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E-news from St. Joe's Foundation | 2020 June Edition

St. Joe's Scientists Develop Breakthrough in COVID-19 Testing

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Dr. David Bulir in one of the research labs at St. Joe's

Dr. David Bulir and Dr. Marek Smieja are infectious disease physician-researchers at The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton’s Disease Diagnostics and Development (D3) Group. In early January, the two predicted there would soon be a need for an alternative supply of testing materials in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With more than $500,000 in research funding from the Juravinski Research Institute (announced on April 3) and additional grants from the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund, St. Joseph's Health System, and The Research Institute of St. Joe's Hamilton, the two researchers and their team have developed entirely new COVID-19 testing methods, which will allow for a significant increase in testing capacity across the province.

At the Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program, testing capacity is currently at 800 samples per day. With these advancements in place, scientists are aiming to test up to 6,000 samples daily. Learn more about the research discovery made right here in Hamilton, right here at St. Joe’s.

The Way I See Hamilton, One Year Later

A Message from our President, Melissa Farrell

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Melissa Farrell, President, SJHH

One year ago, Melissa Farrell took a selfie in front of the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton sign at the entrance to our Charlton Campus -- it was her first week as President of the Hospital. Flash-forward to the recent photo taken above and it’s already been one year since Melissa has been at the helm of St. Joe’s.

COVID-19 has impacted Melissa's life — just as it has affected everyone else’s. She has two children out of school, a grandmother who is in long-term care that she’s unable to visit, a friend’s father passed away from COVID-19, and she too is protecting her parents by not visiting with them in person.

Melissa admits she’s had her moments, but she remains optimistic, thanks in large part to the Hamilton community. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown her there is so much more to Hamilton than meets the eye. Read Melissa's thoughts on Hamilton here.

Building A New Home for Emergency Mental Health Care at St. Joe's

Holly PES.JPGHolly Raymond, Director, General Psychiatry Program, SJHH. Click the image above to watch.

With millions of Canadians now facing job loss, economic struggles, and increased feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression, the need for emergency mental health care has never been more apparent. St. Joe’s is home to our city’s only emergency mental health service for people aged 17 and over. Over the past decade, demand for this service has increased by more than 60 percent—more than any other clinical program or service we offer at the Hospital—and that was before the COVID-19 Pandemic and its many impacts were felt by our community.

That’s why we have embarked on a six million dollar fundraising campaign to help expand and renew the Psychiatric Emergency Service at St. Joe's. This project isn’t just about adding more space, it’s about creating a more hopeful, healing space, too. We've put together a video about the importance of this project with help from Holly Raymond, Director, General Psychiatry Program at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. Watch the video here.

Masks Made in Hamilton are Sold to Support our Hospitals

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Special thanks to our treasured friend and supporter Teresa Cascioli for her efforts to sell more than 7,300 cloth masks (just like the ones shown in the photo) that were manufactured by local business and long-time St. Joe's supporter, FELLFAB Limited.

Teresa knew she had a network of friends, family and contacts who would gladly join in raising funds to support St. Joe's and Hamilton Health Sciences while keeping themselves and their loved ones or employees safe with these masks.

In total, $33,000 was raised and shared equally between the two Hospitals, to help purchase COVID-19-related equipment and supplies like baby monitors and more. Thank you Teresa, for always thinking of ways to support healthcare in #HamOnt. Are you looking for ways to support St. Joe’s? Visit


A new line of Canada Strong Apparel Supporting the front-line at St. Joe’s!

St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation has partnered with Collins Clothiers to bring you the Canada Strong line of apparel commemorating how our country has banded together to conquer COVID-19.

Best of all, 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation to help our Hospital purchase much needed equipment and supplies!

View the full Canada Strong collection and purchase your apparel today at

Check Your Mailbox for our Spring Appeal!


If you haven't already received it, be sure to check your mailbox for our 2020 Spring Appeal. In it, you will learn that our fight against COVID-19 is far from over, and you will also have the opportunity to send a special message of encouragement to our Healthcare Heroes. From caring for COVID-19 patients, to supporting our city's long-term care & retirement communities, to COVID-19 research and mental health support, one thing remains constant: St. Joe's will get you through this. If you would like to support our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund please click here.

Resuming Surgeries and Services Safely at St. Joe’s

Reintroducing Services - Twitter_1 - We are gradually reintr

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is beginning to reintroduce some surgical and outpatient services. The reintroduction of services will occur slowly over the coming weeks and months using a gradual, phased approach. The Hospital is looking forward to beginning to provide services to patients who have been waiting for care, but they are doing so in a safe way that recognizes the pandemic is not over.

From continuing virtual care in many programs, to screening at all entrances, and a limit on the number of people permitted in each waiting room, our Hospital is taking every precaution to care for your wellbeing. For all of the most up to date information on the reintroduction of services at St. Joe’s, please visit here.

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