In this, our 14th issue of QEII Times, we continue to share stories of excellence from the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Throughout its ten buildings on both the Victoria General and Halifax Infirmary sites, there are 700 physicians and more than 7,000 staff ensuring you receive the best care, every day. It is these compassionate teams, who change and save lives every day, that inspire us at the QEII Foundation.

To help these healthcare teams care for Atlantic Canadians, the QEII Foundation is raising funds to advance care in the areas of heart health and cancer care at the QEII.

In 2016-17, the QEII Foundation raised $15.8-million (net) to advance patient care and healthcare research in areas such as cancer care, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, and rehabilitation. One example of this is our From the Heart campaign for cardiac and vascular care. After raising more than $4.5-million in just one year, we have entered phase two of this campaign. With financial support from all levels of the community, we are working to establish Atlantic Canada’s first hybrid operating room.

A hybrid OR is a superior operating suite with advanced imaging capabilities, combining diagnostic imaging and surgery. A hybrid suite allows specialists from several areas of heart health to work together on complex procedures with more precision and a minimally invasive procedure, leading to shorter recovery times for patients.

The QEII Foundation is also focused on enhancing cancer care with advanced systemic therapy equipment. Systemic therapy is a form of cancer treatment that enters the bloodstream and travels throughout the body to fight cancer cells. At the QEII, the largest cancer care centre east of Montreal, hundreds of specialized doses, like chemotherapy, are prepared and tailored for treatment every day.

Approximately 50 per cent of all cancer patients will need systemic therapy, often multiple treatments over a lengthy period of time, taking them away from home and their loved ones. By updating this equipment, the preparation capacity will double, shortening hospital wait times for patients.

This new equipment will increase the QEII’s ability to participate in clinical trials. For patients with certain cancers, clinical trial therapy can provide access to new treatment options.

With so many in our region touched by cancer and cardiac and vascular conditions, we invite you join us on this journey of transforming health care. If you’re feeling inspired and want to know how you can help, I invite you to contact me at 902 334 1536 or send me an email at bill.bean@qe2foundation.ca.