$1 Million from the Thunder Bay 50/50 will be going towards bringing cardiovascular surgery
to Thunder Bay
The Thunder Bay 50/50 has been an extremely successful fundraiser for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation since it started in early 2021. Over $9M in prizes has been awarded to over 50 Early Bird and Grand Prize draw winners, and millions of dollars in proceeds have gone towards purchasing equipment and making infrastructure upgrades at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. The Foundation will be allocating $1M in proceeds from the Thunder Bay 50/50 to the Our Hearts at Home campaign, which is bringing cardiovascular surgery to Thunder Bay.
“February is Heart month, and what a perfect time to announce that $1M from the 2021 50/50 proceeds will be going to the Our Hearts at Home campaign,” says Glenn Craig, President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation. “Northwestern Ontario has the highest rates of cardiovascular disease, amputation, and other cardiac- and vascular-related health issues, plus we’re the only major city in Ontario where you have to drive for more than a day to access cardiovascular surgery services – so for patients in this region, bringing these services here is really a matter of life or death.”
A full cardiovascular surgery program means that for most patients, they will be able to have their surgeries without having to travel too far from home, and still receive the same level of care they would in a larger centre. In August 2021, the province confirmed their commitment to the project, awarding $5.2 M to help fund the planning and design of the program.
“I know how difficult it can be to travel outside the region for care. It’s difficult for the patients, their families, and the healthcare system to coordinate care. While many of the Foundation’s fundraising activities were put on hold during the pandemic, the success of the 50/50 draw has allowed us to give $1M towards the Our Hearts at Home campaign. This will help fund a full cardiac program here in Thunder Bay, which includes cardiovascular surgery, in addition to the existing services we already have, like angioplasty and cardiology,” says Parker Jones, Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
“I think I can speak for the entire campaign cabinet, and for everyone in the community, when I say how incredibly grateful we are for this donation. This is bringing us one step closer to our fundraising goal and we are beyond thankful for our generous donors and 50/50 supporters who continue to help us reach our vision of full cardiovascular surgical services, closer to home,” says Paul Fitzpatrick, Chair, Our Hearts at Home Cabinet.
“On behalf of our patients, our staff and the leadership team, I want to thank the people in our region for supporting their Foundation in such a huge way,” said Dr. Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre and Chief Executive Officer of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “Thanks to Paul and the entire Foundation team, and the provincial government’s support, a full cardiovascular program here in Thunder Bay will mean even better service for patients closer to home."
To learn more about the Our Hearts at Home Campaign, or to make a donation, visit healthsciencesfoundation.ca or call the Donation Centre at (807) 345-4673.