BMO Establishes $2 Million Chair at SickKids to Further Congenital Heart Disease Research



    World-renowned SickKids Cardiologist, Dr. Andrew Redington, named
    inaugural holder of BMO Financial Group Chair in Cardiology

    TORONTO, March 17 /CNW/ - For the first time in the history of the
Division of Cardiology at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), the head
of cardiology will be recognized with the prestigious honour of Chair holder.
SickKids Foundation and the University of Toronto announced today a $2 million
 dollar donation from BMO Financial Group, which establishes the BMO Financial
Group Chair in Cardiology. World-renowned SickKids clinician and researcher,
and University of Toronto Professor in Paediatrics, Dr. Andrew Redington has
been named the inaugural Chair holder. This announcement coincides with the
one-year anniversary of the establishment of The Labatt Family Heart Centre
under Dr. Redington's guidance.
    The $2 million gift from BMO Financial Group will allow Dr. Redington to
continue to pursue research and contribute to the understanding of congenital
heart disease and heart function. Dr. Redington's group is currently studying
a novel technique developed at SickKids, that has already been shown to
protect the heart and other organs from damage due to restricted blood flow
during heart surgery.
    "Through BMO's generosity and Dr. Redington's vision, today's
announcement effectively solidifies SickKids as a world leader in children's
cardiac medicine," said Mary Jo Haddad, President & CEO, SickKids. "An endowed
Chair for our Head of Cardiology is a powerful tool in both retaining people
like Dr. Redington while recruiting others with similar credentials in the
years to come."
    "When BMO gives back to the communities where we live and work, we do so
in ways that we hope will transform the world around us," said Rose Patten,
Senior Executive Vice-President, Head of Human Resources and Senior Leadership
Advisor, BMO Financial Group. "Dr. Redington's research is making a profound
difference in a critical area, and we believe BMO's contribution to SickKids
will help attract and retain more leaders in health care."
    Under The Labatt Family Heart Centre headed by Dr. Redington, SickKids
currently performs 80 per cent of all children's heart transplants in Canada
and cares for 80 per cent of all the children in Ontario with congenital heart
defects. More than 60 per cent of children requiring heart surgery are under
one year of age, and almost a quarter of children requiring surgery are in
their first month of life.
    "Being appointed a Chair holder is a level of achievement few in the
health care field will attain," added Haddad. "This level of cardiac care
requires individuals who possess outstanding clinical skills, and who are
willing to further stretch the boundaries of research to transform health care
in order to provide our patients with the best possible outcomes."
    "Today's announcement underscores our continuing development as a
modernized academic cardiac program completely focused on the patient," said
Dr. Redington. "It is extremely galvanizing to be part of the transformation.
Over the past five years we have cared for more children, appointed more
staff, obtained more grant support and published more papers than ever
before."
    The Labatt Family Heart Centre which launched February 2007 is one of Dr.
Redington's proudest accomplishments at SickKids.
    "Launching the Heart Centre last year has allowed us to bring all
divisions of cardiac care under one umbrella and establish a state-of-the-art
facility to care for children with congenital heart disease," Redington added.
"We now have one cohesive centre that has managed to break down silos and
cultivate a collaborative environment that the whole hospital can be proud
of."
    Dr. Redington moved to Toronto from England in August 2001, to take on
the role of Head of the Division of Cardiology at SickKids. Since taking the
helm, and in collaboration with the Head of Cardiac Surgery, Dr. Glen Van
Arsdell, SickKids has seen significant improvements in patient satisfaction,
care and outcomes within the Division of Cardiology. Also notable were the
establishment of Canada's first Division of Cardiac Critical Care Medicine in
2006, and the official opening of the Mitchell Goldhar Cardiac Diagnostic &
Interventional Unit in April 2007, the largest paediatric interventional
catheterization program in Canada and leader in Ontario for innovative
procedures to treat complex cardiac conditions in children.
    The BMO Financial Group Chair in Cardiology is supported with endowed
funds invested to ensure a steady stream of revenue to support the Division of
Cardiology for years to come. This gift will provide vital resources to ensure
that advances continue to be made in the research and treatment of congenital
heart disease, the most common birth defect and leading cause of birth
defect-related deaths worldwide.

    About SickKids Foundation

    SickKids Foundation was established in 1972. Its mission is to inspire
its communities to invest in health and scientific advances to improve the
lives of children and their families in Canada and around the world. Its
vision is "Healthier children. A better world."
    In addition to its support of The Hospital for Sick Children, the
Foundation has a mandate to support children's health on a national basis.
Through its National Grants Program, SickKids Foundation invests $4 million
annually across Canada in paediatric research, focusing on issues important to
children's health which have not been addressed elsewhere.

    About University of Toronto

    Established in 1827, the University of Toronto is Canada's largest and
most influential university with almost 12,000 faculty and staff working at
three campuses and ten academic hospitals in the Toronto region. Our
world-leading scholars teach more than 60,000 students in 841 distinct
undergraduate programs as well as 520 graduate and 42 professional programs.
According to Thomson ISI data, U of T faculty also publish more research than
any other publicly-funded university in North America. And with over 400,000
alumni in more than 130 countries around the world, U of T is truly global in
reach and impact.

    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 $376.8 billion as at January 31, 2008, and more than 36,000 employees, BMO
provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment
banking products and solutions. In 2007, BMO contributed $42.6 million in
corporate donations, sponsorships and events, supporting communities and
thousands of charities and not-for-profit organizations across Canada.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





For further information:

For further information: Lori Abbott, SickKids Foundation, P: (416)
813-8292, C: (416) 553-4198, Email: lori.abbott@sickkidsfoundation.com; Paul
Gammal, BMO Financial Group, P: (416) 867-6543, Email: paul.gammal@bmo.com


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