2020 was certainly a year like no other.


While many of us are quick to shut the door on one of the most challenging years of our lives, 2020 shone a light on the incredible support for health care in our province. I am so inspired by the people who choose to stand up for our healthcare heroes. From young philanthropists, like 12-year-old Sawyer Burke (you can read his story in this issue), to businesses and community organizations, Nova Scotians have stepped up for health care in a big way.


For the QEII Foundation, 2021 promises more dramatic impact on health care, thanks to our generous community.


We kicked off the new year with an exciting announcement for mental health care. Bell Let’s Talk provided a very generous $420,000 donation to help bring repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to Nova Scotia. rTMS is an innovative, evidence-based treatment providing new hope for people living with treatment-resistant depression. You can read more about this life-changing treatment in this issue.


With more than 200,000 Nova Scotians living with mental illness, the QEII Foundation will continue to focus on supporting mental health care. A $100,000 gift from the RBC Foundation helped launch a new e-Mental health initiative that is now providing immediate, technology-based solutions for those experiencing mild to moderate mental illness, improving both wait times and access to care.


The generous support from RBC Foundation has directly enabled the immediate introduction of this vital tool, helping to provide mental health resources during a critical time. This is just the start of what we must accomplish together as part of our commitment to those in need of mental health care across the province.


There are exciting new developments on the horizon for cancer care as well. With donors at the forefront, together we will help transform the delivery of cancer care for patients in Nova Scotia and around the world.


Imagine cancer-fighting technology that’s first in the world, developed right here by our QEII teams. Treatment that is highly personalized and just as unique as the individual receiving it, targeting even the smallest traces of cancer with fewer, more powerful treatments.


The QEII Foundation is also working closely with Nova Scotia Health to ensure that our healthcare professionals reflect the diversity of our province. The 2021 QEII Foundation Diversity in Health Care Bursaries continue the tradition of supporting students studying in programs such as nursing, pharmacy, medicine and psychology.


As we begin the application process for 2021 (QE2Foundation.ca/DiversityBursary), we look forward to supporting students who now face the added challenge of learning to care for patients in the face of a pandemic.


We continue to be grateful — and proud — of QEII staff and physicians who continue to step up and scrub up every day. From COVID-19 research, to patient care, to housekeeping and everything in between, our QEII health heroes are leading the way.


As we continue to navigate our new normal, we need to take care of one another and be kind. I am confident and grateful that with continued support from the community, health care will be there for each of us, if and when we need it.