$1M donation to QEII Foundation will create a decade of funding for innovation health-care solutions

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HALIFAX, N.S. — John Hunkin and Susan Crocker’s $1 million donation to the QEII Foundation has led to the creation of an “innovation catalyst fund” to spur innovative research at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

Over 10 years, the fund, in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, will provide up to $100,000 annually in grants for clinicians and doctors to advance research and development of solutions to improve the delivery of health care to benefit the patient and the system.

Research ideas should centre around refining systems, building prototypes, carrying out beta trials and simulations, launching field studies and demonstrating proof of concept.

Projects will be evaluated based on factors such as a clear objective with measures in place, scalability potential and ability to improve the clinical care and patient outcomes.

“The QEII has the size, scale, and talent to make a huge impact on medical innovation,” Hunkin was quoted in a press release. “There is already a vast amount of leading research and innovation happening here but there is still great opportunity to introduce more innovation and give it visibility so that the community knows what’s happening.”

In the first year, additional support from the community allowed for $200,000 in grants to be awarded to six “innovators” following a Dragons Den-style pitch competition on Thursday, Nov. 23.

In the first year, additional support from the community allowed for $200,000 in grants to be awarded to six “innovators” following a Dragons Den-style pitch competition on Thursday, Nov. 23. 

Grants awarded included: 

  • New Path Award for Health Innovation, $100,000; Dr. Jennifer Johnston, Owner of Elle, MD 

  • Accelerator Award for Health Innovation, $50,000; Dr. David Hodgson, CMO and Co-Founder, Hollo Medical and Sara Fedullo, CEO and Co-Founder, Hollo Medical 

  • Rising Innovator Award for Health, $20,000; Dr. Stephen Beed CEO / CMO and Founder Melior Motus 

  • Ones to Watch, $10,000; Dr. Gabriela Ilie, Dr. Rob Rutledge, Ben Garvey, CEO, FIVAMed and Dr. Emily Johnston 

The inaugural “Den” was chaired by Cove CEO Melanie Nadeau with a judges panel that consisted of Dr. Colin Audain, anesthesia site chief, QEII’s Victoria General Hospital site, and QEII Foundation Board Director; Cathy Bennett, founding and general partner, Sandpiper Ventures; Chère Chapman, co-founder and CEO, Ardea Outcomes; Travis McDonough, founder and president, The Program AI. 

The inaugural “Den” was chaired by Cove CEO Melanie Nadeau with a judges panel that consisted of Dr. Colin Audain, anesthesia site chief, QEII’s Victoria General Hospital site, and QEII Foundation Board Director; Cathy Bennett, founding and general partner, Sandpiper Ventures; Chère Chapman, co-founder and CEO, Ardea Outcomes; Travis McDonough, founder and president, The Program AI.


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