Donor Impact Report
Brad Ross, RVH cardiac patient and survivor of a widow-maker heart attack.
We’re calling on all of Simcoe Muskoka to protect our unique way of life.
Message From Our Leadership
Dear Friends and Supporters,
As we reflect on this past year, we are filled with immense gratitude for the extraordinary generosity of our community. In October 2022, we launched our new capital fundraising campaign—Keep Life Wild—to raise $100 million in support of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) expansion plans. This ambitious campaign, the largest of its kind in our region’s history, will support doubling the size of our current site on Georgian Drive and building a new, state-of-the-art healthcare facility in Innisfil. And the contributions from each of you will make it happen. You have rallied behind this vital project, with more than $33 million in donations to-date.
While planning for the future of RVH, we are also investing your support right now to enhance patient care. We funded several new initiatives including four new mammography units, a PET-CT scanner, and MRI ultrasound fusion technology, to name just a few.
In addition to the thousands of donors from across our region—from monthly donors and community
event supporters to planned gifts and gifts-in-kind—we want to acknowledge Boris Horodynsky and Horodynsky Farms, as well as The Carpenters’ Regional Council and its Local Unions, Local 27 and Local 675, who made remarkable $1-million lead gifts to support the building of the new healthcare facility in Innisfil. Innovative Automation also made a $1-million gift to the campaign, supporting current and future immersive medical education at RVH. We are also tremendously thankful to an anonymous donor family in Innisfil, who made a historic gift that will match all donations to the Keep Life Wild campaign up to an astonishing $9 million.
On behalf of TEAM RVH, we extend our deepest appreciation for your support. Your dedication and generosity have already made a profound difference, and will be integral to ensuring our friends, neighbours and loved ones can access lifesaving, world-class care close to home now and for generations to come.
Pamela Ross, CFRE, CMP
CEO, RVH Foundation
Chair of the Board of Directors, RVH Foundation
- TOTAL RAISED TOWARDS OUR $100M CAMPAIGN GOAL
- DONORS MAKING AN IMPACT
- DONATIONS HELPING TO DRIVE CHANGE
- DONORS MAKING A GIFT EVERY MONTH
- EVENTS HOSTED IN THE COMMUNITY IN SUPPORT OF RVH
We are so thankful to everyone who dedicated their time, energy, and passion to organizing and attending all the extraordinary community events held in support of RVH in 2022.
Year In Review
PET-CT Scanner Arrives
Donor support helped to bring a new positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET-CT) scanner to RVH. The PET-CT is being installed now and will be operational by late fall. Having the PET-CT at RVH will save patients over 100,000 kilometres of travel annually.
New Mammography Equipment
Due in part to the generosity of donors like you, four new mammography units have been installed at RVH. The machines arrived throughout the spring and summer and are now in place. The new equipment generates 3D images. Clearer pictures mean women will be diagnosed sooner so they can start receiving treatment right away.
Doctors at RVH now have a more fulsome picture of prostate cancer, thanks to donor-funded MRI ultrasound fusion technology. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in combination with real-time ultrasound, prostate tumours can easily be found and tested for cancer, distinguishing between aggressive forms and slower-growing ones, helping to plan treatment.
Kevin Dee & Janis Grantham
Seasonal turned full-time Innisfil residents, Kevin Dee and Janis Grantham donated $100,000 to the Keep Life Wild campaign. Helping to bring a new health centre to Innisfil is important to both Kevin and Janis so that everyone in their community has access to care when they need it.
Anne & Larry Kell
Not only is Anne Kell generous with her time, supporting the Keep Life Wild campaign as a member of RVH’s Board of Directors and the Innisfil Cabinet, she and her husband Larry have also committed $100,000 to support RVH and bring more specialized, world-class care closer to home in Innisfil.
The Moffatt Family have invested $100,000 in the Keep Life Wild campaign. Advancing healthcare is important to the family and this generous contribution will help ensure RVH has access to state-of-the-art equipment, spaces, and technology to provide the best care possible to everyone in our region.
TD Bank ACED Program
Thanks to a generous $600,000 grant from TD Bank Group (TD), RVH is now laying the groundwork to expand and centralize access to eating disorder care in our region. The Advancing Community Eating Disorders (ACED) Care Initiative, powered by TD, means our region’s youth will have equitable access to this specialized care when and where they need it most.
Carpenters’ Union $1M Donation
An historic $1 million donation was made by the Carpenters’ Regional Council and its local unions, Local 27 and Local 675 to the Keep Life Wild campaign. The gift will contribute to the health centre’s expansion plans, including the construction of a new 200,000 square foot healthcare facility in Innisfil.
Our Young Philanthropists
Several young philanthropists supported RVH in 2022. Their gifts were matched by the Premich Birthday Fund. Ben and Andy Pratt donated $920 of their birthday money, Olivia and Reena gave the $584 proceeds of their charm making business, and Ben and Tommy Hardie both gifted RVH their birthday money.
Gurney on the Go
An RVH Logistics Attendant takes about 30,000 steps every day, helping make every patient experience an exceptional one. Click below to watch what a day in the life of a Logistics Attendant is like at RVH.
Heartfelt Thanks from Brad Ross
It was just another Monday when Brad Ross woke up on February 27th of this year.
He started his day with a cup of coffee, had some breakfast and ventured down to his home gym for a workout. He rode his Peloton bike for about 30 minutes, tossed in a load of laundry and then his daughter called.
“We were talking, and I still hadn’t caught my breath,” he says. After ending the call, Brad’s discomfort got worse.
“The chest pains were radiating around my back and down my arms,” he recalls. “I was getting sweaty. I laid down, but I couldn’t get comfortable. I kind of knew deep down that I was probably having a heart attack.”
He was—a life threatening “widow-maker” heart attack. At 9 am, he asked his wife to call 911.
This triggered the Simcoe Muskoka Code STEMI. This protocol ensures that a patient experiencing a suspected heart attack—no matter where they live in Simcoe County or Muskoka—receives advanced cardiac care at RVH within two hours of first accessing medical attention.
In Brad’s case, less than an hour later, he was whisked up the dedicated elevator in the Emergency Department at RVH and wheeled into the Cardiac Cath Lab where a stent was placed in his artery.
“Almost immediately, I felt relief,” says Brad. “The blood flow was back, and I felt like I could breathe.”
Ninety minutes after calling 911, he was in a patient room recovering. Two days later, he went home.
It’s difficult to convey the depth of his appreciation.
“I am here today because of RVH and… the talented people on staff who know what they are doing and the paramedics who got me there so quickly.”
The lifesaving care Brad received at RVH means he’s back living his wild life, enjoying retirement and pursuing the next phase of his career—becoming a barber.
Imaging Transforming Patient Care at RVH
Dr. Raj Grover is a diagnostic radiologist and the Medical Director of Imaging at RVH. He and his team are using leading-edge technology and engaging talented medical minds to advance patient care in our region.
As RVH grows and expands, the role of imaging will move beyond diagnostics to become a bigger player in treatment for patients throughout Simcoe Muskoka.
Currently, RVH employs emergent interventional radiology in trauma and cancer care. This is when imaging is used to guide tiny instruments, such as catheters or needles, to access and treat specific areas without requiring a larger surgery. However, imaging technology will have a greater impact in the future, encompassing stroke treatment, and enhanced cancer care, and the substitution of invasive procedures with less invasive alternatives.
One of the most exciting medical imaging opportunities at RVH is to further develop our stroke program to improve the outcome for patients experiencing ischemic strokes—strokes caused by blood clots in the brain.
RVH is one of seven sites in the country to have Accreditation Canada’s Stroke Distinction, recognizing our clinical excellence and commitment to evidence-based stroke care. However, this care still involves transferring ischemic stroke patients to Toronto for treatment.
“It is our plan that we will soon perform life-saving endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) procedures right here at RVH,” says Dr. Grover.
The procedure takes mere minutes. A small arterial puncture is made in the groin, an image-guided catheter with a tiny umbrella-like structure is inserted and travels beyond the clot. It opens and the clot is pulled out of the artery, allowing blood flow to return to the brain immediately.
“Many studies show that the faster this treatment is offered, the better a patient’s outcome,” says Dr. Grover. “Including a return to independent living and all the quality-of-life factors associated with that.”
According to Dr. Grover, in the coming years, we will see many advances in imaging for safer, personalized treatment options like EVT, not only for stroke care, but other neurological conditions, cardiac care, and oncology. We will also learn new ways to integrate the imaging we already have to offer better treatments for our patients right here in our own community.
“In the future, imaging will help us better plan surgical procedures to save time in the operating room, and even determine whether a patient needs surgery at all,” explains Dr. Grover. “With our new PET-CT, as new tracers are developed to target certain organ systems, what we will be able to see in a scan will expand our treatment options. And, in oncology, we will be able to use imaging to deliver radiation or chemotherapy directly to a tumour via the artery which supplies it, saving our patients from the ill-effects of less targeted forms of therapy.”
Working toward these advancements will improve the patient experience throughout our region, making care safer, reducing discomfort, and shortening recovery time. Patients who receive care at RVH will have access to the latest imaging technology, helping to get them back to do doing what they love sooner.
Championing Care Closer to Home in Innisfil
Anne Smith and Al Gilchrist are both champions of the Keep Life Wild campaign as local volunteers supporting fundraising efforts as members of the Innisfil Campaign Cabinet.
Expanding RVH into Innisfil is a cause close to their hearts as they have each benefited in different ways from the exceptional care RVH provides. As Innisfil residents, they also have a greater understanding of how important this project is for their community.
“We don’t even have a walk-in clinic here in Innisfil,” Anne points out. “For those with young children, that’s hard. We don’t have public transit either, so, for some, getting all the way to RVH is a challenge.”
Anne joined Al, the Campaign Chair for the Innisfil Cabinet, in a polar plunge at Friday Harbour to fundraise for RVH and bring awareness to the Keep Life Wild campaign.
“I’ve already signed us up for next year,” Al exclaims. “And we’re going to raise even more money!”
RVH is fortunate to have these two extraordinary people, and their volunteer cabinet, mobilizing the Innisfil community to get behind this project. Every one of us will benefit from the work they are doing to bring more world-class, specialized care closer to home.
Community Generosity in Action
In 2022, donors supported RVH and the Keep Life Wild campaign with an extraordinary $15.8 million in donations*. Those donations were raised in support of:
Growing the hospital: This includes ongoing planning and development to double our existing site on Georgian Drive in Barrie and build a brand new healthcare facility in Innisfil
Advancing regional programs: This includes current and future enhancements in our world-class clinical programs providing care to people across Simcoe Muskoka. These programs include: heart, cancer, stroke, critical care, and child and youth mental health.
Enriching patient care: This includes ongoing investments in the exceptional patient care at RVH, including ground-breaking research, innovation in medical education for TEAM RVH, enhancements to locally-focused care like emergency care, paediatrics, maternal health and more.
Investing Your Support
Last year, we granted $11.6 million to RVH to support the work including moving work forward on plans to grow the hospital, urgently needed equipment and technology, and other enhancements to patient care identified by TEAM RVH on the frontlines of your healthcare.
Inspired to Give Monthly
Louise Cartagenise and her husband, Wayne, are generous supporters of RVH, making contributions monthly. Their donations, and the gifts from all RVH’s monthly donors, are a dependable source of income, allowing us to reliably plan for the future.
Louise and Wayne relocated to Barrie in 2014 to be closer to their two children and four grandsons. Shortly after making the move, Louise went for a routine mammogram. Her results, in the words of her doctor, showed “something concerning.” Follow up ultrasounds and a biopsy confirmed her worst fear—she had breast cancer.
“Although cancer is a common word, I never thought it would be part of my life,” admits Louise. “Fortunately, I did not have a lot of time to worry about it.”
Within three weeks of her diagnosis, Louise had surgery to remove the cancer.
“My care at RVH was beyond words,” says Louise. “Everyone I came into contact with made it clear that they only cared about me at that moment, as they do with every patient they care for. They are very sensitive to the fact that we are all scared of the unknown. Each one of them made my experience as easy as possible.”
The compassionate care she received catalyzed Louise and Wayne’s monthly contributions to RVH.
“Donating to RVH cancer care is paying it forward in so many ways,” says Louise. “A donation, no matter how big or small, can have an impact on the lives of those going through this treatment after us.”
Thanks to generous donors, like Louise and Wayne, RVH can expand the specialized care we provide to patients throughout our region. Their gifts allow us to conduct our own research, purchase leading-edge medical equipment and expand our spaces, and attract the brightest medical minds to provide this world-class care to everyone who needs it.
Local Healthcare: A Smart Investment
When Doug Frost retired, he was looking for a meaningful way to spend his time. In 2013, he joined the RVH Board of Directors. Over the last ten years, he’s seen our community rally together to bring cancer care, cardiac care, renal care and child and youth mental health care to RVH.
It’s RVH’s proven track record of success and his belief in the strong leadership team at RVH that inspired Doug to invest in the Keep Life Wild campaign to bring more specialized, world-class care closer to home.
“This area is one of the fastest growing in the province,” shared Doug. “We all need to invest in local healthcare so it’s there when we need it.”
Recently, he and his wife, Trish, committed $100,000 to support the expansion of RVH and to help build a new healthcare facility in Innisfil.
With a background in finance, Doug sees their contribution to RVH as an investment into the health of our entire region—one that will pay dividends in the well-being of our patients and generate economic ripple effects for our community.