Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine, turning 30
The CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation as we know it today resulted from the 1987 merger of the Fondation Justine-Lacoste-Beaubien and the Fondation Sainte-Justine. For twenty years, thanks to the generosity of the business community and the general public, not to mention the expertise of its staff, it has actively fulfilled its mission: healing more children better.
“Forty years ago, 85% of children with leukemia died. Today, the opposite is true, and we are continuing to reduce the impact of side effects from treatments,” Maud Cohen, CEO of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation, is proud to say. “The situation is the same in cardiology: we used to do open-heart surgeries that were very hard on children with cardiac malformations. Now we do the same operations with simple catheters. The field of genetics has made huge progress in the past fifteen years. We can diagnose these disease so rapidly today that soon we will be able to concentrate on healing them,” she continued.
This extraordinary progress is due largely to major investments in research, proving that pediatric institutions are essential. The various aspects of CHU Sainte Justine’s mission include injecting funds into research, providing specialized healthcare services and training generations of pediatricians and specialists.
One recent initiative from the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation is the ambitious Growing Up Healthy campaign to modernize and expand CHU Sainte-Justine by the end of the year. “Here we take in children and families who often have agonizing decisions to make. It’s important to provide them with a positive environment,” Maud Cohen commented. The new building will hold a modern research centre, the intensive care and neonatology departments and operating theatres, not to mention two teaching amphitheatres. Patients, staff, instructors and researchers will have the advantage of a space in which to live, to be hospitalized and to work that suits their needs.
In 2012, the Foundation also launched the Healing More Better campaign with the goal of investing in new approaches to research, teaching and care in order to heal a greater number of children better. The objective is raising $150 million over six years. “Many children survive leukemia today, but the side effects of treatments, which were often developed for adults, affect children’s growth. This campaign will let us invest in research to adapt the treatments for children in a number of areas,” the CEO explained.
How you can help
There are several ways to help the Foundation fulfill its mission. Of course, the first is to donate through the website. You can also organize benefits for the Foundation, as do many community groups such as the Young Leaders Circle, a group of very dynamic young people. “Over 270 organizations host activities each year. All these volunteers are of extraordinary assistance to us. We give them tools to organize fundraising, in particular a website.” Businesses can associate themselves with the Foundation with a donation or by partnering in a specific event. Various types of partnerships are offered. Le Grand Sapin and activities by the Young Leaders Circle are very successful examples.
“Our institution is extraordinary and we’re spoiled by the business community and the general public. But the needs keep growing. For research projects, just buying cutting-edge equipment may cost a million dollars. Plus, medicine is changing so fast that we must be constantly adapting if we want to giver our children the hope of a healthy future,” Maud Cohen said in conclusion.
A few figures
- 74,595 emergency room visits
- 1,348 newborns admitted to neonatal intensive care and to specialized units
- 887 children admitted to hematology-oncology
- 433 children admitted to pediatric intensive care
- Current average survival rate of premature children treated at Sainte-Justine: 93% (89% in 2003)
- 72% of severe trauma cases are treated at CHU Sainte-Justine
- Current average survival rate for leukemia patients: 85% (15% in 1960)
- 5 children out of 10 are referred to Sainte-Justine for specialized care
- 5,000 children seen each year at the Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre, the only pediatric rehabilitation centre in Québec
To find out more or donate: www.fondationsaintejustine.org
Text: Diane Stehle