BMO Financial Group makes $6 Million donation to the joint campaign of the CHUM and MUHC Foundations

From left: Ékram Antoine Rabbat, Guy Savard, Christian Paire (CHUM), L. Jacques Ménard (BMO Financial Group), Normand Rinfret, Marie-Josée Gariépy, John Rae (MUHC) (CNW Group/McGill University Health Centre Foundation (MUHC))

MONTREAL, Nov. 28, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Fondation du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation today acknowledged the exceptional contribution that BMO Financial Group is making to the health of Quebecers. The company is committing the largest corporate donation in its history - $6 million - to the Joint Corporate Campaign of Montreal's two academic health centres.

This support for the CHUM and MUHC foundations' joint campaign reflects the longstanding commitment to social responsibility of a financial institution that was founded in Montreal in 1817. As a responsible corporate citizen that takes great pride in its origins, BMO Financial Group aims to contribute to the renewal of academic medicine in Montreal, and thus to the well-being of Quebecers for decades to come.

"My colleagues at BMO and I believe in the importance of providing financial support to the hospital centres and to other health and social service institutions, particularly in view of our aging population and its associated costs, and the specialized care and services required to treat an older clientele - that is, our parents and eventually ourselves," said L. Jacques Ménard, president of BMO Financial Group, Quebec. "With the major support of BMO and other companies, the CHUM and the MUHC will soon be able to do what they do best, and do it even better - namely saving lives and healing patients," added Mr. Ménard.

Providing the best care in the best conditions
The new academic health centres will meet the highest standards for medical infrastructure. They will provide patients with the best specialized care in a healing environment, and will be leading centres for innovative health care, research and teaching practices, thus solidifying the reputations of the two institutions.

"Health is the most precious of gifts," said Christian Paire, director general and CEO of the CHUM. "Through BMO's commitment, it is helping our doctors, nurses and other professionals to provide the best health care, and we are extremely grateful for that. Like BMO, the CHUM is in tune with its community, maintaining a socially aware perspective of sustainable development, at the heart of which are our patients, who have become partners in their health and well-being."

Guy Savard, chairman of the Fondation du CHUM's Capital Campaign Giving Ourselves the Best in Healthcare, expressed his gratitude to the financial services industry leader: "BMO seized a unique opportunity, because it is rare to witness the rise of world-class health institutions on such a scale. BMO Financial Group is being an agent for change by enabling significant improvements in research and health care. For your recognition of the importance of supporting large-scale hospital institutions such as the CHUM in Quebec, we thank you warmly."

Ékram Antoine Rabbat, Chairman and CEO of the Fondation du CHUM added: "Today, BMO is making an important gesture toward the community. It is supporting the efforts of people who are working to ensure that our hospital remains a place of excellence and expertise where talent, knowledge and education come together. Through its vision and leadership, BMO has become a major ally in the pursuit of our mission for the greater benefit of those who are central to our commitment: the patients."

Normand Rinfret, director general and CEO of the MUHC, saluted BMO Financial Group's gesture: "I feel certain that BMO's gift can only add to the enthusiasm of our teams during this period of transition, as they look forward to the completion of these state-of-the-art hospitals, places that will promote inter-professional collaboration and a vision of leading-edge health care for generations to come. In the final analysis, our priority is to help improve the quality of life for everyone we serve. With its generous contribution, BMO is making a difference in the lives of Montrealers, Quebecers, Canadians and ultimately thousands of people around the world."

John Rae, chairman of the MUHC's Best Care for Life Campaign, added, "The $3 million that BMO has chosen to donate to the MUHC will bring added hope to all those working for The Best Care for Life Campaign. BMO's support stands as a shining example of the vital role played by our financial community in fostering the development of advanced, world-class medicine in Montreal. We would like to express our gratitude to them."

The Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation will receive $1.25 million of the donation allocated to the McGill University Health Centre. This gift will be used to leverage a major project dedicated to social pediatrics in the community, led by Dr. Gilles Julien and Dr. Nicolas Steinmetz. "By choosing to designate a significant portion of its gift to the cause of pediatrics, BMO Financial Group is reaffirming the importance of giving our children every opportunity to live their childhoods to the fullest and to succeed in their adult lives. We are extremely grateful to them," said Marie-Josée Gariépy, president of the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation. Marc Courtois, chairman of The Best Care for Children Campaign, acknowledged the leadership role being played by BMO Financial Group. "With this important commitment, BMO has become one of the major partners of our Foundation in its mission to provide excellence in health care to all our patients."

The Joint Corporate Campaign represents a historic partnership between the MUHC and the CHUM. Its objective is to help each hospital raise $300 million.

About BMO Financial Group
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $542 billion as of July 31, 2012, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

BMO is recognized for its community involvement, having contributed $38.5 million in donations in Canada in 2011. Its first corporate gift dates back to 1835, when the bank donated 100 pounds sterling, or $400, to the Montreal General Hospital.

About the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) and its Foundation                
The Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) is one of the largest teaching hospitals in North America. Known for excellent care and the expertise of its specialists, it welcomes more than half a million patients every year, not only from the Greater Montreal region but also the entire province of Quebec. The essence of its mission is the application of innovative approaches to healthcare, the search for new knowledge, the promotion of health and the patient experience, as well as the transfer of knowledge. Boasting a rich history, the CHUM is looking to the future with the ongoing construction of new facilities and its research centre in downtown Montreal, a comprehensive project on a single site valued at nearly $2.5 billion. The CHUM Research Centre will open its doors in 2013. It will be followed in 2016 by the unveiling of the new CHUM, a world-class teaching hospital in tune with its community where it plays a major role, in a socially aware perspective of sustainable development and concerted urban approach. It is also an active member of the Réseau universitaire intégré de santé (RUIS) de l'Université de Montréal. chumontreal.qc.ca

The Fondation du Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) serves as a catalyst and a driving force in carrying out the CHUM's mission, with its numerous initiatives, fundraising activities (direct mailings, canvassing of individual donors, private foundations and corporations) and its capital fundraising campaign. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, it has given nearly $94 million to the CHUM since 1998, including more than $12 million in 2011-2012. Whether it is used to the latest equipment, support research projects that lead to promising treatments, help train a new generation of medical professionals or support the promotion of health, the money raised contributes directly to the continued improvement of patient care. fondationduchum.com

About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and The Best Care for Life Campaign
One of the world's foremost academic health centres, the MUHC offers exceptional and integrated patient-centric care, research, teaching and technology assessment. Affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, it is highly committed to the continuum of care in its community. The partner hospitals of the MUHC—the Lachine Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute, the Montreal General Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Montreal Children's Hospital—value multidisciplinary service throughout the lifespan, innovative technologies and practices, strategic partnerships and leadership in knowledge transfer. The MUHC is currently carrying out a $2.355-billion Redevelopment Project on three sites—the Glen, and Montreal General and Lachine hospitals—designed to provide healthcare professionals with an effective environment in which to ensure patients and their families get the best care for life. The sites are also anchored in best sustainable-development practices, including LEED® and BOMA BEST guidelines.  muhc.ca/construction 

The Best Care for Life Campaign is an unprecedented philanthropic effort aimed at raising the funds needed to complete the McGill University Health Centre's Redevelopment Project as well as the Capital Development Plan.   muhcfoundation.com 

Image with caption: "From left: Ékram Antoine Rabbat, Guy Savard, Christian Paire (CHUM), L. Jacques Ménard (BMO Financial Group), Normand Rinfret, Marie-Josée Gariépy, John Rae (MUHC) (CNW Group/McGill University Health Centre Foundation (MUHC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20121128_C4248_PHOTO_EN_21329.jpg

SOURCE: McGill University Health Centre Foundation (MUHC)

For further information:

BMO Financial Group
Valérie Doucet
Media Relations Manager
Tel. : 514-877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Fondation du CHUM
Élodie Grange
Director, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: 514-890-8361
elodie.grange.chum@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

MUHC
Stacy Patenaude
Jonathan Goldbloom & Associates
Office: 514-750-0887, ext. 100
Cell: 514-795-9940
stacy.patenaude@jgoldbloom.ca