• We Are Campaign Cabinet

    We Are Campaign Cabinet

    Volunteer Leadership Driving Healthcare Change

Behind every successful organization stands a strong line of volunteers who passionately believe in the vision and give their time, talent, and support to lead the charge. Our community is so fortunate to have this league of champions who are catalysts behind healthcare change, encouraging others to think big and create movement. 

As we work towards making healthcare history with the largest healthcare fundraising campaign in Atlantic Canada, here’s their why.




Sherry Porter


We Are Chair, Co-Chair, Cancer Care

Sherry Porter has been around the QEII Foundation board table for many years, including its previous capital campaign, Working Miracles. When she saw the importance of what the We Are campaign would be focused on, her hand went up for Chair. 

I just love how We Are focuses on new, innovative ways to do things that will really help the system. Things likes personalized radiotherapy, that is going beyond what we ever imagined for cancer care, and a Centre of Excellence in Robotics with the QEII’s leadership role both Canadian and internationally. It all excites me for better patient outcomes, improved accessibility, and being able to attract the brightest to our community.”

She is honoured to be surrounded by such a strong, passionate Cabinet, all of whom are dedicated to transforming health care. With a bold campaign goal and the largest health care campaign in Atlantic Canada, Sherry is proud of the impact achieved so far. But she is quick to note, stay tuned - the campaign is not done yet, with many projects yet to come that will make a big difference for health care.

Michelle Awad


Co-Chair, Surgical Innovation

Between growing up with a father who was a practicing QEII physician and her more recent personal family experiences, the healthcare system has been a central part of Michelle’s life. She has a longstanding, deep desire to give back and is continually inspired by the change philanthropy can create.

We Are is a bold, ambitious and massive undertaking. What perhaps first appeared as punching above our weight is now within our sights. Needing health care at some point in our lives is unavoidable. It is one of the things in life that unites us all.

Putting the QEII on the map as a national leader in surgical robotics through the We Are campaign is something that Michelle is very proud of. But she highlights that it is just one example of a system that has an incredible number of proof points.

Gord Cooper


Chair, Mental Health

Gord has three main reasons that sum up what energizes his involvement with We Are: health care resonates personally with all of us; home grown, world-class solutions that are saving and changing lives; and retaining and recruiting the best talent.

With a passion for thinking of new ways to do things, the QEII Foundation’s Innovation Den was a source of inspiration for Gord, who describes the feeling of local pride hearing about the new, bold ideas. Innovation Den wasn’t just about impacting care here – it went beyond our shores.

The We Are campaign is not the kind of campaign that comes around every day. It’s a real moment in time to make a difference because when all else is stripped away, health matters most.

While the finish line may be in sight, Gord describes the campaign momentum as picking up steam. He encourages others to join the race and play a proactive role in transforming health care, so that we all finish strong, together. 

Donnie Clow


Co-Chair, Surgical Innovation

Donnie Clow is all about making a difference for future generations of Nova Scotians. He sees the We Are campaign as the opportunity to make very targeted change to drive excellence in health care.

Projects like surgical robots are what Donnie is most proud of; seeing the direct correlation of how the best technology is driving retention and recruitment of top healthcare teams, reducing the recurrence of cancer, and offering patients fewer side effects. It’s a game changer.

Health care is one of the fabrics of our community. It affects our families, our friends, employees and neighbours. And the fact is that we can all make a difference – by giving money or lending your talents and passion to inspire others to give. We Are is a big but achievable goal. It is making a real difference in peoples’ lives. It is up to all of us to make health care better….now.

Doug Hall


Co-Chair, Cancer Care

Doug is a firm believer that volunteering is important in life and with the breadth of impact and innovation happening at the QEII, he is happy to be lending his time to We Are.

Working towards a Centre of Excellence in Robotics is a pretty amazing initiative, a best in Canada in fact.” He expresses that government just can’t do it all – it takes a creative, bold foundation and a community of support to make health care the best it can be.

Other projects of interest for Doug are the relocatable MRIs and liquid biopsy for cancer. “The QEII cares for the province but that doesn’t mean the province has to come to the QEII. With relocatable MRIs and new personalized screening programs for cancer, the QEII expertise can extend right into the various communities and deliver care close to home.

Doug knows how dedicated, creative, and innovative the healthcare teams are. He also knows that donor support is how our province will fully support those teams and advance health care. 

Howard Conter


Cabinet Member

As a family physician in Halifax, Dr. Howard Conter knows firsthand the opportunities to improve health care for patients and families.

The We Are campaign is our chance to make a big difference in health care for all Atlantic Canadians as the QEII is the leading health centre in our province. Philanthropy is the best way to improve the level of service through new technology, innovative solutions, and pivotal research.

We have our sights set on a whole new cancer centre, bringing mobile MRI services to the province, and working every possible solution on providing the best technology for patient care and for attracting and retaining world-class medical minds. We Are is playing a central role in improving care.

The campaign has introduced surgical robotics to the QEII for cancer, orthopaedic, and spine patients. It has established Atlantic Canada’s first hybrid OR, launched a nation’s first in personalized radiotherapy for cancer care, and the list goes on.

Janet MacMillan


Cabinet Member

A former QEII Foundation Trustee, Janet was so inspired by the many volunteers and donors stepping up to contribute to the We Are campaign, she was happy to be recruited. She brings her experience from having been part of the QEII’s Working Miracles campaign two decades ago.

She’s equally inspired by the many successes so far with the We Are campaign, including nation’s firsts in robotics, and funding improvements for the region’s largest cancer treatment facility. She’s particularly excited that the campaign will ensure much needed investments in the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation & Arthritis Centre (NSRAC) at the QEII.

I have friends who have found themselves at the QEII’s Rehabilitation Centre after an accident or stroke. Receiving rehabilitation wasn’t in their line of sight until all of a sudden, it was. If something unexpected happens, we need to make sure that the best possible facility, technology, and care is available. Atlantic Canadians need it and deserve it.

A longstanding community volunteer, Janet is hopeful that many, including the “next generation”, are seeing the art of the possible and how we can all play a part in improving health care.

Dr. Mark Taylor


Cabinet Member

As a leading cancer care surgeon with more than 20 years of caring for cancer patients, Dr. Taylor sees firsthand where the system is working well, and where the system needs improvement.

Our cancer rates are an epidemic, affecting every family in this province and beyond. We Are is the spark we need to innovate for new treatments and solutions and tackle our alarming cancer rates.

With an engaged community, and QEII redevelopment officially underway, Dr. Taylor is very optimistic and excited about reaching the $100 million goal.

He shares that now is the time for others to join in and learn about the innovation taking place, the opportunity to transform care, and support the QEII’s care delivery as the most specialized health centre in the province.  

Doug Reid


Cabinet Member

As a previous QEII Foundation Board Chair with many years of service to the organization, Doug Reid saw the We Are campaign as the perfect opportunity to re-engage with health care and make an impact for the community. He considers the QEII Foundation and the QEII Health Sciences Centre vital partners in delivering critical care for Nova Scotians and in fact, the region.

The QEII is the institute that handles the most complex medical cases, has strong integration with Dalhousie Medical School, and works hard to attract and retain the best medical talent. Philanthropy contributes to all of this.  

I’m delighted to see longstanding donors, new donors, and many of the QEII healthcare teams stepping up to support this campaign with gifts of all sizes. Every gift is meaningful. We have an ambitious goal with ambitions for these funds to take the QEII to the next level with critical care delivery and research opportunities. It’s very exciting.