David Routledge: The power of giving back

January is dedicated to you: our donors, volunteers, partners, patients and families, health professionals, and everyone in the community passionate about making a difference. Thank you for helping us advance care and outcomes for the past 27 years.

Part of our commitment to making lives better in our community is to act quickly when health emergencies occur, and that is only possible with the help of our incredible and passionate volunteers—people like David Routledge.

David with his wife and son at the Formula 1 races enjoying a once in a lifetime experience.

At only 40 years old, David Routledge found himself facing a daunting diagnosis: prostate cancer. While today he is healthy and well, David saw this life-changing experience as a call to action and decided he would help others struggling with health-related issues by giving back to the community and creating awareness for other young men.

Twelve years ago, David joined the Calgary Health Foundation’s Board of Directors. With nearly three decades of experience at Oxford Properties Group, David was able to apply his strong business acumen to his volunteer work. He was appointed Calgary Health Foundation’s Board Vice-Chair in 2018 and chaired the Investment Committee of the Finance and Audit Committee for nearly 10 years.

With the help of Calgary Health Foundation’s Board Chair, Sandy Edmonstone, David established the Funding Oversight Committee to ensure the careful stewardship of donor dollars. As David explains: “It is important that donor investments in health care contribute to excellence in the medical field for Calgarians and have measurable returns to the community.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, David knew he couldn’t sit on the sidelines and watch—he wanted to help. Securing a donation from Oxford Properties Group, David worked with Calgary Health Foundation and EllisDon to expand on work that EllisDon had initiated: building respite areas at hospitals, spaces where doctors and nurses could step away for much-needed breaks. This work aligned well with Oxford’s commitment to supporting communities. David is grateful for EllisDon’s leadership in this work:

“I see this as a way to contribute to the community, to thank our medical professionals, and hopefully inspire leadership in others to do similar things. I also recognize the power of partnership and putting our heads together for the best ideas.”

Now, as Vice President and Head of the Western Canada office for Oxford Properties Group, David still recognizes the power of giving back:

“I see it as being part of the community. I’ve been fortunate, and want to help make the system better for other people too.”

The person who inspired David the most as a volunteer and a leader was Sherrold Moore, a prominent local businessman who passed away in 2018. Sherrold was known for his focus on corporate responsibility and served on many volunteer boards, including the Calgary Health Foundation at a time when the organization was known as Calgary Health Trust. It was Sherrold who put David’s name forward as a potential board member with Calgary Health Foundation 12 years ago. David remembers Sherrold fondly, as someone who had a way with helping and teaching others: “I hope I can do what he did someday. He was just a real leader in our community and gave back through so many organizations.”

David’s advice to others who are looking to make a difference in our community:

“You’ve got to go to where your passions are. At some point, we will likely all need to rely on our health care system, so it is important that we keep it strong. For me, supporting Calgary Health Foundation was an easy decision.” 

Thank you, David, for continuing to make a difference. Together, we’re making lives better in our community. 

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