Medavie Supports Causes that are Close to Employees’ Hearts

To mark National Volunteer Week, April 14-20, we’re recognizing Medavie employees for the contributions they're making to strengthen inclusivity and wellbeing in our communities.

Lana Hansen, Internal Communications Manager at Medavie, raised over $5,000 for the NB Ride Against Cancer charity biking event.
Lana Hansen, Internal Communications Manager at Medavie, raised over $5,000 for the NB Ride Against Cancer charity biking event.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2022, Lana Hansen took up cycling at the encouragement of her oncologist. Joining The NB Ride Against Cancer team as both a grateful patient and spokesperson, Lana participated in the cause despite the challenges of undergoing active treatment. Impressively, Lana raised over $5,100 for the 2022 and 2023 campaigns, a portion of which helped purchase new 3D mammography units for the early detection of breast cancer at the Moncton hospital.

In addition to her individual fundraising efforts, Lana also received support from her employer, Medavie, which supports causes close to employees’ hearts by matching the monies they raise and the volunteer hours they donate through Time Equals Money and Team Matching programs.

“Thankfully, all my recent screening tests are clear, and my energy is returning. For this reason, I have decided to literally “shift gears” and focus on building my stamina for cycling and getting as healthy as I can be.”
- Lana Hansen, Internal Communications Manager, Medavie, Riverview, NB

Her goal is to cycle 500 kilometres for the ride month of June 2024!

Living our Values of Caring, Community-Minded

At work, Lana is a member of a team of 8,250 professionals at Medavie who are guided by Medavie’s core values and fueled by our shared mission to improve the wellbeing of Canadians so that every life can be lived to the fullest. Through initiatives such as Medavie's Time Equals Money and Team Matching programs, Lana and employees like her are recognized and celebrated for their contributions.

In 2023, Medavie matched the community giving of employees with a total of $57,660 in donations to the charities of their choice.

“What I really love about the programs Medavie offers is the ability to pull my friends, family and coworkers into my volunteering life. It allows them a unique perspective into why I volunteer and how small movements can add up into large scale changes!”

- Steven Dooley, Business Support Analyst, Medavie Blue Cross, Sackville, NS
Steven Dooley, Business Support Analyst, and his winning trophy.
Steven Dooley, Business Support Analyst, and his winning trophy.

Buying a Special Bicycle

Steven volunteers with several organizations in his community, such as the Sackville Rivers Association, Sackville Patriot Days, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, and the Sackville Kinsmen Club. Through his involvement with the Kinsmen Club, he helped purchase a three-wheeled bicycle for a disabled child who, until then, could not ride with her friends due to her condition.

“What I love about this story is that she lives in a neighbourhood in Sackville, and whenever I pass her house in the spring, summer, and fall, I can see her bike being used each day. Her smiles and joy are what remind me why I volunteer.”

For the past two years, he participated in the annual CF Curling Funspiel, winning the award for top fundraiser and the tournament itself in 2023, along with his Medavie Blue Cross colleague Jessica Kelly. Through Medavie’s Time Equals Money program, Steven and his rink have donated $4,790 to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Cycling for MS Research

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a cause near and dear to Martin Legault, Medavie Blue Cross’s Director of Group Underwriting, based in Montreal. Over the last 20 years, he has participated in several MS walks, runs, and bike tours, and in 2011 he participated in the Kilimanjaro Challenge. He has chaired the Quebec division of the MS Canada board for the past four years and serves on the national board. Medavie’s sponsorship of the MS Bike Tour in Quebec, combined with funds raised by employees, has contributed more than $1 million to MS Canada. Further, Martin has raised more than $400,000 for the non-profit with his family and friends. Martin recognizes the “significant impact” volunteerism has had on MS research and development. “Twenty years ago, only four treatments were available, and today it’s about 20.”

Natasha Dooks and the Wish Avengers at the 2023 Heroes Challenge in Dartmouth, where they won the Team Spirit Award. Natasha has captained the team for eight years, raising over $85,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Nova Scotia.
Natasha Dooks and the Wish Avengers at the 2023 Heroes Challenge in Dartmouth.

Making Wishes Come True

Natasha Dooks is a dedicated fundraiser for Make-a-Wish Foundation Canada, Nova Scotia Chapter, having participated in its annual campaign, Heroes Challenge, as team captain of the “Wish Avengers” since 2017. As of September 2023, her team had raised over $85,000 with the support of Medavie’s Team Matching program. As a member of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, Medavie Blue Cross has partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation since 1989 to fulfill the dreams of Canadian children facing high-risk illnesses with complimentary travel insurance.

For Natasha, a Provider Coordinator at Medavie Blue Cross, her most memorable wish involved delivering a puppy to a Wish Child. The puppy was the child’s “most heartfelt wish.”

Cooking with Kids

Jessica Poirier dedicates her time to volunteering with the Moncton East Youth Center, leading a cooking class for kids every Wednesday night during the school year. Thanks to the support of the Time Equals Money program, Medavie helps to purchase the ingredients used in the cooking class. “This activity is not only great for the kids but for me. It’s never a task; it’s a joy to do,” shares Jessica.

“I teach them how to cook a nice meal, which they get to eat. I can feed over 40 little mouths in a night. No one goes home hungry. What I have learned from this is that not every child is fortunate enough to get a warm homemade meal every day.”

-Jessica Poirier, Provider Final Analyst, Medavie Blue Cross, Moncton, NB

Cheryl Hill, Disability Claims Consultant, cycling for care as a Medavie peddler.
Cheryl Hill, Disability Claims Consultant, cycling for care as a Medavie peddler.

Pedaling for Cancer Care

Cheryl Hill has participated in the Ride for Cancer since 2019 to support cancer care at the QEII Hospital in Halifax. Her team “Medavie Pedalers” was started by work colleague Bonnie Phillips, who sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2019. She and colleague Donny Larlee have continued the team in her memory each year since, raising approximately $7,000, including the dollars matched by Medavie.

“About a month after I crossed the finish line that first year, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and received treatment at the same hospital I had been fundraising for. As more and more friends and family were diagnosed with cancer, I added some pictures to my backpack (inside and outside) each year to take them along with me on my 25-kilometre ride.”

-Cheryl Hill, Disability Claims Consultant, Medavie Blue Cross, Halifax, NS

Cheryl admits it wasn’t easy that first year, not being a cyclist, not having trained or even fundraised any large amount. But as she told herself, no one trains for cancer, so she could manage a bike ride. “I’ve learned that I’m capable of more than I give myself credit for at times and that despite how big cancer is, we can still make an impact at an individual level. I love that Medavie’s matching program allows me to double the funding given to the cause.”

Geoff Randell, Business Analyst, coach U13 Girls soccer team, with daughter Jill at Provincial Finals
Geoff Randell, Business Analyst, coach U13 Girls soccer team, with daughter Jill at Provincial Finals

Coaching, Supporting Sports Teams

Geoff Randell has volunteered with the Riverview Soccer Association (RSA) for ten years. He has served as club president and coached his son's and daughter's soccer teams and led the local club as president to help grow the sport in his community. Geoff, a Business Analyst with Medavie Blue Cross, also fundraised to support his son’s hockey team with the assistance of Medavie’s Time Equals Money” program. “We are very fortunate that Medavie offers such a wonderful program to recognize the volunteering efforts of its employees within the community!”

Skating to Prevent Sports Injuries

This winter in Ontario, paramedics with Chatham-Kent EMS, laced up their skates and hit the ice at the Niagara EMS Shoot for the Cure Hockey Tournament, a joint campaign of the Stop Concussions Foundation and the Canadian Spinal Research Organization, whose mission is to fund research into a cure for brain and spinal cord injuries while raising awareness for the prevention of these injuries in contact sports.

Chatham-Kent EMS participating in the Niagara EMS Shoot for the Cure Hockey Tournament
Chatham-Kent EMS participating in the Niagara EMS Shoot for the Cure Hockey Tournament

Stuffing the Bus for Food Bank

Medavie Health Services-West paramedics helped with the “Stuff The Bus” campaign for the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre earlier this year, while Nova Scotia EMS ground and air paramedics filled ambulances and helicopters for their annual food and toy drives at Christmas. Last Halloween, paramedics in Fredericton, New Brunswick, participated in the Go-Go Gymnastics 2nd Annual Trunk-or-Treat, supporting The Chalmers Foundation. $10,384 was raised to create a playground for the Fredericton hospital’s pediatric ward.

Helping Out a Non-Profit Farm

Earlier that fall, Medavie Health Services and Medavie Blue Cross employees joined the Medavie Foundation team to volunteer for the North Grove Good Food Market and Community Farm, helping to plant, weed and harvest vegetables and fruits. The Foundation, founded by Medavie in 2011 as an extension of its mission to deliver community-centered, non-profit healthcare, is a longtime partner of the non-profit farm in Nova Scotia.

Investing in Communities Across Canada

The Medavie Foundation focuses on improving access to equitable, culturally aligned care in the areas of healthy living, youth mental health, and post-traumatic stress. Since its inception in 2011, the Foundation has invested over $32.7 million in community-centered initiatives across Canada. In 2023, the Foundation invested $5.97 million and partnered with 131 organizations working to improve access for individuals experiencing barriers to care, representing a 20% and 29% increase, respectively, year over year.

Learn more about the Foundation and our Community Giving by reading other stories here:

Our Mission is to Improve the Wellbeing of Canadians.

Medavie is a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. Together, we’re bringing Canadians better health and access to care.