Getting to Know Your Health Sciences Foundation Board of Directors: Sue Dubinsky
Sue Dubinsky, Board Director, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation
By Heather Vita - September 23, 2017
“I’m just trying to be a good person. One who is humble, generous and appreciative of all I have. I want Thunder Bay to be a healthy and safe place for my grandchildren to grow up in,” says Sue Dubinsky, a Board Director with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and Partner at DRD Construction.
Therein lies Sue’s reasons for being a long-time volunteer, both with the Health Sciences Foundation, but also with multiple other organizations including the Hill City Kinettes, the Northwest Community Care Access Centre, the World Nordic Games and the Scott Tournament of Hearts, among others. In fact, she has been recognized for her extraordinary commitment by receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award of Distinction, along with the Volunteer of Distinction Award from the Province of Ontario. This past June, she was awarded a Diamond Pin and certificate of excellence in citizenship recognizing 30 years of volunteering with the Hill City Kinettes.
Sue believes strongly in the need to have a world class healthcare facility here at home. And she hopes that others can recognize what we have already have here in Thunder Bay, although there’s always room to make it even better. “Every time I or a family member has been in hospital or received emergency treatment, we have been treated with respect and been well looked after. The outcome has always been positive and the staff have helped our road to recovery. People are always willing to share a bad experience, but not everyone is as forthcoming in recognizing the excellent treatment and care they have received. It’s time we acknowledged how fortunate all the residents of Thunder Bay and the surrounding area are, to have this great facility.”
In particular Sue’s been drawn to support breast cancer care. She has known many people affected by the disease and has lost two good friends in the past five years. One was Susan Cameron, whom Sue says was a huge inspiration as she led the way in fundraising efforts for the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign, securing a $500,000 gift from the Fort William Rotary, while traveling her own cancer journey. The other was Marilyn Coley, a long-time friend who Sue loved and admired.
With so many close friends affected by cancer, it was Sue’s honour to serve on the fundraising Campaign Cabinet for the Exceptional Cancer Care Campaign. She distinctly recalls the moment the team, led by Paul Fitzpatrick, was able to celebrate, along with donors, the announcement that $7.2M was raised for the Cancer Centre. “The above and beyond support we received for that campaign was huge,” she says.
Following that Sue decided to serve on the Board of Directors for the Health Sciences Foundation and admires fellow Board Directors for their brilliant minds. As she says, “It’s sometimes daunting to sit at a table with so many well-educated and respected members of our community. But it’s also very rewarding as we’re all there to improve healthcare in our community by sharing our time and making our own gifts. We all believe in making Thunder Bay a better place to live.”
In the future, Sue hopes to see the heart surgery program come to life as she sees this program as one that will put Thunder Bay on the map, so to speak. She also very much feels there is a need for better mental health care, as many patients need a lifetime of care and attention and that seems to be difficult for many to access currently.
As Sue says, “It’s in my nature to just go and get stuff done. I feel very fortunate that I’m able to contribute in this way to our community. The generosity I’ve seen while a part of the Board is nothing short of amazing. I’ve very proud to work with my fellow Directors in making world class healthcare a reality in Thunder Bay.”