‘It was a challenging year’: IWK Foundation’s CEO reflects on 2017
After a difficult year for the region’s largest children’s hospital, the IWK Foundation says it’s continuing to work behind the scenes to raise money for the institution.
“We've been monitoring as much as we can throughout the fall and we never saw a change, we never missed a beat,” says the IWK Foundation CEO Jennifer Gillivan.
It’s been four months since the IWK Health Centre lost its former CEO Tracy Kitch amid an expense scandal that revealed Kitch had used corporate credit to expense things like limo rentals and movie tickets. The IWK’s chief financial officer Stephen D’Arcy also left.
Gillivan says the Foundation has been monitoring the impact of the scandal. She says it’s too soon to give exact numbers, but a steady flow of donations has continued to flow in thanks to the generosity of Maritimers.
“I said it then and I’ll say it again, I trusted in Maritimers and they trusted in us and they never let us down,” Gillivan says.
Despite the scandal, the 2017 IWK Telethon for Children raised $6,462,352.04.
The Foundation is separate from the hospital's administration with a different board of directors, and its donations go toward the patients.
Gillivan has been CEO of the Foundation for five years, but she says just before Christmas, she saw the IWK’s work first hand.
“I was there for a whole week terrified with my little grandson because I didn't know what was wrong with him, he had to be tested,” she says.
She says her grandson is doing better now after a week-long stay at the hospital.
Gillivan says she’s seen improvements to the hospital including state of the art neonatal and pediatric intensive care units.
“If I was passionate before, let me tell you, fasten your seatbelts for 2018, because I’m going to be way more passionate in 2018,” says Gillivan.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.