduced important health system solutions.

we are women's

Message from WCH Foundation Interim President & CEO, Mary Dodd and Board Chair, Christopher Knight

​This past year has been nothing short of extraordinary. It has been a year where we have continued to be inspired by our donors, and by the many patients who share with us their most personal stories of courage, determination and gratitude for the incredible work of this hospital.

It has been another year of fundraising growth with more than $19 million raised through new and ongoing partnerships with donors and our community - a community of advocates, trailblazers, caregivers, friends and families.

Your investment in Women's College Hospital is enabling our hospital to deliver unique programs and innovative models of care; advance research that redefines health and; develop health system solutions to transform the way patients experience care to create better outcomes and lower the cost of care to the health system as a whole.

Our role as a Foundation is to fund 'things' that are not covered through government and our taxes - things that often surprise people such as research, capital equipment, large components of new construction and the ability to innovate.

Building on a legacy of innovation and as Canada's only independent, academic, fully ambulatory hospital, our hospital is emerging as a national leader in how to do things differently, and more equitably, with outstanding results. The Foundation's role has never been more important or essential to the future success of Women's College.

And we know we're ready. By amplifying our voice and amplifying our mission, we will in turn amplify our results - and support the bold vision and strategic direction of Women's College Hospital to a greater degree than ever before.

With the generous support of our community, we are revolutionizing healthcare. Thank you.


Message from WCH President & CEO, Marilyn Emery and Board Chair, Dr. Wendy Cukier

At Women's College Hospital, we have chosen a bold, inspiring vision - to revolutionize healthcare for a healthier and more equitable world.

We advocate for equity because we know that inequity threatens people's health. So, we are confronting gender, cultural and social problems that impact access to healthcare and health outcomes.

For us that means creating 21st century healthcare that champions health equity and advances the health of women and girls. It means solving the most urgent issues facing our system today, like wait times, high costs and inconsistent quality of care. And it means using technology-enabled care so our patients can communicate with their healthcare providers from the comfort of their own homes and we can help keep people out of hospital.

In partnership with our patients, clinicians and generous donors we are transforming clinical programs, scientific research and surgical innovation so that we can build a stronger and more efficient health system.

Thank you for your support and dedication to our hospital. Together we are closing the health gaps and revolutionizing healthcare for all.


Innovative models of care Canada's first cardio-rheumatology clinical and research program

With the support of our generous donors, Women's College Hospital has pioneered Canada's first cardio-rheumatology clincal and research program that specifically looks at heart disease in arthritis patients.

Innovative models of care

Research shows that patients who have rheumatological disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other chronic forms of inflammatory arthritis, have up to three times the risk of heart attack, heart failure and sudden death, compared to someone without rheumatoid arthritis. With two per cent of the general population suffering from rheumatic disease, and with increased prevalence of heart disease in women, the clinic's work has the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of Canadians.

Pamela Parker was receiving treatment for psoriatic arthritis at Women's College Hospital when her physician, rheumatologist and Women's College Hospital Research Institute Scientist Dr. Lihi Eder, asked whether her family had any history of heart disease. It did, and for Pamela, joining the clinic and being part of a research study is a powerful way to make a difference for others and her family. 


Just knowing there's hope for others who may be at risk of cardiac disease due to rheumatic conditions is worth every bit of my involvement in the clinic and its research."

Pamela Parker,
Grateful WCH patient

Join our community!

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to receive more stories like this and other updates from Women's College Hospital Foundation.

Research that redefines women's health Developing strategies and treatments to support women's mental health

Serving 70,000 women annually, the Women’s Mental Health Program at WCH is Canada’s largest clinical and research program with a special focus on the unique needs of women when it comes to their mental health.

Research that redefines women's health

With incredible support from our donor community, we continue to improve the landscape of mental healthcare for women and their families. We are creating innovative new virtual care programs that help women access services from anywhere, we’re launching groundbreaking new studies to understand the genetics of postpartum depression and we’re developing new models of treatment that meet the unique needs of women.

Led by Dr. Simone Vigod, who holds the Shirley A. Brown Memorial Chair in Women’s Mental Health Research, the Reproductive Life Stages Program is an example of research specifically designed to investigate women’s mental health, with a unique focus on the pregnancy and the postpartum period.

The team recently launched a new mobile app-based study – the PPD ACT study – that looks to further understand the causes of, and treatment for, postpartum depression (PPD). Through the use of the PPD ACT app survey, participants can answer questions about their mental moods and anxiety symptoms after they give birth. The app can also point them to doctors in their area who specialize in assessing and treating PPD, helping to ensure no woman suffers alone.

Hearing Dr. Vigod tell me that I had experienced postpartum depression opened a door of healing for me which I didn't know existed."

Dawn Levine,
Grateful WCH Patient

Join our community!

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to receive more stories like this and other updates from Women's College Hospital Foundation.

Donor funded research chairs

Innovative research results in concrete change to both policy and practice, including the development of informed education and specialized care. With a vision to advance healthcare, our generous donor community invested in the enduring impact of research by funding the appointment of four new research chairs.

Donor funded research chairs
Dr. Simone Vigod

Dr. Simone Vigod has been appointed the Shirley A. Brown Memorial Chair in Women’s Mental Health Research. Dr. Vigod is a clinician-scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and lead of the Reproductive Life Stages Program at WCH. As Chair, Dr. Vigod will deepen her exploration of issues that impact women’s mental health.
The research in the Women’s Mental Health program is focused on developing preventative strategies and targeted treatments for the pregnant and postpartum women who need them. To be at a hospital that is focused on the health of women, while at the same time is focused on how to serve women in their own communities, is unbelievable backing to do the kind of research that I do – to figure out how to design our healthcare system to meet the needs of women at this critical time in their lives."

Dr. Simone Vigod,

Psychiatrist and Lead, Reproductive Life Stages Program; Scientist,
Women’s College Research Institute

Donor funded research chairs
Dr. Sacha Bhatia

Dr. Sacha Bhatia has been appointed the F.M. Hill Chair in Health System Solutions. Dr. Bhatia is the founding director of the WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, a clinician-scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and a cardiologist within the department of medicine at WCH. As Chair, Dr. Bhatia will work with a cross-disciplinary team to address some of the most pressing challenges facing the Canadian healthcare system today.

None of this would be possible without community support. Our visionary donors are not buying a building, they’re investing in an innovative start-up model of research. Its intangible. It’s a leap of faith. But our successes will give them a good return. Their willingness to donate validates that we are on the right track."

Dr. Sacha Bhatia,

Director, Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV)

Donor funded research chairs
Dr. Paula Harvey

Dr. Paula Harvey has been appointed the F.M. Hill Chair in Academic Women’s Medicine. As chief of medicine and head of cardiology at WCH, as well as a leading scientist focused on cardiovascular health, Dr. Harvey is a pioneer in the field of women’s heart health. Her research will continue to deepen the world’s understanding of the unique risk factors women face when it comes to heart disease, leading to the development of more effective prevention and treatment options.
I am completely energized by the atmosphere at WCH – a place with a spirit of innovation, and a patient-focused, women-centric mandate. It’s a place where you can come up with innovative ideas that you believe will make a big difference and you can get support to implement them. For me, it’s been an incredible series of opportunities that are both stimulating and an opportunity to give back in multiple clinical, research and leadership spheres."

Dr. Paula Harvey,

Chief of Medicine & Medical Program Director – Specialized Medicine,
Women's College Hospital

Donor funded research chairs
Dr. Richard Brull

Dr. Richard Brull has been appointed the inaugural Evelyn Bateman/Cara Operations Chair in Ambulatory Anesthesia and Women’s Health. Dr. Brull is a staff anesthesiologist at WCH, a professor of anesthesia at the University of Toronto and a scientist at Women’s College Research Institute. The Chair was established to advance excellence in research to optimize care for people undergoing ambulatory anesthesia. Dr. Brull’s dedication to improving anesthesia in ambulatory environments make him an excellent scientist to take on this mission.
Your generosity has made a direct, definitive and immediate impact on the practice of ambulatory anesthesia as the concepts that we investigate and the innovations that we create at Women’s College Hospital are disseminated locally, nationally and internationally. This funding provides the support to seek out and critically examine novel pathways to traditional approaches in order to fulfill my program’s, and complement our hospital’s, mission. Thank you for your vision, leadership and support!"

Dr. Richard Brull,

Staff Anesthesiologist; Scientist, Women’s College Research Institute

Investing in system change Bridging the gap between technology and healthcare

The Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) is the hospital’s ground-breaking innovation hub dedicated to developing health system solutions that transform patient care, create better health outcomes and lower costs to the health system as a whole.

Investing in system change

Donors like Louise Fast are a driving force behind health care innovation at WCH. A long-time supporter of the hospital, Louise’s tremendous generosity and commitment to women’s health has enabled the Frigon Blau Chair in Family Medicine and most recently, a Directorship Fund in support of WIHV.

“What impresses me most about WCH is their focus on innovation,” explains Fast. “With medicine, like many other things, there are better ways to deliver care and different models to try. Our population is aging and we can’t afford to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. We need alternatives to not only save money but improve treatments. At Women’s you’ll never hear ‘but we’ve always done it this way.”

Fast believes this leadership needs to come from frontline healthcare providers and credits WCH’s incubator approach for taking a critical eye to the health system. “This is an initiative that speaks to me and would appeal to those who want to champion health innovation and transformation.”

By properly integrating digital tools in our healthcare system we can solve access problems, reduce wait times and increase the quality of care we can provide. It's time to move beyond pilot projects to real system solutions."

Dr. Danielle Martin,
Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Health System Solutions

Join our community!

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to receive more stories like this and other updates from Women's College Hospital Foundation.

A community of support

Thank you to the many partners, volunteers and sponsors in our community who worked tirelessly to raise funds in support of Women’s College Hospital. This past year saw record growth in the number of events held, contributing to a record-breaking year.

A Community of Support
Women for Women's

Every year, corporate, philanthropic and community leaders gather in Toronto to learn, laugh, connect and contribute at Women for Women’s influential annual luncheon, the signature fundraising event of the Women’s College Hospital Foundation.

On November 8, 2017, almost one thousand women attended the event held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel to learn how WCH is leading change in the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers, raising a record-breaking $534,000. Since Women for Women’s was first conceived in 2011 it has raised $3M to advance research and programs at WCH.

A special addition to the event featured the launch of Canadian fashion designer David Dixon’s exquisite spring collection, based on a watercolour painting by Dr. John Semple. This painting, entitled Invincible Summer, pays homage to the courage and resilience Dr. Semple sees every day with his patients on a cancer journey. This painting inspired David Dixon to create a scarf of the image and then transform the essence of its meaning, and its likeness, into an ethereal collection.

Visit Women for Women's photo gallery here.
I don’t think there’s any other event like this—the energy in the room is incredible. When people leave the luncheon, they truly feel more informed about their health.”

Marlene Cepparo,

2017 event co-chair and breast cancer survivor

A community of support
Tour de Bleu 2017

On Sunday, August 13, the 50 cyclists of Tour de Bleu took to the streets with a mission to raise funds that will help give every woman every chance to prevent and survive cancer.

After pedaling more than 160 km, they arrived at Women’s College Hospital and announced their record breaking donation of over $3.6M of which $3M will support the new Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers, in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society. Through a match from the Canadian Cancer Society, a total of $6M was donated to help advance the Centre’s goal to transform care for women’s cancers on a national scale.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Gilgan family, the Tour de Bleu community and the Canadian
Cancer Society, Women’s College Hospital will now have an unprecedented opportunity to reach women and their families across Canada. From empowering women to know their risk factors to sharing new best practices with clinicians nationwide, the impact of this partnership will be truly transformational for women and their families for generations to come.

Visit Tour de Bleu's photo gallery here.
Nowhere else have we seen a private donor and leading not-for-profit cancer organization partnering with a hospital for research and clinical excellence. It is a powerful example of how partnerships can save lives."

Mary Dodd,

Interim President & CEO, Women’s College Hospital Foundation

A community of support
Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women

On Saturday, June 10, over 1,200 community members walked, ran and wheeled through the streets of Toronto
to help create a brighter future for women facing mental health challenges.

Thanks to the incredible leadership, generosity and partnership of Shoppers Drug Mart and the tireless fundraising efforts of participants, the 2017 SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women raised a recordbreaking $200,000 in support of WCH’s Women’s Mental Health Program – double last year’s result and an outcome that will change countless lives.

Welcoming representatives from all three levels of government – including Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister Carolyn Bennett, Mayor John Tory and Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam – the event’s unprecedented turnout reflected the community’s powerful desire to create change when it comes to mental healthcare.

The funds raised from this year’s event will help break down barriers to care, help more women access services at WCH and within their own communities and support groundbreaking mental health research that will inform innovative new treatments and models of care.

We are deeply grateful to Shoppers Drug Mart and every team, participant and supporter who helped make this year’s SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women such a tremendous success. Thank you.

Visit SHOPPERS LOVE. YOU. Run for Women's photo gallery here.
We are incredibly grateful to Shoppers Drug Mart, today’s runners, customers of Shoppers and friends who have come together to support a very important program.”

Mary Dodd,

Interim President & CEO, Women’s College Hospital Foundation

A community of support

neWCHapter is a group of dedicated and passionate young professionals committed to raising funds in support of Women’s College Hospital’s mission and vision and championing WCH in the community.

Organizing, hosting and participating in fun and exciting events at trendy locales around Toronto and beyond, neWCHapter members are creating an impactful culture of giving back among the city’s emerging leaders while transforming the future of healthcare.

An inspiring example of neWCHapter’s commitment to WCH is the tremendous growth of the group’s annual breakfast Women Paying it Forward, a networking event that also highlights important topics related to women’s health. The event first launched in 2014, with only enough attendees to fill a boardroom table. Since then, the sought-after education session has grown exponentially, welcoming 175 guests in 2018 and raising an impressive $10,000.

Last year, neWCHapter successfully closed their generous pledge of $20,000 in support of the Virtual Mental Health Program, an innovative program that creates access to mental health services for women from anywhere through the use of mobile technology.

Thank you, neWCHapter, for creating change by transforming healthcare for women!

Learn more about neWCHapter here.

I first learned about Women’s College Hospital through colleagues at work who had been involved with the organization. The more I learned about the research being done there, the more I realized how incredibly important it is for the future of women’s healthcare. I reached out to my colleague who was involved with the hospital and that led me to neWCHapter."

Carly Martin,

2017 neWCHapter co-chair


  • 2017-18 Highlights

    • $19.3M – the highest amount ever raised in one year.
    • Provided $11.7M in grants to support important research, clinical programs and innovation.
    • Welcomed over 1,200 generous new donors to the WCH family.
    • Celebrated our donor community with the launch of our new donor wall.
    • With support from our community, four new research chairs were appointed to advance WCH’s world class research in women’s health.
  • Where do our donors direct their dollars?

    Restricted 85%
    Unrestricted 15%
  • Grants to the hospital

    Research 53%
    Capital Projects & Education 47%
  • Who are our donors?

    Individuals 40%
    Foundations 33%
    Corporations 27%

Detailed audited financial statements are available online at www.wchf.ca.


Women’s College Hospital Foundation Board of Directors

Christopher Knight, Chair
Eden M. Oliver, Vice Chair
Marisa Piattelli, Vice Chair
Elle AyoubZadeh
Gail Cecil
Carol Cowan (ex officio)
Dr. Wendy Cukier, Chair, WCH Board of Directors (ex officio)
Paul Damp
V. Ann Davis
Stephen Dowd
Marilyn Emery, WCH President & CEO (ex officio)
Elizabeth L.W. Fanjoy
Susan Garnet (ex officio)
Jane Gavan
David Hopkinson
Judy John
Jane E. Kinney
Dr. Sheila Laredo (ex officio)
Blair Levinsky
Steve Litwin
Kim Mason
Ron McEachern
Joanne Mealia
Paul Melville-Gray
Jennifer Ocampo-King
Enid Pico
Jennifer Reynolds
Maryam Sanati
Debbie Simpson
Kara Wood

Women’s College Hospital Foundation Advisory Council

Carol Cowan, Chair
The Hon. Dr. Carolyn Bennett
The Hon. Elinor Caplan
The Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain
The Hon. Senator Nancy Ruth
The Hon. George Smitherman
Elisabetta Bigsby
Darleen Bogart
Pat Campbell
Sylvia Chrominska
Louise Fast
Maureen Kempston Darkes
Ann Kerwin
Mary Susanne Lamont
Janet MacInnis
Mary Lou Maher
Colleen Moorehead
Wanda O’Hagan
Jocelyn Palm
Susan Perren
Len Racioppo
Gail Regan
Dr. John Semple
Dr. Elaine Todres


Every day, through your passion for women’s health and your enduring generosity, you inspire action, change and an ever-growing determination to create a future in which women everywhere can achieve their greatest potential.



{{donor.donorName}} - {{donor.donorLevel}}


{{donors.donorNameCumul}} - {{donors.donorLevelCumul}}

100 Women

Jocelyn Allen
Gail R. Appel
Elisabetta Bigsby
Yvonne Bland
Marlene Cepparo
Sylvia Chrominska
Carol A. Cowan
Beatrice Crawford
Lynn Damp
Wendy Daniels
V. Ann Davis
Louise A. Fast
Patricia Fraser
Shirley Granovsky
Mary Susanne Lamont
Nancy MacKellar
Mary Lou Maher
Nancy E. A. Main
Margaret Norrie McCain
Luci McEachern
Colleen Moorehead
Katherine L. Morrison
Gail O'Brien
Jocelyn Palm
Kerry Peacock
N. Jane Pepino
Megan Porter
Vivian Racioppo
Linda J. Reed
H. Gail Regan
Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon
Senator Nancy Ruth
Michelle Samson-Doel
Barbara Stern
Eleanor Thall
Stephanie Trussler
Sheila Craig Waengler
Benita M. Warmbold
Anonymous (1)

Spirit of Life

David Aronoff
Betsy Murray
Penny Bell & Jack Pasht
Danielle Berrut
Yvonne Bland
Donna Brown
Lorraine Brown
Ruth M. Buchanan
Thomas A. Caster
Carol A. Cowan
Jean E. Dryden
Lynn From
Cecile Goodman
Nancy Griffin
Martin & Vicki Heenan
William Hughey
Helen Kampfmuller
Linda Langero
Janet MacInnis
Nancy E. A. Main
Margaret Norrie McCain
John & Lynn Milligan
Kathleen Mulheron & George Szuszwal
E. M. Orsten
Jocelyn Palm
Gail Regan
Jenny Tan
Sheila Craig Waengler
Wendy Weaver
John & June Wevers
Anonymous (6)

We are Women's.

We simply can’t thank you enough for being there, every step of the way.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this list. Please contact foundation@wchospital.ca regarding any omissions or corrections.


To learn more about Women's College Hospital Foundation, please visit our foundation website.
Our report is also available in a printed format - download the PDF version of the report.

Our report is also available in a printed format - download the PDF version of the report.

Have thoughts or feedback for Women's College Hospital Foundation? Let us know what you're thinking!

Women’s College Hospital Foundation
76 Grenville Street
Toronto, ON M5S 1B2
416 323 6323

Charitable Registration Number: 119302628 RR0001