Canadian Couple Supports Trauma Education

Gift of $250,000 Trains Emergency Providers

For Earl Brewer and Sandy Kitchen-Brewer, traveling from their home in New Brunswick, Canada, to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center is well worth the trip. They had visited Lahey with Earl’s mother when she needed care, and were extremely impressed. “After we saw the great health care that Earl’s mother received at Lahey, we realized we could get the same excellent quality of care through the Lahey Executive Health Program,” Sandy said.

“I appreciate all the care I can receive in just one day at Lahey,” said Earl, who chairs the board of Plaza Retail REIT and Plaza Group Management Limited, a mall owner, developer and manager of retail properties.

When Lahey approached the couple about an opportunity to fund trauma education through the Lahey Clinic Canadian Foundation, Earl and Sandy thought it was a good fit. Through the Brewer Family Foundation, they donated $250,000 to support the purchase of two human patient trauma simulators, as well as hands-on training of more than 250 physicians and nurses with the simulators and actors posing as patients.

The full-body patient simulators, known as mannikins, can mimic both routine and rare trauma cases. These mannikins are enabled with WiFi technology, which allows trainers to recreate multiple life-threatening scenarios and practitioners to respond as they would in real life.

The doctors and nurses trained through the Brewers’ gift provide emergency and trauma care to patients in the new Joseph C. Corkery, MD, Emergency Center, which opened at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in 2017. The Level II trauma facility treated more than 45,000 patients in its first year of operation. The Brewers’ gift also has allowed Lahey to wire its trauma bays to make video recordings of all resuscitations, so that trauma teams can later review them to ensure they are providing optimal treatment.

Sandy says they are excited to be involved in improving lifesaving health care. “When we saw the new technology involved in simulation training, it really sparked our interest,” she said.

Cross-border collaborations

In 2017, Sandy joined the board of the Lahey Clinic Canadian Foundation, which provides grants for equipment and training at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. “We have great health care in Canada, but we can certainly improve it,” Sandy said. She said she is especially interested in the foundation’s support of collaborations between Lahey staff and health care professionals in Canada.

For example, a grant from the Canadian Foundation will this year begin funding fellowships so that Canadian physicians can train and do research at Lahey for a year under the direction of Dmitry Nepomnayshay, MD, director of the hospital’s Center for Professional Development & Simulation

A spectrum of philanthropic support

The Lahey Clinic Canadian Foundation is just one of many organizations to which Sandy devotes her time. She also supports the Atlantic Ballet of Canada, which provides youth programming to more than 2,000 children and teens. Earl has been a board member of the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in New Brunswick.

Earl and Sandy began the Studio Watch Emerging Artist award program 14 years ago as a way to increase the exposure of young, upcoming artists in New Brunswick, giving them an opportunity to be celebrated, to excel in their field, and to advance to the next step in their career. The Emerging Artist award is a sponsorship between the Brewers and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, aimed at young artists embarking on their career in paint.

Sandy and Earl also support a community kitchen in Fredericton, New Brunswick that makes lunches for students in 18 schools who might otherwise go hungry. Sandy first was introduced to the program by her daughter, who was volunteering at the kitchen. The Brewers have since donated a mobile unit with a kitchen to the program.

For the past decade, their foundation has provided scholarships to between two and four university students a year who otherwise would not have been able to afford to continue their education.

“Our foundation helps educate and train young people who are less fortunate,” Earl said. “Supporting trauma education at Lahey allows us to continue our mission to provide education and training, and gives us a chance to expand into health care. The training at Lahey is outstanding, and we are proud to help their doctors and nurses deliver the best possible care.”

To learn more about the Lahey Clinic Canadian Foundation, please contact [email protected].