Building A Foundation: A new Horizon for Health Care in Cape Breton

Cape Breton has invested a lot in healthcare over the past thirty years. In fact more than $50,000,000 has been donated by our community in the pursuit of excellence in healthcare, at home. Not only have we invested financially, but we’ve invested our heart and soul into what’s best for Cape Breton. With the most recent announcement by the provincial government, we will be seeing new and exciting healthcare opportunities on our island. At the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, we are looking forward to the opportunity to embrace this new plan at our facility.   

For the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, following are the major investments being made by the provincial government:

   1.    Expansion of the Cancer Centre by 20,000 square feet, more than doubling its current size.

          2.    Redevelopment of the Emergency Department by an estimated 40%.

          3.    Improve space for critical care, including the Intensive Care Unit and the Coronary Care Unit.

As the fundraising arm for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, our Foundation is focused on supporting the delivery of health care in Cape Breton.  We do this by working with three distinct groups, namely, our donors, the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), and the provincial government.

Our focus remains the same - working with our donors to provide exciting opportunities to positively impact the health of Cape Bretoners.  In order to determine opportunities for investment, we work closely with the NSHA.  Although our Foundation is an independent organization, with its own board of directors, by-laws and decision making processes, we exist to support the delivery of health care for Cape Breton. 

Priorities are set by the provincial government in collaboration with the NSHA.  As an organization with autonomy and independence, our role is to review these priorities and make decisions we feel are meaningful to our donors.  Over the next nine months, we will be engaged in the planning process with the NSHA.  After this process, we will be able to make decisions on areas to support and levels of investment. 

We are excited about the expansion of the Cancer Centre.  Our donors have played a leading role in the success of the centre, including two major capital campaigns.  We know that when we campaign for cancer care our donors respond favorably, which gives us confidence to execute another campaign for the cancer centre, if determined to be the strategic direction of our board.  With a 135% increase in new cancer diagnoses since the centre opened 20 years ago (1,951 new cancer diagnoses last year alone), we completely support the expansion.  The new space will provide a multidisciplinary approach to care, address significant space challenges, and provide new space for an inpatient unit and cancer research.   

We have had positive working relationships with the NSHA and the provincial government in the past,   partnering on the building of the Cape Breton Cancer Centre in 1998 (50% partnership on $6,000,000), the purchase of a $3,700,000 linear accelerator for the cancer centre in 2016 (75% government and 25% donor funding) and recently the purchase of an MRI machine this year (90% government and 10% donor funding).  In each case, the level of Foundation investment was determined in consultation with our board of directors, and in some cases, negotiated with the NSHA. 

We are looking forward to participating in the planning process over the next six to nine months, and learning more about the opportunities that exist. Our commitment is to continue to update our donors on our progress, as well as engage them in a conversation about our potential plans and opportunities for investment in the future of healthcare in Cape Breton.

If you have questions about the announcement in relation to the Regional Hospital, our Foundation’s role, or the potential opportunities for support, please feel free to reach out to us with your questions.  Your thoughts and opinions are important and valued.

Glen Brann

Board Chair, Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation     


Until no patient needs us, we need you! Feel free to share your thoughts on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @becauseucare

Glen Brann is the Board Chair of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation (@becauseucare).  Glen is the Director of Operations with CBI Health Group’s Nova Scotia Outpatient Network and has 25 years of leadership experience in healthcare. He lives with his wife and three children in Sydney.

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