NIAGARA, ON, April 16, 2012 /CNW/ - On April 2, 2012, Scotiabank's thirteen Niagara branches launched a joint initiative supporting cancer care in Niagara as part of the Bank's Bright Future philanthropic program. Collectively, the branches have committed to raise $250,000, over a five year period, towards the Niagara Health System It's Our Time Campaign. This donation will support the future Walker Family Cancer Centre, now under construction as part of the Niagara Health System's (NHS) new healthcare complex in west St. Catharines. Funds will be raised through in-branch activities and events such as community barbecues and the sale of "Scotiabank Supports Cancer Care" wristbands, baked goods, candy and coupon booklets.
"Cancer touches the lives of so many of our customers and staff members, their families and friends," says Shawn Goddard, Vice President of Scotiabank's Hamilton and Niagara District. "Supporting the communities where we live and work is at the heart of the Bank's Bright Future philanthropic program, and healthcare is an important area of focus. We are pleased to help raise the funds needed to bring more cancer care services closer to home for the people of Niagara."
Scotiabank's commitment to healthcare in Niagara runs deep. In 2009, the Bank made a $200,000 corporate pledge in support of the future Niagara Regional Mental Health Centre, also part of the new NHS healthcare complex. In 2010, three local St. Catharines Scotiabank branch employees launched an Annual Charity Stag and Doe, committing to raise funds to support of the Walker Family Cancer Centre.
The recent collective initiative by the thirteen Niagara branches demonstrates Scotiabank's continued commitment to the health and well-being of the people living in Niagara. In recognition of this generous support, the CT Simulator Suite in the new Cancer Centre will be named in Scotiabank's honour.
Through the Bright Future program, Scotiabank's charitable efforts are aimed at being relevant and responsive to the needs of each community at a grassroots level and provide support across the fields of health, arts, education, social services, sports and the environment.
The addition of radiation therapy in the new Walker Family Cancer Centre is perhaps the most highly anticipated new service to become available with the opening of Niagara's new healthcare complex in spring 2013. At a very stressful time, patients will be spared the need to travel outside the region for radiation treatments, in most cases. The CT Simulator Suite is the first step in the radiation therapy planning process and allows the cancer team to 'see' a patient's internal structures such as tissue, organs and bones to help determine the specific positioning of patients during radiation.
"A lot of planning and preparation has gone into designing our future cancer centre, including the selection of state-of-the-art equipment," says Dr. Janice Giesbrecht, NHS Director of Oncology and Deputy Regional Vice President with Cancer Care Ontario. "On behalf of our patients and families, we are extremely grateful to Scotiabank for its support of the CT Simulator Suite. Care providers will assess and plan radiation treatment for our patients in this treatment planning suite, making it a crucial component in the delivery of patient-centred cancer care in Niagara."
Visits to the CT Simulator Suite at the Walker Family Cancer Centre are anticipated to number about 800 in the first year of operation and will grow to more than 1,300 once the centre is at full capacity. The design includes consideration of potential future expansion, stretcher accessibility, efficient workflow and patients' privacy. A small waiting area for patients and their relatives is placed directly beside the suite.
"We are so grateful for the generosity of our local Scotiabank branches in helping fund innovative medical equipment for the Walker Family Cancer Centre," said Dr. Sue Matthews, NHS Interim President & CEO. "Their financial support will help us make a significant difference in cancer care and treatment for Niagara patients. We cannot do it alone, but together we can all be part of the solution."
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $45 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.
About the Walker Family Cancer Centre
With the opening of the Walker Family Cancer Centre, the Oncology program at Niagara Health System will build on more than a quarter century of quality care and treatment of cancer patients in Niagara, providing a full range of cancer services to patients in the region when it opens in spring 2013. The dedicated oncology facility will provide radiation treatment in Niagara for the first time, as well as chemotherapy and other systemic therapies, surgical oncology consultation, psychosocial support, and palliative care.
The Walker Family Cancer Centre, located at the new healthcare complex in St. Catharines, will serve the more than 2,500 Niagara residents diagnosed with cancer each year. The majority of Niagara cancer patients will be able to receive their chemotherapy and radiation treatment in the Niagara region, allowing them to make this personal journey near home, here in Niagara. Some specialized care will continue to be offered by the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton according to patient needs. This includes radiation treatment for head and neck cancers and other more complicated or rare cancers.
Developed in collaboration with the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton and Cancer Care Ontario (the provincial body that oversees cancer care across the province), the Walker Family Cancer Centre will follow the same standards of excellence and guidelines as other cancer centres in the province.
Highlights of the Walker Family Cancer Centre include:
- 67,000 square feet in which to provide quality, patient-centred care that enhances the treatment and quality of life for cancer patients and their families in the Niagara region
- 3 radiation treatment suites (with a fourth to be added in the future)
- 37 chemotherapy infusion bays and chairs, each with radiant heating to keep patients warm during their treatment
- 3 specialized infusion rooms for patients who require isolation for infection prevention and control purposes
- Floor to ceiling windows in the chemotherapy treatment area; a home-like welcoming environment; a healing garden and many green features
- Additional radiation treatment staff at the Centre in addition to the current staff working in the Niagara Health System's Outpatient Oncology Clinic, located at the St. Catharines General Hospital site.
Services to be provided at the Walker Family Cancer Centre:
v Expanded Chemotherapy
v Radiation Therapy
v Expanded Outpatient Clinics
v Expanded Supportive Care
v Expanded Clinical Trials
v Clinical Staff Offices
v Satellite Pharmacy
v Surgical consultation
v Expanded Diagnostic Assessment
v Expanded Palliative Care
About the It's Our Time Campaign
The Niagara Health System Foundation (NHS Foundation), working in partnership with each of the local site foundations, is managing the Niagara-wide It's Our Time Campaign. The Campaign aims to raise $40-million to support new facilities and equipment purchases, and renovations at existing NHS facilities, to enhance and expand regional health-care programs related to cancer, cardiac, chronic kidney and mental health diseases.
Fifteen million dollars of the $40-million raised will provide enhancements at existing NHS sites to sustain current health-care services and provide new programs throughout the region. Twenty-five million raised through this Campaign will help build and equip the new Healthcare Complex and Walker Family Cancer Centre.
Construction of the new NHS Healthcare Complex began in April 2009 and proceeds on time and on budget to open in spring 2013. Now over 88 percent complete, the new 980,800 square-foot facility will be among the most innovative of its kind in the province. It will provide the infrastructure to keep pace with medical innovation helping to overcome challenges in service delivery, broaden the scope of services, and attract healthcare professionals to Niagara.
For more information, visit www.ItsOurTimeCampaign.ca.
About the Niagara Health System (NHS)
The Niagara Health System (NHS) is Ontario's largest multi-site hospital amalgamation comprised of seven sites serving 434,000 residents across the 12 municipalities making up the Regional Municipality of Niagara.
- Douglas Memorial Site in Fort Erie
- Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls
- Niagara-on-the-Lake Site
- Ontario Street Site in St. Catharines
- Port Colborne Site
- St. Catharines General Site
- Welland Site
The NHS has almost 900 Acute Care, Complex Continuing Care, Mental Health, Long Term Care and Addiction Treatment beds. A wide range of inpatient and outpatient clinics/services are provided at seven sites. The NHS has 4,180 employees, 614 physicians and 1,100 volunteers, with an annual operating budget of approximately $410 million.
For further information:
Deborah Clark; Scotiabank Media
Development Liaison Officer
Niagara Health System Foundation
905-378-4647 ext. 32247
For more information about the future Walker Family Cancer Centre please contact:
Public Affairs Consultant
Niagara Health System
905-378-4647, ext. 43113