QEH Foundation Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Fund for Mental Health & Addictions Care

JANUARY 24, 2023

 The QEH Foundation has established a Mental Health & Addictions Ignition Fund to support mental health care equipment needs at the QEH. The new initiative was celebrated at an announcement event January 24th. Pictured (left to right) are QEH Medical Director Dr. Charles Duffy, QEH Foundation CEO Tracey Comeau, and QEH Foundation Board Chair John Gaudet.  

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation is proud to officially launch the Mental Health and Addictions Ignition Fund, dedicated to mental health and addictions care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

This fund will support several services as outlined by the Government of PEI, including medical equipment and technology for the new QEH Mental Health & Addictions Emergency Department and Short Stay Unit (MHA ED/SSU), currently under construction and slated for completion in November. The new ignition fund will also support future initiatives including a Child & Youth Acute Mental Health & Addictions Unit. As the first-of-its-kind for the Foundation, this fund will expedite the equipment-funding process by pooling donations in advance.

John Gaudet, QEH Foundation Chair, addressed donors and QEH staff at an announcement event on January 24th.  

“This ignition fund is a powerful force of donor dollars,” says Gaudet. “It will allow the QEH Foundation to fund equipment and technology for mental health and addictions care. By raising funds in advance, we’ll be able to commit to fund equipment as soon as it is identified and presented to us, and without delay – both for upcoming projects or unexpected urgent needs.” 

Dr. Charles Duffy, QEH Medical Director, shared updates on the new MHA ED/SSU and the impact donors will have on the health care of Islanders. 

“We know in Canada approximately ten percent of emergency department visits are primarily for a mental health reason. The number is much higher when you add on those with a mental health diagnosis who also have medical needs.” says Dr. Duffy. “The location of the short stay and assessment unit adjacent to the emergency department will allow collaboration between the current emergency department physicians and staff, and the mental health physicians and staff, to address both medical and mental health needs in a seamless fashion. This will be provided in a comfortable and compassionate environment. This will hopefully remove some of the barriers of patients seeking mental health services.”

Medical equipment needs for the MHA ED/SSU currently include medication dispensing cabinets, behavioural recliners to comfort patients in distress, beds, blanket warmers to assist in recovery, tele-psychiatry technology, and more.

“The QEH Foundation’s tagline is Care Today For Tomorrow,” says Tracey Comeau, QEH Foundation CEO. “That is what this Ignition Fund will do for mental health and addictions care initiatives here at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Together, we can fulfill the immediate needs for the new emergency department and be ready as enhancements are identified, and new mental health and addictions services are added.”

The Mental Health & Addictions Ignition Fund was kickstarted with a $100,000 donation from Medavie, through the Medavie Foundation. The fund will also grow with a generous bequest from the late Betty Large, retired RN and the endowment fund of Noreen Corrigan and Family, several of whom were present at the announcement to share their grateful patient experience.  

If you are interested in donating and learning more about the QEH Foundation’s Mental Health & Addictions Ignition Fund, visit the QEH Foundation’s website, visit the office in the main lobby of the QEH, or call 902-894-2425.

For more information:
Kathleen Murphy
Director, Communications
QEH Foundation

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