Today, as part of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation’s third annual Thankathon, my team and I will be calling as many of you as we can between now and 5 p.m. with a personal word of thanks. Having you in our corner as we start 2021 is a tremendous privilege, and one we don’t take lightly. The past year has been trying for all of us to say the least. It has represented an unprecedented challenge for the Foundation as we have done our best to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic. But, as always, you have been there for us, helping us weather the storm. And you have given us more than your generosity: you’re the very reason we have been able to carry on despite it all.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for believing in Sainte-Justine. The support of donors like you, who helped set up an emergency fund, made it possible to introduce extraordinary measures to meet extraordinary needs.

For example, we have been able to expand our mental health services as the demand for them has grown in the past months. We have also been able to increase the psychosocial support provided to families who come to the ER so they can cope with the challenges and psychological strain resulting from the pandemic.

The financial insecurity that many families with a sick child have to face has worsened since March. We have increased the financial support available to them to help cover basic needs like food and accommodations.

From a research perspective, not only did the teams at Sainte-Justine continue their efforts to find solutions for complex cases across the province that require their world-class expertise, but everyone also joined forces to advance COVID-19-related knowledge to benefit children and adults alike. More than 40 research initiatives regarding COVID-19 have been launched so far.

We’ll highlight two of them here, since we can’t list them all: a Canada-wide clinical trial on the use of convalescent plasma, led by Dr. Philippe Bégin, in collaboration with Héma-Québec and 63 hospitals across Canada and around the world, has received widespread attention since March, as has the research being done by Dr. Elie Haddad on the prospective links between COVID-19 and Kawasaki disease, an inflammatory condition that is well known in pediatric circles.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing as a society, it’s how important health and research really are. In the midst of a crisis, it is more essential than ever to acknowledge that, together, we are stronger.

The professionals at Sainte-Justine can make a difference because you are there to empower them. And everything Sainte-Justine accomplishes inevitably leads to something even bigger — but only with your help. The past year is clear and incontrovertible evidence of this fact.

Together, we can reach new heights and overcome this public health crisis. We can make dreams come true and fulfill Sainte-Justine’s mission to improve children’s health.

On their behalf, I thank you for your unwavering commitment and for looking out for our most precious resource. Now and in the future.

Yours gratefully,

Maud Cohen

President and Chief Executive Officer