From left: London Health Sciences Foundation President & CEO John MacFarlane, Cancer Care Ontario President & CEO Dr. Michael Sherar, LHSC VP, Cancer Care and Corporate Strategy Neil Johnson, Gerald C. Baines Foundation Board Chair Kirk Baines, City-wide Chair/Chief of Oncology Dr. Glenn Bauman, and LHSF Board Member Tony Dagnone.
The Gerald C. Baines Foundation recently announced that it has committed a total of $1.5 million in hopes of inspiring the public in reaching the $3 million needed to expand the capabilities of the Gerald C. Baines Centre for Translational Cancer Research. To reach that goal, the Baines Foundation will donate one dollar for every dollar London Health Sciences Foundation (LHSF) receives towards translational cancer research in the next year.
Today’s announcement, and resulting donations it hopes to inspire, will help Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) and London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) acquire advanced equipment and software for an imaging lab in the Baines Centre. It will also support a number of medical and research positions needed to expand and coordinate the centre’s cancer clinical trial capacity, cancer research, and innovative work in cancer imaging.
“The Gerald C. Baines Foundation has made a lasting impression on health care in our community and beyond, by enabling physicians and researchers at LHSC to continually advance patient care through discovery and innovation,” says LHSF President & CEO John MacFarlane.
Located in the Victoria Research Laboratory facility at Lawson Health Research Institute, and adjacent to the London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program, the Baines Centre was started with a lead gift of $1 million from the Baines Foundation. That donation also inspired additional funding from a number of other private and corporate donors to make the centre a reality.
“Public support through donations helped create the Baines Centre, which has become a game changer for improved cancer treatments and better patient outcomes,” says Gerald C. Baines Foundation Chair Kirk Baines. “We are asking for the public’s help again, to expand the potential of the centre even further.”
The concept of the Baines Centre is to provide a physical space where researchers and clinicians can collaborate in identifying and solving the complex medical puzzles posed by cancer.
“The Baines Centre supports unique collaborations between scientists and clinical investigators who are working together to apply innovations in cancer imaging and treatment to improve patient care through clinical trials,” says LHSC Chair/Chief, Oncology Dr. Glenn Bauman.
The goal of translational research is the quick movement of information between research and patient care settings – combining the worlds of basic science and clinical care to provide new approaches to patient care. It’s one of the ways that Lawson and LHSC are continually finding ways to advance health care.
“The announcement by the Baines Foundation today supports LHSC’s journey to fundamentally transform the way care is provided in our community and region,” says LHSC’s Vice President, Cancer Care & Corporate Strategy Neil Johnson. “Donations like this help us continually advance new methods to diagnose and treat cancers through discovery and innovation.”
The contribution will be used to expand on the success of the Baines Centre team, which can be measured in many ways: including its success in attracting substantial grant funding from external agencies. In one example, an initial $15,000 in funding for research into computer-assisted analysis of lung cancer images produced such promising results that it led to $1 million in externally sourced grants. The grant funding allows further development of models that will have patient diagnosis and care applications.
“The funding announced today is transformational” says Dr. Bauman. “It will allow the group to grow and explore cancer problems that bring advances in cancer biology, cancer imaging and cancer treatment research together.”
The donation counts towards London Health Sciences Foundation’s current $200 million fundraising campaign to meet the current and future needs of London Health Sciences Centre. For more on the campaign, please visit www.lhsf.ca.