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Dr. Philip Teal, head of Neurology at Vancouver Coastal Health, is the clinical lead for the Brain Breakthroughs campaign.supplied

An aging population and an increasing incidence of brain injuries and conditions – one in three Canadians will be affected in their lifetime – are the impetus behind VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s initiative to raise $35-million for its Brain Breakthroughs campaign.

“The brain defines us as individuals – how we think, feel and function. When something goes wrong with your brain, it shatters not only your own sense of being, but the sense of who you are for all the people around you,” says Barbara Grantham, president and CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

“Brain disorders impact the essence of who we are in a very different way from other diseases,” she adds. “That’s why early diagnosis and faster treatment are essential to provide patients with a path to rehabilitation. You cannot transplant or replace your brain.”

British Columbians with a major brain disorder or injury will likely be treated at Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre – or a combination of the three.

Barbara Grantham, president and CEO of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.supplied

Many of the physicians and health-care professionals at these centres are also researchers and teachers of the next generation of doctors and health-care professionals.

“Our Brain Breakthroughs campaign will invest in already-assembled teams of experts who have made it their mission to solve the most difficult challenges in brain health,” says Ms. Grantham.

“Support from VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation plays an important role in attracting clinical and research talent to Vancouver Coastal Health, ensuring the best health care for all British Columbians,” she says, noting that philanthropic investment is vital.

“Connecting the power of philanthropy with the power of health-care innovation enables us to go beyond the limits of public funding to achieve things that would otherwise not be possible. And our Brain Breakthroughs campaign will invest in research that can be readily translatable into better clinical care,” concludes Ms. Grantham.

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Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.