Interview: Dave Gilmer, CFRE, Vice President, Development


March 6, 2018

Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi. I’m Dave Gilmer, Vice President of Development at the Foundation. I’m a “Humber Baby”, born at Humber Memorial Hospital (Church site). Humber River is still my family’s Hospital. I truly feel it is a privilege to raise funds within my home community for my Hospital.

Is there a Program of Care you have a personal connection to?

I have a personal connection to the Cancer Care Program because both of my parents and my mother-in-law all died young from cancer. In addition, my immediate family has been impacted by cancer. My decision to make a career change and dedicate myself to the philanthropic profession was a direct result of watching my Dad lose his battle with cancer. I felt helpless and needed to do something, to contribute to change. I tend to be in the Cancer Clinic every week or two visiting with patients and families.

In one sentence, how would you explain your job to a friend?

My job is to connect people who have the financial means with projects and initiatives that inspire philanthropic commitments and produce more innovative patient care and better patient outcomes.

The PillPick robot dispenses and packages medication.

What are the most interesting pieces of technology at Humber?

The SwissLog PillPick in the Pharmacy is a fantastic piece of technology that always impresses on tour. The level of accuracy and accountability that Humber River is able to achieve through this technology is unprecedented and set the gold standard for all hospitals in Canada. I get a kick out of the fact that it is Italian technology – you’d never know by the name!

The use of RFID technology for many different purposes is impressive. We use it to track and monitor patients through their surgical journey, sending text messages to loved ones to keep them informed, to safeguard babies on the 4th floor, and to track and verify all pharmaceutical supplies packaged in Operating Room Trays, before dispatching them to the O.R.’s for surgical procedures.

The Pneumatic Tube system is used to quickly deliver samples to the laboratory.

The electrochromatic glass installed in all patient rooms and treatment spaces (Cancer Clinic, Dialysis Clinic) is the forerunner of the “Internet of Healthcare Things” where devices communicate with devices. Each pane of glass has its’ own unique IP address, enabling electronic communication from our central system or from an Integrated Bedside Terminal in each patient room. I imagine that in the future, a patient walking into a Clinic or a patient room will be able to control the tint of the glass and the environment via pre-registered criteria in their EMR patient record, without actually having to initiate any communications.

I think the Pneumatic Tube system is neat. On tour, I usually say it’s a great tool to rapidly deliver blood and urine samples to the laboratory, reducing the turnaround time for test results, and it’s also great for sending food to a hungry patient or staff member – sandwich stat!

Do you have a favourite project?

I have been involved in the O.R. “Black Box” project with Dr. Hagen and St. Michael’s Hospital since last July. I’m excited by it because it vaults Humber River Hospital into a global research study that will generate learnings from some of the best General Surgeons in the world while creating teaching opportunities and a model of continuous quality improvement for Humber’s General Surgery team. Knowing that Humber River’s General Surgeons are committed to continuous learning and quality improvement, and benchmarking themselves against other surgeons around the world, assures me that Humber River Hospital is the best place to go for surgery.

What is one awesome thing you’ve done in the last year? 

The O.R. Black Box project with St. Michael’s Hospital will support continuous quality improvement for Humber’s General Surgery team.

I’ve always been an Argos fan. In November, I had the chance to meet Mike (Pinball) Clemons in person at the AFP Congress. I was wearing my Argos T-shirt under my shirt & tie just for the occasion. Mike let me wear his Grey Cup ring while we posed for a photo together. When the Argos won the Grey Cup the next week, I thought the whole experience was pretty awesome!

What inspires you?

Experiencing the joy that is created within our donors, patients and staff, when a truly altruistic act of philanthropy creates significant and meaningful benefit for others. It’s one of the primary reasons that I changed careers.