Seymour Schulich give Sunnybrook $10 m gift

TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - The people of Ontario will have more access than ever to the latest life-saving, minimally invasive cardiovascular treatments thanks to the visionary leadership of one of Canada's foremost philanthropists, Seymour Schulich.

Mr. Schulich has made a new $10-million investment in the heart centre that bears his name.

About a year ago, Mr. Schulich challenged Sunnybrook Foundation to raise $10 million by the end of 2008 to rebuild the Schulich Heart Centre at Sunnybrook. The Foundation did just that and Mr. Schulich has made this $10-million gift to Sunnybrook to match those donations dollar-for-dollar. This transformational gift follows a long history of investment Mr. Schulich has made in Sunnybrook.

Along with $5 million previously raised, the people of Toronto and the GTA have contributed a total of $25 million to create a new, world-class, technologically advanced Schulich Heart Centre.

Today, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre announced that construction on the Centre has officially begun.

"I am so impressed by the people who rallied around my challenge," says Mr. Schulich. "Sunnybrook can't deliver world-class innovations in cardiovascular care without the support of private donors. People responded generously to this match in spite of the tough economic times. This achievement is quite remarkable."

The centerpiece of this project is the Dr. Brian W. Gilbert Cardiovascular Acute Care Unit, a state-of-the-art unit that will replace the current unit, which was built more than 40 years ago. This new facility will set national standards for patient care, feature the most advanced medical equipment, and, most importantly, will ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.

"Sunnybrook's Schulich Heart Centre is truly changing the way cardiovascular disease is treated," says Dr. Brian Gilbert, the Centre's chief. "Our scientists and clinicians are developing cutting-edge ways to look at the heart and diagnose problems earlier and more accurately. Our team continues to pioneer, minimally invasive heart procedures that allow patients to recover faster, spend less time in hospital and get back to their normal lives sooner. Now, with the incredible support of Mr. Schulich and the many other generous donors, we will provide our team with the first-class facility they need to continue inventing the future of health care."

"Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in Canada," said Dr. Barry McLellan, President and CEO of Sunnybrook. "This $25-million investment will help save lives. Mr. Schulich's generosity, and that of those he inspired, enables us to create a revitalized Schulich Heart Centre to deliver the best possible care to the province's most critically ill heart patients. We are profoundly grateful for this gift to Sunnybrook and the people we serve."

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre:

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Sunnybrook is one of Canada's premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for Canada's war veterans, high-risk pregnancies, critically-ill newborns, treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries.

SOURCE Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: (416) 480-4040

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