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The most unexpected hospital fundraising campaign you will see today

The most unexpected hospital fundraising campaign you will see today


No, she’s not one of those dolls. “Simone” is a Sim — a sophisticated patient simulator used to train medical residents at the Ottawa Hospital, in the capital of Canada.

The Ottawa Hospital Skills and Simulation Centre needs more types of these training models, and they’ve come up with an unusual way to do it: They’ve set up an Aviva Community Fund page to raise public support for their bid for more than $100,000 in Corporate Social Responsibility grants from Aviva Insurance.

The Aviva Community Fund competition allows individual Canadians to put forward project ideas for improving their communities through Aviva funding. This one was proposed by Ingrid Gingras, Partnership and Outreach Specialist at The Ottawa Hospital Foundation. And instead of just asking for the money, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation has developed a whole story about “Simone”:

Although loving her role as a patient simulator, Simone the female simulation mannequin is lonely. With your votes, we will be able to purchase an additional adult simulator – the SimMan, and an infant simulator – the SimBaby. These simulators would provide infinite learning scenarios for our residents (and would give Simone the companionship she deserves). Together, the Sim family would enable medical students and skilled physicians to develop new medical procedures and evaluate the latest innovations in patient care in a controlled environment where mistakes are part of the learning process and are of no risk to patients.
Vote for our project and help us bring the Sim Family together!

There is even a WordPress blog to play out Simone’s backstory:

You know when you want something so badly but it never happens? That’s sort of how I feel about my love life. I’ve spent too much time watching others fall in love around me and haven’t spent enough time on finding my person.


“She” is currently asking for dating advice:

Holy bananas, I’m going on a date! What to wear?! It’s an emergency. A real-life simulation mannequin emergency. My favourite pink dress is definitely not the ideal outfit this time of year, but it’s what I’m most comfortable wearing. Isn’t that one of the dating codes: wear something comfortable? Help!

My heart is pounding so hard and if I could squeal with delight I certainly would, but squealing isn’t part of my simulation options.

Could this really be it? The moment I’ve been waiting for all this time? My person, my Simmate, my… Manny?

It’s exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  I think this is when I’ll need your Matchmaker help – to get me through these dating jitters, deal with this emotional rollercoaster, and make our love happen.

It’s a little weird, but then again perhaps weird is what it takes for a hospital foundation to compete for crowdsourced CSR funding. Personally, I would rather have my tax dollars paying for this (it’s Canada, after all!) but I am aware that in my cash-strapped propvince of Ontario, public healthcare providers are scrambling for dollars anywhere they can find them.

Good luck, Simone. You do important work.



Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Aviva Community Fund (campaign page)
The Ottawa Hospital Facebook Page

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more