The Vitae Foundation, the charitable foundation formed to support the work of the former Heath and social services agency, the CSSS-IUGS, launched its annual fundraising campaign on Wednesday at the Youville Nursing Home on Belvedere Street South. Vitae selected two individuals so serve as honourary campaign president this year; Chemika Mamode pharmacy administrator Patrick Rahimaly, and Stephen Cunnane, professor and researcher with the local Research Centre on Aging.
“This is very important for us,” said Robert Delisle, foundation president. “It has taken a long time for our name to become associated in the public with the old hospitals.”
The foundation hopes to raise $700,000 over the course of this year’s campaign in order to be able to commit those funds to its ongoing mission of improving the quality of care, the quality of life, and the overall environment at local health installations for youth, adults, seniors and families. Some of that money will also be turned toward the foundation’s work in supporting health research initiatives like those carried out at the Research Centre on Aging located in the Youville pavillion.
The campaign will consist primarily of a mass mail out to Sherbrooke residents, but it also includes an online appeal and various organized events such as the annual cocktail hour set to take place this year on December 2nd.
Those present at the campaign launch were invited on a tour of some of the laboratories in the pavillion’s centre for research on aging afterward, getting the chance to see some of what Cunnane called “world-leading” research on the latter years of life. The professor said that funding research is always a challenge, but added that financial concerns are not the only ones facing researchers.
“You need participants as well,” the researcher said, “you need peopleopen to participating in these studies.”
Cunnae said that the aging research centre is engaged in a number of studies that are actively seeking participants and said that he is trying to avoid having the centre be an “ivory tower” of academia through outreach and making the information necessary more accessible.
More information about the Vitae foundation, its initiatives, and the fundraising campaign is available on the foundation’s website: http://cdrv.csss-iugs.ca/home