by Angus MacCaull

The Northside Harbourview Hospital Foundation works with residents, businesses and groups in the North Sydney area to improve health care for approximately 30,000 people. The registered charity has fundraised millions of dollars since 1992. Recent government plans to replace the Northside and Harbourview hospitals with community health centres will not affect the mandate of the 15 member volunteer Board of Directors.

“We are status quo from now until the end of time,” said Terri Dennis, Executive Director of the Foundation. “Though we’re losing the ER and OR facilities, we’re still supporting essential services and departments in North Sydney.”

The Foundation provides a bridge between the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the general public. Major accomplishments in the last couple of years include:

  • Renovation of Renal Dialysis Unit
  • Renovation and expansion of patient palliative care facilities
  • Renovation of sun rooms
  • Purchase of sure sign devices
  • Purchase of bladder scanners
  • Purchase of bus to transport patients

They have also created a Wig Bank. This service provides women who are losing their hair, for many reasons, the chance to regain self-confidence that aids in recovery.



Currently the Foundation has undertaken to raise $200,000 to purchase cardiac care monitors. It is their largest campaign to date and the goal is completion within one year. Cardiac care monitors give a real time picture of what is going on with a patient’s heart during an emergency. They also help see how medications for certain illnesses are working or if a different approach is needed.

On-going programming for patients is part of the Foundation’s activities as well. “We all know that a positive attitude goes a long way in healing,” said Dennis. They run an adult day program and support Taigh Solas (Gaelic for “Home of Comfort”), the Veteran’s Unit and the Staff Education Fund.

Regular major fundraising events include Cape Breton Motor Madness held at the Emera Centre Northside in June; an annual golf tournament held at Seaview Golf Course in September; and the Lights for Health Campaign each December.

For more information about how to get involved and support health care in Cape Breton, visit the Foundation at