Scotiabank makes CAN$1 million pledge to help sick children

In a statement on Thursday, the bank said funds will be used to support the project’s telemedicine programs in Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas. 

It said the telemedicine element of the project will allow physicians in the Caribbean to connect directly with leading paediatric cancer and blood disorder experts at SickKids, a foundation that raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. 

Scotiabank said physicians specializing in areas other than cancer and blood diseases can also connect with both Caribbean and international colleagues, enhancing their ability to diagnose and care for Caribbean children. 

The bank said the goal of this project is to expand access to world-leading medical professionals, allowing children to get the best care possible in their own country.  

“The Caribbean is a big part of Scotiabank’s history and our future. This donation and our partnership with SickKids are directed at giving the next generation a better chance of growing up healthy and making their contribution to the Caribbean,” said Sabi Marwah, Scotiabank vice chairman and chief operating officer. 

“Supporting our communities through the Bright Future program is a big part of Scotiabank’s culture and our way of giving back to the network of 55 countries we call home,” he added. 

“We are grateful for Scotiabank’s generous support of the telemedicine element of the project,” said Ted Garrard, president and chief executive officer of SickKids Foundation. 

“Too often, children in the Caribbean succumb to cancer because the proper diagnostics and treatments are not available, this  gift will help build capacity for these Caribbean countries to more effectively diagnose and treat children,” he said.

The Caribbean-SickKids Paediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Project includes a five-year plan to address the region’s gaps in research, care and education in order to advance the diagnosis and management of paediatric cancer and blood disorders.  

According to the statement, elements of this five-year plan include using telemedicine, physician envoys, and the SickKids International Learner Programme to provide customized, hands-on training to local individuals, establishing and maintaining a patient registry to provide high-quality data and key outcomes, and increasing the knowledge of primary care practitioners and pharmacists in the region to improve cancer care access.

It said trainees will also travel from the Caribbean to SickKids on a regular basis for hands-on training and experience within the Garron Family Cancer Centre at SickKids.

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