COVID-19 Update #8

Message from the President & CEO

April 22, 2020

I have been providing you weekly updates for some time now. Since my last update, another tragedy has hit us hard. The unthinkable massacre in Nova Scotia that has taken the lives of so many people innocently going about their daily lives. We cannot comprehend how this could happen in Canada, let alone in small communities in picturesque Nova Scotia. As the father of an RCMP Officer, I know how much the police force and all first responders are hurting right now, having lost one of their own to these senseless acts. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the families of the victims and to all of the people in Nova Scotia. We are here for you.

This is also a special week – National Volunteer Week – an opportunity to take the time to salute our volunteers – the lifeblood of our organization. Thank you for all you do in support of our hospital and for being such wonderful ambassadors in our community.  Please watch this video as we say thank you!!

I provide these updates because I believe it is important to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of support from our community for our hospital and for the frontline healthcare workers. Today I will again provide a report on the success of our COVID-19 Response Fund fundraising efforts.  One question I have been asked many times during this pandemic crisis is: “Are you surprised by the community support?” My answer to that question continues to be that I am actually not surprised – in the face of crisis, tragedy, and uncertainty, our community always rises to support those in need. This is a hallmark of London and the region and it makes me so proud to live and work right here.

Thanks to our amazing community, our Heroes of Health: COVID-19 Stream-A-Thon on April 16th raised almost $70,000 in support of our COVID-19 Response Fund!  A huge thank you goes out to our partners at Bell Media and host J Stevens (from 97.5 Virgin Radio), Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Mitch Marner, award-winning singer Tim Hicks, musicians Madeline Merlo and Sarah Smith, Olympic gold-medal figure skater Scott Moir, as well as interior design star Jillian Summers.  A special thank you goes out to our surprise guest Rachel McAdams who wrapped up the event by generously matching the first $10,000 raised! 

In case you missed it, or to watch again, check out Heroes of Health: COVID-19 Stream-A-Thon.

The COVID-19 Response Fund is already seeing an impact for our frontline workers. General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS-Canada), a long-time supporter of London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), recently made an incredibly generous donation of ventilators and N95 masks to our hospital. We would like to express our gratitude for such a thoughtful and meaningful contribution to support our hospital during this crisis. Visit our website to learn more.

You will recall a few weeks ago when I introduced this Fund, we were starting from a zero balance.  In the days and weeks that followed, and hundreds of individual and corporate gifts later, we currently stand at close to $600,000!  Thank you for your tremendous support!

The battle continues however, as does the need to continue to support our healthcare heroes. If you have not already given, I ask you to please consider supporting our COVID-19 Response Fund and if you have already given, please share this email with your friends, family and social media community. 

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.  Please visit the hospital’s website for current information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself and your family, and visitor protocols. 

Please continue to stay home and practice physical distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

We will get through this unprecedented public health emergency together.  


John MacFarlane, BBA, LL.B, MPA

President & CEO

London Health Sciences Foundation