By Michelle Hopkins
Why long-time donor Ken Woods continues to give to the Sinus Centre at St. Paul’s
Ken Woods grew up in a modest home in East Vancouver. After working his way through university and a master’s degree, he enjoyed a successful career as the co-founder of an investment counseling firm. The local businessman says the help he received throughout his education prompted his desire to “be involved and give while I live.” Although a long-time sinus allergy sufferer, Woods didn’t know just how fortunate his investment would be.
For over two decades, the noted philanthropist, along with his wife Anne, have devoted themselves to not-for-profit activities, most notably committing time and money to St. Paul’s Foundation.
“We donate to St. Paul’s because it’s a major downtown core hospital and a world leader in medical technologies,” says Woods.
In 2000, Woods was looking for a more direct pledge; “I wanted to support something essential to British Columbians that the government wasn’t funding,” he says.
When Woods learned about Dr. Amin Javer’s incredible work as the director at St. Paul’s Sinus Centre, he and Anne knew they had found something special to support. Under Dr. Javer’s leadership, the Sinus Centre has become world-renowned for excellence and is one of the most active rhinology research centres in North America.
To continue this important work, Dr. Javer needed an Image Guided System (IGS), which would allow him to perform complex rhinology surgeries. Woods met the prominent surgeon, and, upon learning there would be no government funding, agreed to initiate the funding of the new IGS equipment.
“Dr. Javer is such a unique, outstanding person, and a special and talented surgeon,” says Woods. “We feel privileged to be able to help along the way.”
Since the IGS was added to the Sinus Centre, countless British Columbians have benefitted, including Woods. In 2005, Woods went from being a long-time allergy sufferer to having a severe sinus condition; he needed surgery.
“I went into the operating room, this time not as a visitor, but as a patient using the equipment we funded,” he says. “It’s a pretty good return on our investment.”
Research and Patient Care
Over the years, the couple’s contributions have enhanced patient care at the Sinus Centre in several major areas, including the development of innovative programs and treatments, groundbreaking rhinology research and world-class medical education through the Ken and Anne Woods Research Program.
Each year, Dr. Javer and his dedicated fellows and residents – a team consisting of two clinical fellows, a research fellow, 12 undergraduate medical students and a research assistant – work on 10 to 15 research projects, testing new medications, new ways to treat patients and experimenting with new equipment.
“Research and teaching are big components of what I do,” says Dr. Javer. “Ken and Anne’s generosity makes it possible for me to do both.”
When you make a donation to St. Paul’s Foundation, you’re helping to fund exciting projects. Here are some examples of Dr. Javer’s current work:
Sinus Catheter: Designed to inject medication directly into the sinuses, this at-home device can be used by patients following surgery. It will reduce hospital visits and assist patients to get precise medication amounts to the correct site. Once approved, it will be available internationally and will change the landscape for sinus care.
Antibacterial Photodynamic Therapy: This treatment employs a balloon into an infected sinus and uses blue light for a four-minute treatment, killing 99.99 per cent of bacteria and fungi in the affected area. The study’s goal is to clear infected sinuses of the bacteria that form problematic biofilm and replace it with normal healthy bacteria.
Recurring Sinus Infections: Dr. Javer and his team are investigating recurring sinus infections in patients who have previously had partial sinus surgery. The team hopes to discover if those patients are genetically predisposed to inflammation and infection.
Support this groundbreaking research at donate.helpstpauls.com/Sinus-Centre.