A Message from the President
It is an honour for me to be connecting with you for the first time as Bruyère’s new President and CEO. In the six months since my first day, my feelings of hope and excitement continue to grow as I begin to better understand our mission and potential for the future. Just a few of weeks ago, we opened our completely renovated and updated John and Jennifer Ruddy Geriatric Day Hospital. The singular goal of this unit is to get seniors who have been hospitalized or who have had an injury or serious illness, up and moving so they can continue to live an independent life in our community.
People like 88-year-old Mary, who fell and broke her hip, last fall. As you can imagine, one of her first thoughts was that her days of living in her own home were over. A week ago she couldn’t walk, but there she was, on opening day of our new unit, taking some steps and being well on her way to resuming her busy, independent life.
As a supporter, your life has likely been touched, in some way, by Bruyère already? Perhaps you have a Mary in your own family, like I do in mine. Someone you love, who is fierce in their determination to live out their life on their own terms.
Our mission at Bruyère is to help seniors and the chronically ill in our community, live out their best lives the way they wish, to live them! Our partner hospitals save your life; we give you back your quality of life. This is a mission that truly humbles me. I have spent my entire career in health care and have been inspired by the commitment, innovation and compassion I witness every day. Despite that, I know there is much we can do to improve the patient experience.
I often say that hospitals and other services do great work, but that the system often fails, moving patients from one provider to the next. That is why I am focusing on building a system, rather than focusing solely on the role that Bruyère plays. I know we can improve on patient experience when we work in partnership with other hospitals and focus on the whole person and their journey through the entire system. We need to be responsible for, not only what we do at Bruyère but for what happens to you before you get to us, and after you leave our doors.
Your generous support makes an incredible difference as we work towards creating the Bruyère of the future. We are determined to continue our leadership in research and teaching, and developing all the programs and services needed to serve an aging population.
I hope you will take the time to visit our new John and Jennifer Ruddy Geriatric Day Hospital. With the support of our donor community, we’ve transformed a cramped, dimly-lit area of the Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital building into a brightly-lit area with wide open spaces. There is now a modern rehabilitation gym with state-of-the art equipment and technology. It’s our first big renovation in almost 10 years, and what a difference it makes to have an environment that inspires both our clinical team and patients to work hard and accomplish their goals.
Did you know that the number of seniors worldwide has now surpassed the number of children under the age of five for the first time in history? In Canada, it’s estimated that nearly one in four people will be aged 65 or older by 2031. That’s a staggering shift to our population demographics. Health care centres like Bruyère are needed now, more than eve r before!
Today, we recognize that seniors in our community want to remain healthy and safe in their own homes. We are focused on giving our patients the care, the knowledge, and the confidence they need to live independently for as long as they can.
Our mission here at Bruyère has always been to care for the whole person: mind, body and spirit. We continue to be inspired by the work of our namesake, Mother Élisabeth Bruyère. She and her fellow Sisters offered loving service to all who knocked at their door. All were treated with dignity, respect and compassion. A tradition we continue each and every day.
I am humbled by that tradition and inspired about the future for Bruyère. The simplest way to think about the role we play is that we are the bridge to home. We want to ensure that the journey for our patients is seamless and that we are helping you recover faster while surrounded by your family and our compassionate care teams.
With your help, we are focusing our efforts this year, on three key areas: brain health, care of the elderly and chronically ill, and rehabilitation. Embedded in each of these three pillars, is world renowned research being conducted by our Bruyère Research Institute.
As our population ages, the number of Canadians living with dementia is expected to double over the next 20 years. Bruyère’s Memory Program will become more vital than ever. Your donations are helping us establish a brain health centre, to continue critical scientific discoveries. Together, we’ll help slow the progress of this devastating diagnosis.
With so many members of our community experiencing strokes and managing multiple chronic conditions, rehabilitation services are an increasingly important part of the work Bruyère does. Your support enables us to purchase equipment, pursue research, and develop stronger community partnerships to address the complex rehabilitation for those in need.
Your investment also supports new technology, and updated facilities for the Bruyère of the future: a state-of-the-art health care centre with the most modern tools and equipment possible, so our teams of experts can provide the highest quality care.
At the end of the day, quality care comes down to people. And I truly believe that we are fortunate enough to have the very best people right here at Bruyère.
This year alone, we’ll have the privilege of welcoming hundreds of students from Algonquin College, the University of Ottawa, Carleton University and other academic institutions to Bruyère. Bruyère plays a large role in helping to train, teach and mentor the next generation of health care providers.
Just last week, I attended the orientation session for all of our new trainees and employees. I wish you could have been there to see their faces, full of eagerness and excitement to jump in and get involved in serving our patients.
All of us at Bruyère are deeply committed to our patients, their families and to you, our donors. We are committed to bringing you the best possible care in a spirit of dignity and compassion.
Your incredible support ensures we are able to provide quality care to everyone who walks through our doors! Without your continued generosity, we would simply not be able to provide the patient experience that we do. Your gift gives us the means to perform cutting-edge research; share critical knowledge; purchase the most advanced technology available and helps us to update our aging facilities.
Thank you so much for your continued generosity and support.
President and CEO
P.S. You are such a valuable member of the Bruyère family. We are working together to offer the best care possible for people in our community.