Message from Kyle Shaen

Chair, Board of Directors, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation

October 13, 2018

Thank you to all for your well wishes I’ve received over the last month or so, taking on my new role as Chair. Thanks especially to outgoing Chair Jody Nesti for her leadership and dedication over the last two years! She has been extremely helpful during the transition these few months.

Most importantly, thank you to all the donors who have supported the Foundation over the years. I’m new to the position, but I’m not new to the Board. I’ve seen a lot of improvements to our local healthcare since I joined about seven years ago. It’s encouraging to see so many community-driven healthcare projects – our generous spirit is growing! There is a direct connection between your generous donations and the expanding care programs here at our Hospital.

I would also like to recognize the efforts of our partners. We have all done a fantastic job of showing the public the importance of philanthropy and how it can improve the communities we live in. The staff at the Health Sciences Foundation has been amazing as well, connecting with donors, supporting signature events such as the upcoming Resolute Save a Heart Ball, and ensuring we make the most of donor gifts so we can improve healthcare even further. 

We have some big goals ahead of us. What I’m most excited about is expanding and improving our cardiac services in Thunder Bay. I sat on the board during the Exceptional Cancer Care campaign, and I was overwhelmed at the support we received. That experience will allow me to provide strong leadership as we help bring a new cardiovascular surgery program to Northwestern Ontario. But more on that later…

Broadly speaking though, I’ve seen firsthand how important it is to have as many healthcare services as possible right here in Thunder Bay. This doesn’t just affect city residents, but also those coming from the region. Travelling any amount of time can be difficult, so having those services closer to home makes a big difference – especially when patients are more likely to have family in Thunder Bay than Toronto. Our goal has been and will continue to be better healthcare, closer to home.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to outgoing board members Mary Poulter and Tracey Nieckarz. It’s been a pleasure to work with you these many years. And welcome to the new board members Katy Commisso and Dave Kubinec, along with returning board member, Brian McKinnon. You’ve joined at an exciting time – I’m looking forward to getting started.

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