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Innovation: our greatest opportunity to the way forward

Jun. 19, 2020

While COVID-19 has forced all of us to change the way we work, it is also making us change the way we think.

At Sinai Health Foundation (SHF), the global health crisis has required us to think and plan for the future in a whole new way. Computer screens are our new meeting rooms; our kitchens are the new cafeteria. And when it comes to fundraising, the COVID-19 crisis has upset traditional methods in a big way: Gone are the charity brunches, dinners and galas in these socially distant times.

What is clear now is that creative fundraising is the new way forward. Innovate or die, as the saying goes.

So how are we innovating? In May 2020, for the first time in SHF history, we hosted a live streamathon called Champions of Sinai which raised more than $65,000 for Sinai Health’s emergency COVID-19 response fund, but more importantly, it introduced us to 1.7 M new people.

It is our job at the Foundation to raise funds to support our colleagues at Sinai Health, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, innovation has become the essential ingredient in raising critically important funds, keeping down costs and supporting the great health-care and discovery work happening at Sinai Health.

I have the great privilege of seeing first-hand the work our scientists at Sinai Health’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute are doing to conquer COVID-19. They are the embodiment of innovation, playing an essential role in understanding the disease progression of the virus, and continuing to work toward alternative ways of testing for it. They are coming together to ensure that one day, we can all come together again.

We live in a country that prides itself on our publicly funded health-care model. Yet what many Canadians don’t realize is that health-care organizations like Sinai Health rely on donations to improve and develop infrastructure and enable the kind of research that will eventually lead to the creation of a vaccine for COVID-19.

That is why we at Sinai Health Foundation are so focused on innovating what philanthropy looks like - we need it to fuel research discovery. Our collective future - one without social distancing - depends on a solution to this crisis. Put simply, philanthropy is critical to helping create the future of health care.

Louis de Melo
Chief Executive Officer, Sinai Health Foundation


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