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(L) Fred Waks, Chair, Sunnybrook Foundation Board of Directors - (R) Dr. Jon S. Dellandrea, CM, President & CEO, Sunnybrook Foundation

Thank you

COVID-19 has changed the world in just about every way possible, but one thing that has remained unchanged throughout all this is Sunnybrook’s commitment to inventing the future of health care.

It has been tremendously inspiring to witness how every part of the Sunnybrook community has stepped up to this unprecedented challenge and continued to do what they do best: support the many impressive life-saving breakthroughs you’ll read about in our annual report to donors.

Philanthropy plays an exceptionally important role in making the future of health care possible. There are countless examples at Sunnybrook where this is true, and here are just a few from the past year:

  • A one-of-a-kind philanthropic grant in support of focused ultrasound research that not only serves as a new template for philanthropic grant-making in Canada, but is also set to revolutionize the treatment of brain disorders;
  • All the creative ways more than 9,500 donors came together to raise more than $7 million for our pandemic response;
  • The vision of our community whose contributions of more than $60 million were recently matched with an additional $60 million from the provincial government, in support of the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre.

When I reflect on my time as President and CEO of the Sunnybrook Foundation, I am reminded again and again of the power of philanthropy: it builds physical spaces; it accelerates the pace of research; it pushes forward pivotal moments that have the profound ability to change lives.

When you invest in Sunnybrook, you do more than give. You envision new ways forward. You believe in a better tomorrow. You transform impossible into “I’m Possible” for patients and their loved ones.

This year most especially is a testament to the power of what can happen when our community unites together as never before.

Equally so, volunteers play an important role in allowing the Sunnybrook Foundation to provide the support Sunnybrook needs to achieve its vision. I want to acknowledge the tireless efforts of Fred Waks, whose two consecutive terms as Chair of the Sunnybrook Foundation Board of Directors are drawing to a close. His belief in the power of research to change lives is matched by his ability to motivate people toward a common goal.

Before I close, I would like to share with our community my two favourite words: thank you.

Sunnybrook works hard to earn your trust in everything we do, and I give you my personal pledge that if you keep doing what you do, we’ll keep bringing the future of health care to patients and their loved ones when it matters most.

Dr. Jon Dellandrea, CM
President & CEO,
Sunnybrook Foundation
Andy Smith, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, President & CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Team effort

Behind every breakthrough, every life-changing treatment and everything in between, there are countless members of Team Sunnybrook, making those moments possible.

This year, more than any other, reminded me that health care is and always will be a team sport.

During the unprecedented era of COVID-19, we saw first-hand what can happen when we partner together. Our researchers collaborated to successfully isolate the virus in just a few short weeks. Our donors, recognizing the urgency of developing a new treatment, came together and enabled us to fast-track the launch of a promising clinical trial in a previously unheard-of timeframe. In the moments in between: our dedicated teams showed up each and every day to care for patients — some even volunteering to take on new roles to assist in our pandemic response.

In this report, you will read about more team efforts, all made possible because of you.

Our rooftop helipad, funded almost entirely by donors, recently opened to air ambulances, allowing our teams to provide faster access to Canada’s largest trauma centre and our program for high-risk mothers and babies.

The promise of the MR-Linac, which combines radiation and high-resolution MRI, was realized when our teams treated our very first patients with brain cancer and prostate cancer.

We will soon put shovels in the ground for the construction of our Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre, which will bring together some of the greatest minds across diverse areas of brain health to develop the next generation of treatments for mental illness, dementia, stroke, neurological disorders and more.

When I look back at these milestones and look forward to what we will achieve, it is obvious that Sunnybrook Foundation President and CEO Dr. Jon Dellandrea knows how to rally a team. Like any good coach, he understands we are stronger when we are all pulling together in the same direction. Over the past eight years, he has always championed how every member of our community is vital to our success.

That includes you.

You are valuable member of Team Sunnybrook, and I hope you take pride, as I do, in that we have accomplished together.

Andy Smith, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
President & CEO,
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
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