Just as Scott Brooker, one of Ottawa’s most respected commercial real estate brokers, fell into his profession, he came to Bruyère by the same kind of happenstance.
Brooker, a Whitby boy whose parents were from the Ottawa Valley, came to the city twenty years ago to attend Algonquin College. While there, an acquaintance at Cushman & Wakefield Ottawa helped him get a summer co-op job. Fifteen years later, he’s still there. The job keeps him on his toes, a characteristic he deeply appreciates. “My favourite part of the job is the variety,” he cites. “You’re always solving problems and meeting new people.”
A few years back, those “new people” came to include the hard-working minders of the Bruyère Foundation, for which Cushman & Wakefield raised funds through an annual charity golf tournament. “It was through that partnership that I became aware of the breadth of work that Bruyère does,” Brooker recounts. “They are far more than just a palliative care hospital offering end-of-life support. Bruyère plays a unique role in the region’s health care system, providing specialized hospital care, primary care, long-term care, and assisted and independent living for seniors.” Asked to join the board, Brooker jumped at the opportunity; as a seasoned real estate broker, he recognized a good fit when he saw one. “It’s about matching people with organizations over opportunities,” he explains. “My focus is to create connections within the community to support the work that Bruyère does.”
This summer, Bruyère opened the new Shenkman Palliative Care Unit, an achievement two years in the making. Bruyère’s existing care unit and team were relocated from the Saint-Vincent Hospital campus into the new facility after Brooker, the board, and an assortment of big-hearted donors raised close to $6 million. But the true reward of that experience wasn’t monetary. “The real excitement was knowing all of the good that it would do and the people that it would help,” asserts Brooker. “Completing this project will help create major efficiencies for both Bruyère and its local partners and will dramatically enhance the level of this specialized care in the community.”
But there’s more work to be done. Every year, Bruyère establishes fundraising priorities based on the foundation’s most pressing requirements, from specialized equipment and nursing education to various forms of research. Whatever the demands, Brooker is eager to explain their importance to prospective givers. “Every time a donor chooses to give,” he elucidates, “it helps Bruyère fulfill its daily goal to make life better for patients, their loved ones, and our care teams.”
As for his own role in this all-important mission, Brooker approaches it with the same humility he experienced when he was first asked to be involved. “Myself and the rest of the board are here to continue to support the great work that Bruyère does, but the real stars are the service delivery and research groups.”