The Give | Medical Competition Showcases N.B Healthcare Innovation &…

Unique Medical Competition Showcases N.B. Health care Innovation and Philanthropy

SAINT JOHN, NB – The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation announced today the release of Lions' Den. The film pulls back the curtain on the medical innovation happening at the Saint John Regional Hospital. It's a chance for the public to meet some of the medical professionals advocating for advancements in healthcare, to see their commitment to their patients, to hear about their progressive vision for their practices and departments.

In 2018, the Foundation was the first in Canada to host a 'Dragons' Den’- style pitch competition in a live event at Imperial Theatre. Last year, COVID-19 necessitated a new approach. Undaunted by the pandemic's constraints, the Foundation shifted from the theatre to the screen, embracing a reality-TV show format. Each 'Lions' Den' team was paired with a local marketing professional to create a three-minute video pitch that became part of a 45-minute documentary film capturing the entire journey, from concept to pitch.

"Healthcare is a cherished public service. And as cutting-edge technologies and approaches open up new frontiers in patient treatments and outcomes, community support is essential to push healthcare further than government funding alone can," says Jamie Gallagher, President and CEO of the Foundation.

The medical competition had five business leaders from across Canada investing their time and $100,000 to create a half-million-dollar pot for the competition's top idea for advancing patient care.

"It was a fantastic experience–and a very tough decision to choose a winner from three teams of physicians and health care professionals who put forth bold proposals for transformational change. All were deserving, and we weighed them carefully as a panel against various criteria," says Dr. David Elias, President and CEO of Canadian Health Solutions.

"As philanthropists, we want to see an impact, to know that our investment will make the greatest difference for the largest number of people. As a donor, 'Lions' Den' is an incredible experience for the immediacy of the giving. We know exactly where our money will go and the impact it will have in New Brunswick. And we know that it sets up the Regional to continue its pursuit of medical advancements," says Miranda Hubbs Corporate Director, National Co-Chair of the Canadian Red Cross

As the film reveals, Team Imaging Enhancement Centre emerged victorious. Zach Kilburn, Dr. Darren Ferguson, and Dr. Ian Maxwell's winning proposal centred on a 3-D printer that would allow clinicians to create a virtual copy of their patient's anatomy to plan and practice surgery. It would be a big step up from their current approach, in which physicians must conceptualize three-dimensions from two-dimensional imaging.

This idea is on the cutting-edge of medical innovation as the future of healthcare increasingly shifts towards digitization. The 3-D Imaging Centre, the first in Atlantic Canada, will have the potential to be a regional centre of excellence and may even emerge as a national or international leader. And the technology will be available to surgeons and teams across the province, so a physician in Bathurst or Fredericton could send a scan to the centre in Saint John and receive back a 3-D model of their patient's organs, blood vessels, bones and more. The team also won the $100,000 Research Award, strategically funded by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, advancing specialized research in New Brunswick.

Thanks to the outstanding generosity of J.D. Irving, Limited, the runner-up team that the community votes as most deserving will take home the $75,000 Community Choice Award. The award allows the community to rally behind the health care providers who put themselves out of their comfort zone to enhance services for their patients.

Healthcare touches every single one of our lives. It is truly universal. And after the past two years and the incredible commitment, our health care providers have shown through the pandemic, we understand more than ever how important the system is.

"We have doctors and health care workers who are constantly looking for ways to bring medical innovation and new clinical programs here. They are backed by an ambitious and progressive foundation that's continually striving to support them by investing in healthcare innovation for the benefit of all New Brunswickers. Our hope is to see all three projects funded," says Shannon Hunter, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Foundation.

About Lions’ Den

A first in the Foundation's fundraising history, a behind-the-scenes documentary showcases clinicians' passion and commitment to improving healthcare. From its inception, the medical competition has supported exciting advances at Horizon's Saint John Regional Hospital, many the first in Atlantic Canada. The impact on New Brunswick healthcare has totalled over a million dollars, including funding of a Nobel Prize-winning super-resolution microscope, kick-starting a first-of-its-kind multimillion-dollar research program. Learn more at

About the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation

The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization focused on funding health care initiatives outside the scope of government. Our donors have contributed over $123,000,000, making an impact by investing in capital equipment, research, education, mental health and patient comfort at our hospital and across the Province. Learn more at

For more information:

Shannon Hunter
Director, Marketing and Communications Director I 506.349-5116