TORONTO, Oct. 9, 2020 /CNW/ - One in five Canadian adults is currently living with arthritis, a disease causing inflammation of the joints, which can result in chronic, debilitating pain, reduced mobility and premature disability. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability globally.
To address this growing crisis, the Schroeder Arthritis Institute, launched with a $25 million donation by philanthropists Walter and Maria Schroeder, will help UHN's innovative arthritis program become a world-class hub for innovation in research, education and patient care.
Dr. Robert Inman, a rheumatologist, and Dr. Mohit Kapoor, a leading scientist in osteoarthritis, will be Co-Directors of the new Institute.
"Maria and I have put a great deal of thought into making this gift and ultimately we were persuaded by the vision and leadership of Dr. Kapoor and the arthritis team at UHN," says Mr. Schroeder. "We want to be part of an effort that will finally put an end to unnecessary pain and suffering from arthritis and related conditions."
Funds will go toward supporting top scientific talent and providing critical salary and infrastructure resources for the entire research team, which includes 51 scientists and clinician-scientists, 113 trainees, and 200 staff.
"The Schroeder Arthritis Institute is being launched with an integrated vision, a carefully crafted strategic plan and sustainable business model," says Dr. Kapoor. "Combined with our exceptional multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians and educators, the Schroeder Arthritis Institute is destined to be a world-leading Institute in innovation, learning and clinical care."
The Institute will encompass research, education and innovations in clinical activities within four clinical programs: Hand, Orthopedics, Osteoporosis and Rheumatology, with the core goal of pushing the boundaries of discovery, learning and patient care.
"The Schroeder Arthritis Institute will be the leading entity in Canada to provide an integrated multidisciplinary approach for the management of bone, joint and connective tissue diseases," says Dr. Inman. "This Institute is something we have long dreamed of, and with the help of Walter and Maria Schroeder, we will now be able to make our dream a reality."
"This incredibly generous investment in the Schroeder Arthritis Institute at UHN is game-changing for patients and scholarship," says Dr. Kevin Smith, President & CEO of University Health Network. "Six million Canadians are currently living with arthritis and its sequelae. Thanks to the generosity of Walter and Maria Schroeder, we will continue to make a difference in their lives through care, research and education as a globally renowned academic health sciences centre."
"Walter and Maria Schroeder have done it again. They have committed a very generous gift to launch the Schroeder Arthritis Institute which will bring to fruition a long-time dream and will be critical to developing new treatments for the six million Canadians who suffer from this debilitating disease," says Raj Kothari, Chair of the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. "On behalf of our foundation board, I wish to convey our deep appreciation to Walter and Maria. This gift is over and above what they have already given to UHN, including their $20-million gift to the Toronto Rehab Foundation in 2016."
Building on the momentum of the arthritis team's progress in recent years, including innovations in surgical approaches for bone and joint diseases, new diagnostics and treatments in Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Scleroderma and Sjogren's Syndrome, as well as the development of predictive tools for orthopaedic surgery outcomes, this donation will enable the arthritis team to make a global impact through early diagnosis, innovative treatments and prevention.
"Our unique approach, creating alignment and synergy between our research and clinical teams, can only serve to help translate discoveries faster, and benefit patients sooner," says Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive VP, Science & Research, at UHN. "This gift will help solidify UHN's status as the largest research hospital in Canada and as a leader in arthritis research and clinical care, globally."
Quick facts about the Schroeder Arthritis Institute:
80,000 patients treated annually
1,200 joint replacements performed each year
Home to one of the world's largest arthritis clinical cohorts & tissue biobanks
Quick facts about arthritis: (source: Arthritis Society)
There are more than 100+ types of arthritis
By 2041, nearly a quarter of Canadians will be living with arthritis
Arthritis costs the Canadian economy approx. $33 billion each year
About the Schroeder Arthritis Institute The Schroeder Arthritis Institute is the largest multidisciplinary arthritis hub in Canada, integrating medical, surgical and basic science aspects of Hand, Orthopaedics, Osteoporosis and Rheumatology, with a goal of making a global impact in discovery, learning and patient care. The Institute comprises 51 scientists and clinician-scientists, 113 trainees and 200 staff. The Schroeder Arthritis Institute is headquartered at Toronto Western Hospital, in downtown Toronto. For more information, visit: https://www.uhn.ca/Arthritis
About University Health Network University Health Network consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in arthritis, cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information, visit: www.uhn.ca
SOURCE University Health Network
For further information: Heather Sherman, Senior Advisor, Public Affairs, University Health Network, 416-603-5294, [email protected]