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An artist’s impression of the planned new Ottawa Hospital seen from the Dow’s Lake end.Supplied

As innovation and research transform health care, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s (TOHF) commitment to support funding for a new hospital campus will ensure the facility will be the most technologically advanced hospital of its kind in Canada and maintain its position as a global leader in areas such as data, neuromuscular disease, stem cells and biotherapeutics manufacturing.

TOHF recently launched its $500-million Campaign to Create Tomorrow to contribute to the $2.8-billion project that is slated to replace the current aging hospital, and to take their groundbreaking research to unprecedented heights.

“In terms of patient volumes, The Ottawa Hospital is the largest hospital in the country, and we’re the third largest research institute in Canada. This campaign is not just about Ottawa. It happens to be in the nation’s capital, but there’s a lot happening here that influences care across the country and around the world,” says Tim Kluke, TOHF’s president and CEO.

“It became apparent a number of years ago that replacing this campus was critical to the vision of The Ottawa Hospital and the more than 1.5 million people we serve every year in our region,” he says.

“If we think of the investment in capital, we’re creating a 21st-century hospital that’s purpose-built around the patient experience. We have the opportunity to take advantage of some of the best hospital designs in the world and incorporate those for the benefit of our patients,” says Mr. Kluke.

Besides the physical building, there is a strong focus on innovation and technology. Well known for its leadership in data analytics, The Ottawa Hospital has assembled perhaps the largest hospital data warehouses in North America. “That has significant value for our physicians who use data to inform their decisions and also for our researchers to enable tremendous research,” he says.

Tim Kluke, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation’s president and CEO, at the public launch of the $500-million Campaign to Create Tomorrow.Supplied

He believes the partnership between industry and the hospital, and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) will drive change in how health care is delivered not only now but in the future.

One of the significant partnerships is with MDClone, a company that transforms patient data into synthetic data.

“One of the greatest assets the hospital has is its ‘know-how.’ Our hospital staff, physicians and scientists are being encouraged to partner with hospitals and companies around the world to create innovative solutions to health care’s biggest challenges. When we combine this know-how with the power of data, then together we can truly change the world. Our work with MDClone means we can use synthetic data to realize great benefit without compromising patient privacy. This is just one example of a global partnership,” says Mr. Kluke.

Philanthropy is a cornerstone of funding for the new hospital and the ability to meet its “local share.” Mr. Kluke explains when a hospital is built, approximately 25 per cent of the total cost is the responsibility of the local hospital and the community.

“Our local share is upwards of $700-million, a large portion of which will be generated through our $500-million philanthropic campaign,” he says.

One irony is that 100 years ago, on the heels of the Spanish flu, the then mayor of Ottawa, Harold Fisher, and a group of city leaders set out to build a big-city hospital. The city and its community leaders rallied, says Mr. Kluke, and built the original hospital (known today as the Civic) at a cost of $3.5-million.

Examining a scan of a patient’s brain in the radiation oncology department at The Ottawa Hospital.Supplied

“And here we are today with our own pandemic and our own opportunity to shape the future of our city. Through this ambitious campaign, I believe we have the power to transform. Here we are 100 years later, changing the course of health care for our city through philanthropy,” he says.

While the campaign is in its early phase, Mr. Kluke says TOHF is humbled by the support it has received. Acknowledging a $25-million gift from the seven shareholders of the Minto Group – the largest health care donation in Ottawa’s history – he urges the community to support the campaign.

“Whether it’s through estate planning, workplace campaigns or monthly donors, we will need everyone pulling in the same direction for us to meet our $500-million goal,” he says. “It’s an opportunity for us to shape health care for future generations. I think future citizens will look back and realize that we understood the significance of this moment and the opportunity and put a plan in motion that’s going to transform health care for generations to follow.”

Scheduled to open in 2028, the new campus will provide 2.5 million square feet of hospital space, including more than 640 beds, on the 50-acre site.

Information: creatingtomorrow.ca


Advertising feature produced by Randall Anthony Communications with The Association of Fundraising Professionals Canada. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.