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QEH Foundation cancels annual QEH/Eastlink Telethon – April 15, 2020

CHARLOTTETOWN – After closely monitoring COVID-19 and the advice of the Chief Public Health Officer around physical distancing, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation has come to a decision with Eastlink Community TV to cancel its annual QEH/Eastlink Telethon scheduled for the weekend of May 23 and 24.

“The QEH/Eastlink Telethon, hosted by Marlene MacDonald, is an annual tradition and celebration of Island communities showcasing patient stories and Island artists, and profiling QEH health care professionals, all while raising significant funds for our Island’s main referral hospital,” says Ed Lawlor, Chair of the QEH Foundation Board of Directors.

Eastlink TV generously contributes the entire production of Telethon and works for months prior taping grateful patient stories, as well as working with artists who volunteer their time and talent.  “That production timeline was closing in,” says Lawlor. “With numerous events in support of Telethon having to cancel during this time, and the uncertainty around COVID-19, we have made the right decision.”

Lawlor says a main focus of this year’s QEH/Eastlink Telethon was to complete the funding for the CT Simulator for the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital that had begun during the Foundation’s Friends for Life Campaign in the fall. To date, approximately $1.35 million of the $1.5 million simulator cost has been raised.

“On an optimistic note, we do plan to recognize donors and event organizers that have already supported the 2020 Telethon with gift commitments and fundraising events,” adds Lawlor. “Preparations are underway for a virtual celebration and more details will be available in the coming weeks.” 

Bruce MacLean, Manager Eastlink Community TV Programming for P.E.I. tells Islanders they will be back next year. 

“We have a tremendous partnership with the QEH Foundation and realize many will miss this year’s broadcast,” says MacLean.  “Supporting the purchase of medical equipment for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is even more important than ever and we look forward to producing the 24th QEH/Eastlink Telethon for 2021.” 

The Foundation recently announced it was turning its focus to immediate COVID care medical equipment needs for QEH – the Province’s primary COVID care centre. QEH has established an ER isolation space, a COVID in-patient unit, and a COVID intensive care unit – a secondary ICU for isolation of patients presenting with COVID-19 who require intubation.

Donors can support the QEH Foundation’s efforts in addressing immediate COVID-19 needs, and cancer care, by visiting our website or through mail or calling the QEH Foundation office at 902-894-2425.  

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For more information, contact:
Helen Chapman, Director Communications and Donor Relations
hpchapman@ihis.org