$3-million investment to fund discoveries that rebuild lives

TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - Late last week, there was a major breakthrough in the new frontier of health sciences - rehabilitation that rebuilds people's lives after life-changing injury or illness.

On Thursday, November 3, philanthropists John Craig Eaton and Sally Horsfall Eaton announced the largest private gift in St. John's Rehab Hospital's history: a visionary $3-million investment to establish the hospital's first-ever research chair in rehabilitation sciences. This endowment creates ongoing funding to develop and refine rehabilitation care techniques that will help people recover from their health conditions - at St. John's Rehab, across Canada and around the world.

A research chair is an academic honour bestowed on top-tier scientists to contribute to an area of study. The John and Sally Eaton Chair in Rehabilitation Research will be cross-appointed to the University of Toronto and will be fully funded by St. John's Rehab Foundation's donors. The chair will:

  • expand rehab knowledge to help survivors of complex health conditions improve their quality of life, regain their independence and return to their families, their work and their communities.
  • ensure the hospital's ongoing focus on major rehabilitation research;
  • develop research efforts that are new to Canada;
  • provide an enhanced training environment for health students; and
  • strengthen relationships with academic organizations and acute care hospitals to build research partnerships

"This research chair will help us attract the very best minds in rehabilitation sciences and lead to tremendous discoveries of new care techniques," says Malcolm Moffat, President and CEO of St. John's Rehab Hospital. "We are so thankful for John and Sally's extraordinary investment and their keen awareness of the importance of rehabilitation."

The Eatons have been long-time supporters of St. John's Rehab Hospital and rehabilitation care. Ms. Horsfall Eaton was a member of the Hospital's Board of Directors from 1994-2006, including a term as Chair from 1999-2002. She surprised the crowd with news of this gift at celebrations marking the opening of St. John's Rehab Hospital's new outpatient wing. The Eatons have now invested a total of $5 million to rehabilitation research, education and the new wing - fittingly named the John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Ambulatory Care.

"We care enormously about the miracles that happen in this hospital every day," Ms. Horsfall Eaton said. "It's why we have supported the construction of the new wing, staff education and research. And it's why we're proud to continue our support of this hospital and advancing rehabilitation care for patients through the creation of this new chair in rehabilitation research."

For more information about The John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Ambulatory Care, please see the attached backgrounder or visit www.stjohnsrehab.com/redevelopment.

About St. John's Rehab Hospital
St. John's Rehab Hospital rebuilds people's lives following complex, life-changing illnesses and injuries. A community-affiliated teaching site of the University of Toronto, St. John's Rehab develops research and provides customized care with a focus on the whole person - body, mind and spirit. Home to Canada's only organ transplant rehab program and Ontario's only burn rehab program, St. John's Rehab is moving to the forefront of specialized rehabilitation. For more information, visit www.stjohnsrehab.com.

Backgrounder: The John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Ambulatory Care

The John C. and Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Ambulatory Care first opened to patients on November 1, 2011 and marked its grand opening on November 3.

This state-of-the-art facility equips St. John's Rehab Hospital with the modern space it needs to get patients back to their lives and communities following life-changing illnesses and injuries. The new wing is part of the hospital's first major redevelopment since 1973.

Construction now continues with renovations of the existing Agnew wing to create a fifth inpatient unit, which will allow the hospital to spread its 160 beds from four to five floors, expand cramped treatment areas and accommodate more specialized equipment. The redevelopment project is scheduled to be complete in summer 2012.

What's inside the new facility?

  • Spacious treatment gyms to help our patients return to everyday activities;
  • Enhanced clinic space for face-masks, splinting and gait-training
  • A modern therapy pool, home to our Arthritis Aquatic Program
  • Two Activities of Daily Living (ADL) suites, featuring a fully-functioning kitchen and bathroom
  • A comprehensive resource centre that gives patients and their families access to information about resources in the community
  • Rehab and wellness clinics and programs that are open to the community, including massage therapy, acupuncture, and our new Active Living and Pre-hab programs;
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the hospital's 25 acres of landscaped grounds and new therapy garden — a key element in the whole-person approach to care;
  • A large, inviting gift shop offering a variety of items that patients and visitors need during their stay
  • Additional, accessible parking for patients and visitors; and
  • A spacious new main entrance with the latest accessibility features.

Facts and figures:

  • Total floor space: 49,000 square feet
  • Construction costs: Estimated $42 million (including inpatient wing renovations to be completed by Summer 2012)
  • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care funding: $35.7 million towards construction costs and $1.2 million in additional annual funding to operate the wing
  • Donor funding: $6 million towards the redevelopment, part of the $15-million Rebuilding Lives campaign
  • Annual outpatient visits to St. John's Rehab Hospital (April 2010 - March 2011): 37,857
  • Annual inpatients discharged from St. John's Rehab Hospital (April 2010 - March 2011): 2,697

SOURCE St. John's Rehab Hospital

For further information:

Marcus Staviss
Director, Strategic Communications
St. John's Rehab Hospital
416-226-6780 ext. 7002 | mstaviss@stjohnsrehab.com

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St. John's Rehab Hospital

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