When the Labour & Delivery section of Mount Sinai’s revitalized Lawrence and Frances Bloomberg Centre for Women’s and Infants’ Health opens in 2013, one of the infant resuscitation bays will be dedicated in honour of the Bridle Bash Foundation.
Bridle Bash co-founders Jamie and Sheryl Salter officially presented Joseph Mapa, President and CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital, and Dr. Shoo Lee, Neonatologist-in-Chief, with the Foundation’s $100,000 pledge to fund the resus bay.
Since it was established in 2008, the Bridle Bash Foundation has raised more than $3.5 million. Co-founder Jamie Salter attributed the Foundation’s success to its unique blending of fun, participation, inclusion and philanthropy. “Fun is first, and because people are having fun we raise a lot of money.”
The fun happens at sports tournaments, spin-a-thons and the famous bi-annual Bridle Bash concert. The 2010 event welcomed more than 1,500 people to a poolside concert by Burton Cummings and raised over $600,000.
The Foundation’s sense of fun is matched by the seriousness with which it approaches its funding decisions. “We give to Canadian charities focused on health research, treatment and support,” says Sheryl Salter, one of the self-described “caretakers” of the Bridle Bash Foundation, and co-chair of Venture Sinai Women.
This focus makes the resus bay an ideal choice, according to Neonatologist-in-Chief, Dr. Shoo Lee. “The first few minutes of a baby’s life are so important, and you’ll be helping to ensure that babies are safe during that crucial time,” he says.
Located within the Triage Centre, the bay will accommodate deliveries that progress too quickly to take a mom to a Labour & Delivery suite. It will be equipped with an over-bed warmer and other resuscitation and monitoring equipment so that babies born there enter the world as safely as possible.
Noting the Bridle Bash Foundation’s interest in research, Dr. Lee explained to Jamie and Sheryl Salter that he and his team are also researching a new way of resuscitating babies. “If we are successful, this could set a whole new standard,” he said. “I’m talking about potentially reducing infant mortality by half.”
“We believe in Mount Sinai,” said Jamie Salter. “We know our support accomplishes something here. The star on the lobby wall is nice; a baby’s life is so much more important.”