Gift gives hope to families and honours the memory of the late Peter
HAMILTON, ON, May 3 /CNW/ - This morning, during Mental Health Week, the
Boris Family (founders of Mountain Cablevision) announced a remarkable
$6 million gift to alcohol addiction research at St. Joseph's
Healthcare Hamilton. The announcement comes just weeks after the sudden
passing of Owen Boris on April 9, 2011. But the gift was in the works
long before then.
"Dad was captivated by the idea that if we could map out the brain, we
could perhaps better understand the mechanisms that affect
addiction-related behaviour," says Owen's son, Leslie Boris. "Our
father and our family had already committed to this gift to St.
Joseph's. We were working out the details of today's announcement when
dad died…but we all knew that he would've wanted us to carry on, to
make this important announcement, both for him, and for my brother
Peter." he continued.
The Boris Family has a sad but special connection to alcohol addiction.
Owen's youngest son, Peter Boris, struggled for much of his youth and
adult life with alcohol addiction. "Peter passed away just two years
ago…he was only 44," says Les & Peter's sister, Jackie Work. "We
watched the devastating effect addition had on Peter, and we all felt
the impact it had on our family. The impact was so deep that we knew
we had to channel the despair we felt into something good. Peter's
struggle inspired us to make this gift, to give hope to other families
like ours," she said.
The $6 million gift has two distinct, but related purposes at St.
$3 million will be used to establish The Peter Boris Chair in Alcohol Addiction Research. The Chair will expand the boundaries of knowledge surrounding alcohol
use disorders and addictions in the hopes of improving the clinical
care and outcomes of those living with the condition. St. Joseph's
will initiate a recruitment process for an international lead in
addiction research to hold the appointment.
$3 million will be used to create The Peter Boris Alcohol Addiction Research Centre at St. Joseph's new West 5th Campus. The research centre will foster the link between research and
clinical care of people living with addiction.
Dr. Robert Zipursky, Vice-President of Mental Health & Addiction
Services at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and Chair of Psychiatry
and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, spoke at the
event about the impact of this gift…which is the largest gift to
research the Hospital has ever received.
"The effects of alcohol addiction on individuals and their families are
devastating. The importance of a gift like this, one that will help us
to better understand alcohol addiction so that we can treat it more
effectively, will certainly have an impact on those living with alcohol
addiction in our community as well as provincially and nationally,"
said Dr. Zipursky.
Dr. Kevin Smith was also at the event and thanked the family for their
visionary gift. "It takes true benevolence to turn a tragedy into a
transformative gift…and that is what the Boris family has done. This
$6 million gift will help the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who
are living with alcohol addiction. On behalf of St. Joseph's, thank
you for your investment in the health of our region, and thank you for
your belief in St. Joseph's and the world-class research and care our
staff is honoured to provide," he said.
Sera Filice-Armenio, President of St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation
concluded the event by offering her own words of thanks to the family.
"This gift from the Boris family is the largest gift to research at St.
Joseph's. It's also the largest gift to mental health in our history.
It's quite possibly one of the largest gifts to alcohol addiction
research in Canada. What makes this gift so special is the motivation
behind it. The Boris family's desire to give hope to the families of
loved ones living with alcohol addiction."
Celebration of Life for Owen Boris
The Boris family would like to remind friends and family that a
Celebration of Life for Owen Boris will be held on Thursday May 5th from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.
The museum is located at 9280 Airport Road in Mount Hope Ontario. For
driving directions, please visit www.warplane.com.
About St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and its Foundation
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is an acute care, teaching and research
hospital with three sites and is affiliated with the Faculty of Health
Sciences at McMaster University and Mohawk College. St. Joseph's
Healthcare Hamilton is the regional lead for mental health and
addiction services serving a collective population of almost 2 million
people. For more information, visit www.stjoes.ca. St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation is the fundraising arm of the
Hospital. We work with individuals, corporations and foundations who
are interested in supporting the Hospital that has been caring for this
region for more than 120 years. To learn more, visit www.stjoesfoundation.ca.
SOURCE St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation
For further information:
| Media Contacts: |
Media Relations Coordinator
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
905.522.1155, ext 33037
| Michelle Rickard |
St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation
905.522.1155, ext 35973