Katherine Cotton and Dr Kitt

This year, the words ‘thank you’ just don’t seem big enough to express our deep appreciation to the community for their support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letters, signs, and videos inspired so many of us, working inside and outside the hospital, to continue providing world-class, compassionate care to our patients in some of the most challenging circumstances we have ever faced.

Thank you seems equally too small a phrase to express the gratitude we have for all the health-care providers, staff, researchers, allied health professionals, public health authorities and levels of government who came together in extraordinary ways to respond to the needs of the community. Over our time at The Ottawa Hospital, but especially in the past 12 months, we have been so fortunate to witness the finest examples of kindness, courage and discovery.

There is no doubt that this pandemic has forever changed how health care is delivered. In many ways, the experience has affirmed that the hospital is ready to embrace the future and continue to be a leader in innovation.

Over the past year, The Ottawa Hospital has made great strides in pushing innovation forward. We set up the region’s first COVID-19 Assessment Centre in just three-and-a-half days to divert non-urgent cases away from our Emergency Department. We developed strategic partnerships with international organizations like Sheba Medical Centre in Israel to form an ARC, a public policy tool designed to accelerate redesign through collaboration. We also successfully launched Epic, our digital health information system. Together, we will continue to foster innovation in pursuit of better patient experience, better staff experience, better value, and healthier populations.

Our new 21st-century hospital will set the standard for patient-centred, environmentally sensitive design. Through community and staff engagement, and steady progress with all three levels of government, we continue to make steady progress toward building the hospital of the future where innovation is woven deep within the culture.

Innovation will continue to be a focus as we welcome Cameron Love as the new President and CEO. Cameron is exceptionally talented and embodies the tenacity and warmth needed to lead this hospital into its bright future. We can say with confidence that we are all in great hands.

Katherine Cotton
Chair, Board of Directors,The Ottawa Hospital

Dr. Jack Kitts
President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital

The Board of Governors would sincerely like to thank Dr. Jack Kitts for his 18 years of exceptional service as the hospital’s President and CEO. Under Jack’s inspiring leadership, the Ottawa Hospital has built an international reputation of excellence in care, education and research. His unwavering commitment to his vision has helped transform health care in Ottawa, the region and across Canada, and he leaves a lasting legacy of providing compassionate, patient-centered care.

Dr. Duncan Stewart and Patricia Kosseim

In this unprecedented time of global pandemic, the importance of health research has never been more obvious.

Scientists from around the world are working collaboratively to develop new ways to prevent and treat COVID-19, and researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are stepping up to take a leadership role in this global fight. More than 50 individual COVID-19 projects have been initiated, ranging from the development of vaccines to novel therapies. We are immensely proud of how our scientists and everyone at our Research Institute has risen to this enormous challenge.

That we are on the cutting edge of COVID-19 research should not come as a big surprise, given that our research has been having a global impact well before this crisis. Examples from this year include:

  • Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden’s team discovered that a medication commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes, might hold promise for helping to prevent ovarian cancer.
  • Dr. Michael Schlossmacher’s team revealed how one gene called LRRK2 is the common link to three different diseases: Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, and leprosy. This knowledge could lead to new treatments and preventions for all three conditions.
  • Dr. Daniel McIsaac and his team launched a cross-Canada clinical trial of exercise before surgery known as “pre-hab”. Trial participant Marie Lapointe, 66, credits the study with helping her get back to golfing several times a week after her lung cancer surgery.
  • Dr. Marjorie Brand and her team discovered how blood stem cells decide what to be when they “grow up” – a breakthrough that could lead to new therapies for many diseases.

"We’re proud to be one of Canada’s most successful research hospitals, publishing almost 2,000 scientific papers in 2019, many of which have helped to transform health care around the world. The Ottawa Hospital is also one of the top hospitals in Canada for attracting external research funding, ranking fourth out of more than 600 hospitals for funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and fifth for overall research funding.

But we also know that today’s successes will be followed by new and perplexing health care challenges tomorrow. And that is why our new Corporate Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for how we will meet those challenges so that patients at The Ottawa Hospital, and indeed, around the world, can benefit.

We thank all our researchers, staff, trainees, volunteers and patient partners for their dedication and hard work, especially as we face the challenge of COVID-19. We also thank our partners at the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital Foundation as well as our many generous donors.

Our sincere wish is for everyone to stay safe and healthy during this difficult time.

Patricia Kosseim
Chair, Board of Directors, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Duncan Stewart
CEO and Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Executive Vice-President, Research, The Ottawa Hospital
Professor, University of Ottawa

Tim and Mike

Strange days, indeed. John Lennon wrote those lyrics more than 40 years ago, but they have a particular resonance today. For the last several months, we have all been focused on adapting to and navigating this strange new reality dictated by COVID-19. And as we reflect on the 2019-20 fiscal year at the Foundation, we have much to celebrate. Fundraising milestones were met and exceeded; lifesaving equipment and groundbreaking research were funded.

In March, when we were suddenly faced with COVID-19, we quickly created the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to help purchase much-needed equipment and PPE, and to support important innovation, care, and research projects. We were humbled by the generous outpouring of support from the Ottawa community and donors across the country. The hospital’s response to our community’s needs during this pandemic has also been crucial. We have been able to work with the hospital to put your donations to work right away, ensuring the immediate impact of your support.

We are proud to say that we have a long-standing track record for being one of the most efficient and effective hospital foundations in the country. In the face of the pandemic and an uncertain future for philanthropy, we were committed to maintaining this level of excellence and to being good stewards of the generosity entrusted to us as the hospital’s Foundation, even during challenging times.

The last few months have reminded all of us how vital The Ottawa Hospital is for our city and surrounding area. That is why the Foundation is focused not only on the needs of today but also on the needs of tomorrow.

With the help of a caring community, we look ahead to the largest, most important health-care project in the history of our region as we build a new health and research centre to replace the aging Civic Campus. This new hospital campus will be so modern and technologically advanced that it will revolutionize health care in our region and will transform how we care for our patients. This is the healthy future we set our sights on

It is a privilege to be joining together with our generous supporters in creating a healthier tomorrow.

Tim Kluke
President and CEO, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

Mike Runia
Chair of the Board of Directors, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation