Spirit of Giving

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10 reasons we love our donors

Happy Valentine’s Day! Donors are an essential part of making the IWK the centre of excellence that it is today. We are so thankful for their love and generosity! This Valentine’s Day, our staff members at the IWK Foundation wanted to let our supporters know exactly why we love them. 

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10 reasons why we love our donors.

1 – I love the passion so many of our donors have for the IWK. They are fiercely dedicated to the cause and they understand the direct impact their giving has on patients and staff.  It’s a beautiful thing! ~ Carla Adams, Principal Communications Strategist

2 Our donors provide more than money – they give passion, energy, and expertise! ~ Molly Cotter, Director of Finances and Donor Services

3 – They  not only give, they can go above and beyond, volunteering their time and efforts beyond the financial. They’re so happy to give to total strangers! It really is inspiring. ~ Christie Moore, Major Gifts Officer

4 – I love our donors because they help the staff at the IWK make miracles happen! – Lynda Moffatt,  Development Officer – Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia 

5 I am very grateful and love our many donor’s who, because they care, are quietly having an impact on the quality of health care we have come to expect from the IWK; they help to ensure that this level of excellence can continue well into the future. Their continued support is both humbling and vital. ~ Mary Theresa Ross, Manger of Planned Giving 

6 – They inspire me to be more giving.  ~ Trena Crewe, Director of Donor Relations

7 – I love our donors because they give children hope. ~ David Huett, Donor Service Specialist

8 – I love our donors because they care about the IWK as much as we do. Their donations are special and come from the heart. We both share the same the goal, to make the IWK the place possible for Maritime children, women and their families. ~ Andrew Paris, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist 

9 – I love our donors for their spirit of generosity and support for Maritime families.  ~ Natalie Foster, Database & Donor Services Administrator

10 – I love our donors because beyond the financial support they provide, they provide the most important gift of all:  hope. ~ Geoffrey Milder, Development Officer, Mainland NS & Children’s Miracle Network Program Director

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to every one of our supporters. You are part of everything we do. 

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation.


That’s why I’m riding.

Dr. Crooks is a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at the IWK Health Centre. This year he will be riding across Canada for the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride – one of the biggest and most ambitious charity cycling events on behalf of childhood cancer in the world.

There are so many reasons for challenging myself for doing this. But I think the impetus has to come from a wonderful young patient.

Dr. Bruce Crooks

Dr. Bruce Crooks

Years ago, I admitted and looked after her when she was diagnosed with, and started treatment for, Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia – the commonest childhood cancer. Even then she didn’t complain, but met the challenge head on and did what she had to do. Years later, and after a somewhat rocky road, she’s finishing her studies at university and is one of the strongest, most positive and assertive role models I’ve ever met. She took the cloud that’s leukemia, ripped it apart and kept the silver lining. That taught her so many life lessons at such an early age. Last year, she stood beside me as we welcomed the 2012 National Kids Cancer Ride to Halifax and said, “So how about doing this with me next year, Crooksy?” At that point how could I say no? And here I am.

I’m originally from the UK. When I first arrived in Canada I was immediately struck by just how BIG this country is compared with Europe. Distances are measured in hours and days, not miles or kilometres. There’s a huge amount of wilderness here – lakes and rocks and trees. Oh, and bears (one of my soft spots). So it’s hardly surprising that one of my dreams was to cross the continent – on foot!!! But here’s an opportunity to do it a different way and to do something amazing with that opportunity – something that’s very dear to my heart.

Professionally, I knew I wanted to work with kids during medical school and during my first part of postgraduate training, became fascinated with cancer and cancer therapy.   In my opinion, fun, humour and clowning around is a part of the healing process – childhood is a time of laughter, exploration and discovery. Why take away a child’s innocence and childhood just because they are dealing with some crummy disease and rotten treatments. If they love coming to see me, that makes everything so much better. And I’m not afraid to put my money where my mouth is and do something like a charity head shave, or event! Why not? It’s part of the rich tapestry of life.

Dr. Crooks will be cycling across Canada to raise money for childhood oncology programs.

Dr. Crooks will be cycling across Canada to raise money for childhood oncology programs.

I see both sides of the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation: We all participate in the fundraising, and the events and the struggle to raise the money that is so desperately needed. And as a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist, I see where that money is widely spent – to improve the quality of life and care for our kids and families, to plough into medical research to devise better treatments, but also to learn where cancers come from – after all, prevention is better than a cure.

As I said to a mother not too long ago as she had just been told her child had leukemia, “This must seem to be the worst day of your life, but I’m here to try and make it better for you.”

I wish I never have to say those words again. That’s why I’m riding.

Learn more about the Sears National Kids Cancer ride.
Support Dr. Cooks on his ride across Canada.

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Volunteers are at the core of our organization.

April 21- 27 is National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize individuals who are making a contribution to their community. Jennifer Gillivan, President and CEO of the IWK Health Centre Foundation, shares her messages of gratitude.

Dear Friends:

Jennifer Gillivan, President & CEO, IWK Health Centre Foundation

Jennifer Gillivan, President & CEO, IWK Health Centre Foundation

April marks that special time of year where we take time to recognize and celebrate the hundreds of volunteers who give their time in support of the IWK Health Centre.

At the IWK Foundation we strive to raise funds year-round to support the most urgent needs of the Health Centre. We couldn’t do this without the support of our volunteers. Two of our largest annual fundraisers – the IWK Telethon for Children and our various Radiothons, would not be possible without the helping hands of volunteers, like you. You help us to continuously make positive change at the IWK.

The contributions you make in your community to further advancements in specialized care for Maritime youth and children are invaluable. Each of you plays an integral role in our fundraising success. For example, Jim Nickle in Halifax offers office support when we need a hand. In Saint John, Sue Steeves lends her leadership talents by managing our phone banks and phone volunteers at Telethon. For the Côté Family in Cape Breton, they volunteer by sharing their personal IWK story. Candace Woodside in Charlottetown helps ensure that all our PEI Radiothon volunteers and staff are well-fed during the two-day broadcast.

As you can see, volunteers are at the core of our organization. We want to make sure that you understand and feel just how valued and respected you are.

From the bottom of our hearts – thank you for giving. By donating your time and your spirit you help to further specialized care at the IWK. Now that’s something you should be extremely proud of!

With Gratitude,

Jennifer Gillivan,
President & CEO, IWK Health Centre Foundation

Volunteer with the IWK Foundation.

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Laps for Loonies

Adam Ramsay is an on-air personality for 95.1  FM CFCY, and will be participating along with Q93 personalities in the Laps for Loonies event on April 12 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. at Charlottetown Mall.

Adam Ramsay, 95.1 FM CFCY Radio personality

Adam Ramsay, 95.1 FM CFCY Radio personality

There are so many incredible charitable organizations and wonderful causes in our communities to support today that it’s easy to find disappointment within yourself for not being able to champion them all. But maybe the silver lining comes from the thought that perhaps the groups you do choose to support, and dedicate your time, energy and resources to, are chosen because they best reflect who you are and where you feel the closest connection to through the moments  you’ve experienced.

For me, the IWK Foundation (and the Children’s Hospital it represents) is one of those causes that hits home and inspires me to do what I can to support all those who touch the organization.  Many years ago, my sister was born at the IWK, more than three months premature.  And as I grow more into adulthood I’m seeing friends, co-workers, and more members of my community rely on the services and the special care of the IWK.  It’s hard not to feel close to an organization that has been such an integral part in the lives of the important people around us.

Through the Laps For Loonies fundraising event that we have developed in Charlottetown, I’m hoping to be a part of a day that will look to raise thousands for a cause that is so important to pursue. Through a simple act of walking ‘laps’ inside the largest shopping centre on the Island, we’re hoping to be a part of something much bigger – something that will help families who are not yet even aware they will need the assistance of the IWK, be taken care of when their time of need arrives.

And for me, that’s a cause more than worthy of championing.

Thank you Adam for you support! Don’t forget to tune in to 95.1 FM CFCY on April 25 & 26 as we broadcast live from Charlottetown Mall for the IWK Radiothon – Proudly presented by Investor’s Group. 

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation. 

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Donating securities to charity.

Marc Furlotte is an Investment Advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy. He holds the Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Consultant designations and has over 30  years experience in accounting, finance and taxation. Marc has also served as Treasurer on the IWK Health Centre Foundation Board and Chair of its Finance and Investment Committee.

Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy

Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy

This week I was contacted by the IWK Foundation to talk about the tax advantages of donating publically traded marketable securities rather than cash before the end of the year. Over the past several years, the IWK Foundation, like most charities, has noticed an increase in the amount of securities donated.  This is a great time of year to remind everyone of the tax benefits that come with donating securities to your favourite charity.

I have found this method of giving to be extremely simple and it offers tax advantages that are not available by giving cash.

Why donate securities as opposed to cash?

The primary reason to donate securities is that any embedded capital gain is not taxable.  You will still get a tax receipt for the full market value on the date of the transfer. For example; if you have stock that has increased in value by say $1000 since purchase, you not only avoid paying tax on the $1000 gain, but you can also realize an additional tax saving by claiming a tax credit for the full value of the donation from the taxes you would otherwise pay.

Another reason to donate securities as opposed to cash is that many individuals have a lot of their money invested in some form of securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.)  When individuals decide to make larger donations or pledges, they generally do not have that much “cash” sitting around idly.  So, instead of having to sell the securities (resulting in potential capital gains tax) and donate the cash to the charity, they can simply transfer the securities directly and receive the incremental benefit described above.

Generally all types of marketable securities are eligible; however there have been some recent changes for “flow-through” shares (you should check with your tax advisor if you wish to donate any of these).

Since most securities are held in brokerage accounts, it is very simple to make a donation of securities. Most charities have streamlined electronic processes in place to facilitate such a gift.  Simply ask your financial advisor to contact the IWK or your charity and they can take care of the rest.

If you have shares in certificate (paper) form, then the process can take a little more time since the security has to be validated as a true share certificate.

The deadline for taking advantage of this tax incentive for 2012 is December 31, but it would be wise to set the transaction in motion with your financial advisor before Christmas.

To make a donation of stock call the Foundation at 470-8085 or 1-800-595-2266. During the holidays, simply visit our website at www.iwkfoundation.org/securities where you will find additional instructions.

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Depression detective tackles the genetic code.

This article appeared in the inaugural issue of Izaak Magazine – an in-depth, behind the scenes, all-access publication highlighting the incredible, everyday happenings at the IWK Health Centre.  Dr. Kathleen Pajer and her team have developed a unique blood test in an attempt to pinpoint how and why this form of mental illness occurs.

“Intriguing and provocative” is how Dr. Kathleen Pajer, Chief of Psychiatry at the IWK Health Centre, describes her research with long-time collaborator Dr. Eva Redei of Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr. Pajer’s arrival in Halifax last year did not happen by chance. After vacationing in Nova Scotia six years ago, Dr. Pajer decided it was a place she’d love to live and pursued professional opportunities in the province. The rest, as they say, is history.

DepressionNow, in her role at the IWK, Dr. Pajer continues her compelling research, trying to determine how and why depression occurs. If she can do so, she and her international research colleagues will truly be leading in mental health research that can change the world.

Through their extensive work, Dr. Pajer and her research team realized that the current method of diagnosing depression is subjective. So, they sought to find a blood test that could serve as an objective tool to determine depression. Their pilot study involved 28 patients — half of whom had early onset depression and half who showed no symptoms. This study resulted in the development of the first blood test to diagnose major depression in teens.

“Right now depression is treated with a blunt instrument,” explained Dr. Pajer’s research associate, Dr. Redei, in a release about their findings. “It’s like treating type 1 Diabetes and type 2 Diabetes exactly the same way. We need to do better for these kids.”

“This is the first significant step for us to understand which treatment will be most effective for an individual patient,” added Dr. Redei. “Without an objective diagnosis, it’s very difficult to make that assessment.   The early diagnosis and specific classification of early major depression could lead to a larger repertoire of more effective treatments and enhanced individualized care.”

Their findings were published in the spring and were widely cited because it demonstrated that they found 11 genes that differentiated the two groups. To help explain the research, Dr. Pajer compared a person’s genes to an electrical panel in a house.

Whether the genes — or the switches — are there indicate whether a person has a predisposition for something. Then, at some point in a person’s life the genes can be turned on or turned off. When genes get turned on or off, they either make proteins or don’t. This highly depends on an individual’s environment and includes many factors.

“We discovered 11 genes in a panel that were  able to mark early onset depression,” Dr. Pajer says. “This was an incredible discovery — one that we didn’t expect due to the complexity of the disorder.”

Dr. Pajer’s research is critical to the mental health treatment underway at the IWK. In fact, her work will have a meaningful impact on treatment of children and youth now and in the years to come, in the Maritimes and around the world.

“Everybody, including parents, is wary of treatment, and there remains a social stigma around depression, which in the peer-pressured world of teenagers is even more devastating,” Dr. Redei said. “Once you can objectively diagnose depression as you would hypertension or diabetes, the stigma will likely disappear.”

Having a blood test that can detect depression earlier is significant because the  mind is like clay. The longer you wait, the more it sets and it becomes less pliable. In her research on depression, Dr. Pajer has discovered that the longer she follows adults who have not been successfully treated, the closer the depression cycles get and the harder they are to break. “We want to try to treat it early and identify it early,” Dr. Pajer said. “Early onset depression is the worst kind you can have. The earlier the onset, the more likely for a chronic course, the more likely that you’ll continue throughout the rest of your life to cycle into depression.” Early onset means the depression is diagnosed before the person is 26 years old.

The next step is to compile a larger group of child participants. The research team will then measure the gene expression level of those who show symptoms against those who do not. “This next step will bring us closer to our goal of early intervention,” says Dr. Pajer. “We then anticipate more effective treatments and enhanced individualized care.”

To read the full issue of Izaak Magazine visit www.iwkfoundation.org/izaak.

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation.

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Attracting the world’s best.

This article was written by Diane Merlevede for the inaugural issue of Izaak Magazine – an in-depth, behind the scenes, all-access publication highlighting the incredible, everyday happenings at the IWK Health Centre.  Pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Karl Logan is among professionals drawn to the IWK by its state-of-the-art ORs and leading edge research.


Dr. Karl Logan is one of several pediatric orthopedic surgeons who have come to the IWK after working at major hospitals.

A parent never wants to hear anything bad about their baby’s health, but that’s the position Melanie Lisson found herself in earlier this year. Her daughter, Quinn, was referred to the IWK from Fredericton when her doctor discovered that her hips weren’t developing properly. In a breech position when she was born, Quinn’s hip may have never been in the socket properly, the IWK’s Dr. Karl Logan explained to Lisson.

Despite the unpleasant circumstances, Lisson says her worries were put to ease once they were admitted to the IWK.

“From our first visit, we felt extremely well cared for with Dr. Logan,” Lisson says. “The process was incredible. We were with our orthopedic surgeon within a week and received a surgery date within two months — we couldn’t have hoped for better.”

Following her successful innominate osteotomy with Dr. Karl Logan in September, Quinn and her parents had a quick four-day hospital stay and were able to head home. They will return for periodic followups over the years, but the bulk of their worries are now dissolved.

Dr. Logan is one of several pediatric orthopedic surgeons who have come to the IWK Health Centre after working at major hospitals in other countries and cities. The high quality of the IWK’s pediatric operating facilities was one of the attractions that led to his arrival in March of 2010.

“There has been a huge investment in the operating facilities at the IWK, which are really second to none,” says Dr. Logan, who was born in the United Kingdom.

“I have worked at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and in my opinion our operating suite here is the best I’ve ever seen.”

Dr. Logan is proud to be part of a team of orthopedic surgeons who bring a lot of experience from around the world.

“Dr. Ron El-Hawary trained at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas,” he says. “Dr. Jason Howard did his fellowship in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. And Dr. Ben Orlik recently returned from Los Angeles. It is a huge pleasure to work in such a collegial environment with like-minded people.”

The Ron Joyce Operating Suite is one of the many upgrades that IWK donors have made possible. It has seven operating rooms and state-of-the-art technology.


The Ron Joyce Operating Suite is one of many upgrades that IWK donors have made possible.

“We have multiple flat-panel screens, on which we can display X-rays or imaging,” says Dr. Logan.

“Everybody can watch what is going on, and the surgeon can clearly see what is going on from multiple angles. We have a bubble cam, a little camera we can move around the OR. People also can watch the operation without being in the room. We can send out to the conference room or anywhere within Dalhousie University.”

Dr. Logan likes that most of the equipment in the operating room is suspended from the ceiling and easily can be moved around the room, which helps to make operating easier. There also are special beds that allow doctors to take X-rays while the patient remains in the bed.

Dr. Logan is now looking forward to a new research project with the team. The IWK’s Orthopedic Surgery Research Group was recently awarded $2.2 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund toward the development of low-dose X-ray techniques to help assess and improve outcomes of pediatric orthopedic surgeries.

“We have been awarded the grant to look at marrying two technologies,” he says.

“In adult orthopedics, radiostereomettworic analysis, or RSA, tells you much sooner whether your joint replacement is going to continue to be successful or not. We hope that in pediatrics we are going to be able to utilize the technology in similar ways. EOS is an X-ray machine that takes X-rays from radiostereomettwo directions using a lot less radiation than a standard X-ray. Basically we are going to combine those two technologies for use in children.”

“For example, in the case of a patient with scoliosis surgery, it may allow the patient to get back to regular activities much more quickly because the technique will tell us whether the spine has healed properly and fully.”

Lisson couldn’t be happier with her daughter’s experience with Dr. Logan and his team.

“The work they’re doing is amazing,” she says. “Having Quinn in the care of the IWK made all the difference in the world for us.”

To read the full issue of Izaak Magazine visit www.iwkfoundation.org/izaak.

Make a gift to the IWK Foundation.