Kate Fischer, a lucky mom who’s paying it forward

January is dedicated to you – it’s Thank-You-Ary, a month filled with special thanks for your commitment of time and talent, and your financial gifts to the Calgary Health Foundation. We are thankful for all volunteers and donors who are making the Newborn Needs Campaign a great success.

As a mother with two young children, Kate Fischer eagerly volunteered for the campaign to make big changes in maternal and newborn health.

“We were super lucky,” she says. “Our children didn’t need to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), but we know many families with children who did; sometimes it was only for a few days, but other times, much longer. Having a young family made this campaign hit close to home.

“What attracted me to volunteer to be a co-chair of the campaign is that there’s a solid plan,” says Fischer about her role with the Calgary Health Foundation. “Yes, we need to upgrade the NICU at Foothills Medical Centre, but there’s more to the campaign than the ‘bricks and mortar’ component. There’s a continuum in how we’re approaching the upgrade in care that includes everything from research to improving the support for pregnant mothers and newborns.

“When we improve their level of support during pregnancy families will be less likely to need the NICU,” Fischer says. “Plus, we are improving after-care for families where it’s needed after a stay at the NICU.

“It’s a holistic approach that makes so much sense. That’s what inspired me get involved.”

Another influence for Fischer was the example of philanthropy set by her parents. Her late father, Charlie Fischer and mother, Joanne Cuthbertson, are well known in the community for demonstrating unwavering commitment to a broad range of initiatives related to health, education, and the arts. One example is the Cuthbertson-Fischer Chair in Paediatric Mental Health at the University of Calgary.

“I grew up with really good role models who demonstrated what it looks like to be involved in the community and supporting local non-profit organizations,” says Fischer. “My mom and dad have been involved in a lot of causes, often in healthcare. When you’re as lucky as I am, and you have the opportunity to help build a healthier community, you just do it!”

Fischer’s job as a volunteer co-chair of Newborns Need is to serve as an ambassador for the Foundation. She and her fellow co-chairs, Stephanie Felesky and Lesley Hutcheson, help increase awareness for the organization and the need that exists in maternal newborn health, and raise funds for the campaign. They advocate for a transformative approach to newborn care for thousands of families in Calgary and across Southern Alberta and are able to meet families whose newborns have been given a fighting chance because of the world-class approach we are taking.

Thank you, Kate, Stephanie and Lesley, and everybody who has contributed to the Newborns Need Campaign for stepping up for moms and newborns. It doesn’t matter how much you give, whether it’s a donation of time or funding. You are helping us move closer to achieving our goal of $66 million to ensure every newborn in our community has a fighting chance.

Thank you for partnering with us to deliver what newborns need.

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