News release

November 2, 2018



Health Care Foundation Holds 2016-17 Annual General Meeting

St. John’s, NL - The Health Care Foundation held its annual general meeting today at Pleasant View Towers. At the meeting, Debbie Patten, Chair of the Health Care Foundation’s Board of Directors and Paul Snow, President and CEO of the Health Care Foundation, provided an overview of the foundation’s achievements and activities for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

“Thanks to the unwavering support of our donors and partners, we are pleased to announce that $2,141,021 was transferred to Eastern Health to advance the care of patients and families throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.”  Debbie Patten, Chair of the Health Care Foundation’s Board of Directors. “The generosity of our supporters has translated into better care in an array of adult health programs, including Long-Term Care, Cardiac Care, Surgical Care, Women’s Health, Mental Health and Addictions, Rehabilitation, Medicine, Palliative Care and more.”

During the 2016-17 fiscal year, $1,380,740 was donated in support of the acquisition and/or renewal of vital equipment and technology. One notable area of investment is the new Hybrid Operating Room (OR) initiative. The Health Care Foundation reported that it has renewed its partnership with Vale and the Provincial Government to fund a new state-of-the-art Hybrid OR at the Health Sciences Centre that will further strengthen cardiac care in the province. Through a three year commitment, Vale will donate $2.5 million towards the initiative.

“Vale has been a long-time supporter of the Cardiac Care Program, and we are pleased to once again partner with them on such an important cardiac project,” said Paul Snow, President and CEO, Health Care Foundation. “The Hybrid OR is essentially a fully functioning surgical operating room that is integrated with state-of-the-art imaging capabilities. There will be many benefits to this new efficient space, including the ability to safely perform more complex procedures that are less invasive for the patient.”

The Health Care Foundation also continued its mission to spread comfort and well-being to patients and families visiting its facilities through an investment of $631,733 into the Comfort in Care™ Program and Peaceful Ports Project.

Additionally, the foundation provided $128,548 in funding to education and research initiatives, including scholarships for Eastern staff and dependents, Moving Lives Forward scholarships for those living with mental illness, research grants for the medical staff and Canadian Nursing Association Certification Grants.

At the meeting, the Health Care Foundation also announced the retiring of one board member, Leslie O’Reilly. Additionally, two new board members were introduced; Dr. Sean Connor and Mrs. Eileen Young (see attached backgrounder).

“We thank Mr. O’Reilly for his commitment to the Board and wish him all the best,” added Mrs. Patten. “We also are very pleased to welcome Dr. Connors and Mrs. Young to our team – who both bring great knowledge and experience to the operations of the foundation.”

The Health Care Foundation’s Annual Report for 2016-17 is available online at  

About the Health Care Foundation

The Health Care Foundation is committed to raising and stewarding funds for the advancement and enhancement of patient comfort and care, medical equipment, research and education within adult hospitals and facilities serving the St. John’s region. Through its fundraising initiatives, the Health Care Foundation assists Eastern Health in providing health care for the St. John’s region and specialized tertiary health services for the entire province. 

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Media contact:
Jackie O’Brien
Senior Manager, Communications and Stewardship
Health Care Foundation 
P: (709) 777-5906 C: (709) 743-3127


Health Care Foundation Introduces New Board Members


Dr. Sean Connors

Dr. Sean Connors is a cardiologist practicing in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. He trained at the University of Oxford in England, completing a doctorate in cardiac physiology before completing medical school and a specialty in internal medicine in St John’s. Dr. Connors then went on to complete a Fellowship in Cardiology at the University of Toronto.

In 1999, Dr. Connors returned to Newfoundland and Labrador to start practice in cardiology. He is also currently an Associate Professor of Medicine with Memorial University and Clinical Chief of the Cardiac Care Program at Eastern Health.


Eileen Mary (Beresford) Young

Eileen Young was born in Freshwater, Placentia Bay. She graduated from Memorial University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Education and in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Mrs. Young began her teaching career at Holy Cross in 1965 and subsequently taught high school at Gonzaga and Brother Rice from 1967 to 1983. In 1984, she established the Skills for Success enterprise that was aimed at helping young disadvantaged adults prepare for higher education and the job market. She was the leader of this program until 2001.

Mrs. Young served on the Board of the Grace Hospital and became Chair of that Board prior to its amalgamation with six other hospitals in the St. John's area. She subsequently became the first Chair of the newly amalgamated Health Care Corporation (now Eastern Health) and served in that capacity until 2001. Mrs. Young is deeply invested in her family life. She is a mother of four, and also grandmother to 11 children.