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Louis de Melo with his wife Andrea

Recently, Sinai Health Foundation proudly welcomed Louis de Melo as the new Chief Executive Officer of Sinai Health Foundation and Executive Vice President, Academic Advancement of Sinai Health System.

Louis joins Sinai Health Foundation from the University of Ottawa, where he was responsible for elevating the profile of the University, building external alliances and strategic partnerships, executing a brand refresh, and most importantly, generating revenue to support the University’s mission of teaching and scholarship. During his tenure, he more than tripled the fundraising revenue and launched the largest fundraising campaign in the University’s history.

Louis will begin his leadership of the Foundation in October 2017, and he took the time to share a little more about himself, why he was inspired to work at Sinai Health Foundation and what the organization’s mission means to him.

What drew you to Sinai Health Foundation?

I was inspired by the strong reputation and rich history of the organization. Mount Sinai Hospital was founded in 1923 by a courageous group of women who raised funds to build a hospital that could best service their needs.  The organization was founded on philanthropy and this history remains embedded in the culture of Sinai Health.

I’m also very much aligned with Sinai Health’s vision and values. The organization’s vision is quite compelling - to become Canada’s leading integrated health system. I believe all health care organizations should be moving towards this integrated model to respond to the changing needs of patients and families. The amalgamation of Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Circle of Care, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute to form Sinai Health System was a brilliant and strategic move. I was drawn to the organization’s constant strive for excellence and the person-centred care that allows Sinai Health to do more for the people they care for.

Finally, the collaboration between Sinai Health Foundation and Sinai Health System sends a strong message about the seamless integration of these two organizations.

What excites you about working in the healthcare sector?

I’m excited to continue working in the academic and research space here at Sinai Health, allowing us to take the best from the lab and bring it to the bedside. Research was also a big focus at the University of Ottawa and an area I really enjoyed. Great collaborations are currently happening across Sinai Health, with the integration between world-leading Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and Bridgepoint’s Collaboratory for Research and Innovation.  This innovative research translates into better care and outcomes for patients and I’m really looking forward to propelling this important work forward through philanthropy.

How do you think your experience at the University of Ottawa has prepared you for this leadership role at Sinai Health Foundation?

I think a number of elements have prepared me for this role. I’ve worked in the health care environment for over eight years at one of the top comprehensive and intensive research universities. In addition to working with a leading Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Ottawa also has partnerships with five hospitals in the region. With oversight of 40,000 students and 5,000 staff, my work at this sizable enterprise has prepared me for the Sinai Health environment.

I’ve dealt with key donors and influencers from all over the globe, some of whom are part of the Sinai network. I’m very comfortable in these circles and I’m looking forward to building lasting relationships with key stakeholders.

I’ve also led a rebranding initiative at the University of Ottawa and I’m passionate about continuing to build and define the Sinai Health brand in my new role.

I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to learn and grow at Sinai Health Foundation and to contribute to its future.

What would you like to say to our Sinai Health supporters?

Thank you! I don’t think we can ever thank our donors enough. You are the reason that Sinai Health is one of the leading institutions in the country. I’m incredibly grateful for the generosity of our donors, their belief in our vision and their commitment to the cause. 

The energy, enthusiasm and dedication of our donors push us to be better. Philanthropy is the delta between excellence and greatness, and ultimately translates into better care for patients and families. Every donation, big or small, is helping to change lives. We are grateful not only for the financial support, but also for the engagement of community leaders and volunteers that bring us incredible value. I really can’t wait to start working with this passionate group of supporters and I’m looking forward to growing our network and further demonstrating the impact of donations.

Outside of the office, what do you like to do with your spare time?

I’m an avid reader, and I like to read in three different languages English, French and Portuguese. When I read in English, I enjoy books that tackle topics like leadership, strategic thinking and development. The last book I read was called “Ask More”, by Frank Sesno, a former CNN anchor, about the power of questions, and how asking the right questions can lead to strategic advancement. Most of my French reading is centered on fiction, and as Portuguese is a very romantic language, I like to read poetry.

My wife and I also like to travel a lot. We believe by discovering new cultures, we can broaden our horizons, learn new things and we also appreciate the quality of life we have here in Canada.

Finally, I work out on a regular basis because it’s important to take care of yourself physically as well as intellectually. I follow a workout regime approximately three times a week to feel my very best.

Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share?

I’ve started to meet with some of our key stakeholders, board members and staff and I have two words to describe this experience - extremely impressed. Everyone at Sinai Health has been so welcoming and has a genuine and emotional attachment to the organization. All of our stakeholders have one goal in mind to make Sinai Health Foundation more successful, because they truly believe and care about the organization. I can’t wait to begin my role in October and I’m thrilled to be part of the Sinai Health family.

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