Looking ahead to 2021 with gratitude and optimism 

2021-01-22 10:02:24 AM

Although COVID-19 remains a serious threat to our health and communities, and we must remain vigilant in following public health measures to help contain the spread, we are beginning to see the light and hope at the end of the tunnel.  As I look ahead to 2021, there is still much to overcome, and our collective health and well-being is dependent on continuing to care for each other and those who are most vulnerable.
 
It’s not an understatement to say that facing a global pandemic together has been the greatest healthcare challenge of our time.  For all of us, COVID-19 has threatened our health and well-being, and, for marginalized communities, the effects have been even greater and even more damaging.
 
And yet, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, one thing has stood out to me the most: our caring for each other.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to the healthcare workers and front-line staff that continue to work tirelessly to keep us all safe. They haven’t given up, so neither can we.
 
Over the last year, many new and longstanding members of our donor community reached out to support urgent needs such as PPE, COVIDCare@home, mental health programs, scholarship awards, refugee outreach and so much more. Our healthcare heroes at Women’s College Hospital have never stopped stepping up and out of their usual roles, performing tens of thousands of COVID tests in person and virtually and continuously supporting 59 long-term care homes, keeping the most vulnerable safe.
 
We’ve come a long way since those early days and last week marked a monumental milestone for Women’s College Hospital as our mobile vaccination team headed back into long-term care and vaccinated over 800 residents, staff and essential caregivers. You can view photos and words of gratitude from our grateful community members here.
 
At Women’s College Hospital, our purpose is to create a healthcare system that is capable of reaching everyone. We were purpose built to do just that. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to keep reimagining healthcare to meet the needs of all patients – needs that don’t stop during a global health crisis.
 
This year, with your support, our hospital will continue to revolutionize healthcare across areas as diverse as mental health, cancer, surgery, cardiac care and so many more. We will be raising funds for ground-breaking new programs to better serve those who have too often been left out, including a Skin of Colour Centre of Excellence – an urgently-needed initiative to address major gaps in education, treatment and research related to skin conditions in patients with darker skin.
 
Our hospital will proudly continue to expand programs for Indigenous communities as we work towards creating a culturally safe space for Indigenous patients, staff and learners. Through donor support, we are launching a ground-breaking research-based initiative that will help deliver specialized care to survivors of sex trafficking, and our world-class medical leaders and researchers will continue to advance innovations in virtual care that are helping to reach patients across the province, no matter where they live.
 
Despite the challenges we must face, I never lose hope because I know our community stands with our hospital and is always ready to fuel innovation and support the underserved. Thank you for supporting our patients, staff and community when we have needed you most.
 
 
With gratitude,

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Jennifer Bernard, CFRE
President and CEO
Women’s College Hospital Foundation