October 4, 2017 6:11 pm

‘We are a separate organization’: IWK Foundation distancing itself from expense scandal

It's business as usual as staff and volunteers at the IWK Foundation work stuffing donor envelopes in Halifax.

Jennifer Grudic / Global News
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The IWK Foundation is working to reassure donors that their money is going towards exactly what it’s meant for: funding world-class healthcare for women, children and families in the Maritimes.

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On Wednesday, it published a Letter to the Community on its website in an effort to dispel rumours and address questions from the public surrounding the ongoing expense scandal involving upper management at the IWK Health Centre.

READ MORE: IWK receives remaining money owed from former CEO, won’t pursue legal claim

“I think it’s time with the recent events that the foundation now can come out and educate the public and clarify that we are a separate organization,” said Jennifer Gillivan, president and CEO of the IWK Foundation.

“I often say we have the most generous donors on the planet and that when they make a donation, it is completely separate. It has nothing to do with the IWK Health Centre.”

While the not-for-profit organization hasn’t seen a decline in donor support, Gillivan said she and her team have been forced to reassure donors that the operational budget for the IWK Health Centre is completely separate from the money raised by the IWK Foundation.

“The donor money goes directly to the cause and is managed by us,” she said.

“We have very strict policies and processes.”

In the online letter, Gillivan said the last few months have been very difficult on both organizations, leaving the foundation “deeply saddened.”

READ MORE: President and CEO of IWK Health Centre in Halifax leaving organization

She hopes that both foundation staff, along with the staff at the IWK Health Centre, can get past the controversy and focus on continuing to do what they do best.

“I believe we are moving on,” Gillivan said. “That’s part of what we’re trying to signal today.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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