Message from the President & CEO
June 17, 2020
As the poet Alexander Pope says ‘hope springs eternal’ because ‘it is human nature to keep on hoping against all odds.’ As the weather brings some fresh air, and as spring turns to summer, we are starting to feel hopeful for what lies ahead in the coming weeks. While we continue our fundraising efforts in support of the priorities at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), we are starting to see a positive transition as the hospital is beginning to carefully reopen services.
As the next phase of the pandemic management unfolds, I encourage you to continue following the health and safety guidelines advocated by LHSC and updates from MLHU. The hospital has been managing this pandemic admirably, and we want to support the positive trends.
In my update today, I would like to share with you the impact from the COVID-19 Response Fund. The hospital and patients are benefitting in the form of research and support for front-line staff:
- LHSF has been accepting food donations on behalf of LHSC for months now. A grateful patient provided meals from London Wine Bar, Equipco Ltd., held a GoFundMe online event with their staff and provided over 200 meals from Steel Grill Catering for the doctors, nurses, PSWs and cleaning staff at the hospital. In addition, local restaurants, Garlic’s of London, KFC Hyde Park, Thuan Kieu Viet Nam and Mandarin all provided meals for the hospital staff. If you would like to support staff through a food donation please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thanks to donors, a local team is the first in the world to study a human protein called annexin A5 as a potential therapy for COVID-19 patients with sepsis. Led by Dr. Claudio Martin, this clinical trial aims to fight sepsis in COVID-19 patients with a manufactured form of annexin A5 – a human protein that has strong anti-inflammatory properties and that could prevent respiratory and multi-organ failure. This study is being generously supported by donors as well as a grant from the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
- As COVID-19 is spread primarily through inhalation of respiratory droplets, the most severely ill patients require a ventilator to help them breathe. Unlike invasive ventilators, which require a forced opening of the airway (intubation), non-invasive ventilators (BiPAP and CPAP machines) help patients breathe through a mask that provides positive pressure to keep the lungs open and functioning. While non-invasive ventilators may be effective for some COVID-19 patients, their use comes with a much higher risk of spreading infection through airborne droplets.
A new, non-invasive mask developed at LHSC in partnership with University Health Network (UHN) and General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada eliminates that risk. Unlike traditional masks, it creates two tight seals – one around the patient’s nose and mouth that connects to the non-invasive ventilators, and another around the face. Patients breathe in and out of a filter that captures any viral particles before they are released to the air.
Led by LHSC Emergency Physician Dr. Tarek Loubani, the new mask, if successful, could put non-invasive ventilators back to work and greatly reduce the pressure on health care systems for traditional ventilators. Thanks to the help of donors, the device is now in clinical trials, with hopes of expanding its use beyond our borders.
On June 15th, Forest City Fights Back launched their “Fight Song” video and multi-pronged project aimed at uniting, encouraging and supporting the London community in the fight against COVID-19. The project is raising funds for the London Health Sciences Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund and London Community Foundation via their website and t-shirt sales. To watch the video and join the fight please click here.
The Dream Lottery has officially launched with two new homes and delightful prizes to be won! You can tour the homes virtually to see the beautiful décor and stunning craftsmanship, all from the comfort of your home. Visit the website, view the prizes and purchase tickets. The grand prize and 50/50 winners’ announcement will be September 17 unless the lottery sells out early, which it historically has. So, get your ticket early to win prizes, a Dream Home or $1M in cash. And remember the funding from Dream Lottery has allowed London hospitals to be state-of-the-art and provide specialized patient care, equipment, and research for more than 1.9 million patient visits a year.
For more information, please visit our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Please visit the hospital’s website for current information about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and your family.
In closing, I know that this has been a very difficult and strange few months, but your efforts have helped flatten the curve. Thank you to each and every one of you for your part in helping to keep us safe, and for your generous donations that continue to support the priorities of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). I would like to leave you with a few parting words from some of our donors to the health care workers who are fighting on the front-lines. Not only have you, our loyal donors, provided much needed funding for the hospital, but your kind words of thanks and support help provide a sense of hope to get through this. To see all the heartfelt messages, click here.
“Our grateful thanks to all our heroes on the front-line. You are amazing at what you do to help others suffering from COVID-19! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
- Bill & Marlene
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. A million of these wouldn’t be enough to let you know how much your dedication, long hours, caring means. I can’t think of or write down all the wonderful things you have done for Londoners and area. Take care” - Fred
“You are soldiers without limits. You are soldiers that put others first. You are women and men with big hearts ♥” - Ray
Together, we will get through this.
John MacFarlane, BBA, LL. B, MPA
President & CEO
London Health Sciences Foundation