CALGARY, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - New research to help combat the growing
obesity epidemic in Canadian children has received a big boost thanks
to a generous $1.5 million donation from BMO Financial Group.
"The latest information from the World Health Organization tells us that
close to one third of kids between 5 and 17 are classified as
overweight or obese," said Petra O'Connell Acting VP, Obesity, Diabetes
and Nutrition, Strategic Clinical Networks with Alberta Health
Services. "It's imperative that we find new ways to help these children
and families in order to prevent future health problems such as heart
disease, stroke, cancer and type2 diabetes. We're grateful for
community partners like BMO Financial Group who are supporting our
researchers on their quest for those answers."
The donation establishes the BMO Financial Group Endowed Research Fund in Healthy Living. "We are very pleased to support this vital research," said Robert
Hayes, Senior Vice President, Alberta & NWT Division, BMO Bank of
Montreal. "Our hope is that this funding will pay dividends for years
to come by helping kids live healthier, happier lives. BMO employees in
Alberta are especially proud to know that our donation contributes to
improving health care for our citizens, especially families. This is
truly one of the most important gifts BMO has bestowed in the province
to ensure a high quality of life for our growing population."
Dr. Raylene Reimer is the first recipient of the award generated by this
fund. A professor in the Faculties of Kinesiology and Medicine at the
University of Calgary (UofC) and investigator with the Alberta
Children's Hospital Research Institute (a partner with AHS and UofC),
Dr. Reimer has been investigating obesity for over 13 years. She has
found that prebiotic fibre can help regulate appetite control and
weight in adults, in part by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria
in the intestine. "With this award from BMO, our team will now be able
to determine if the same can be applied to children and incorporated
into the guidelines for pediatric obesity management," said Dr. Reimer.
"If so, this will be a huge breakthrough and offer practical solutions
for kids struggling with weight issues here in Canada and around the
"Promotion of healthy active living is foundational to the research,
teaching and service provision of the University of Calgary," said Dr.
Ed McCauley, Vice President of Research at the University of Calgary.
"The Faculties of Kinesiology and Medicine, Alberta Children's Hospital
Research Institute, Alberta Children's Hospital and Alberta Health
Services all share a common mandate and extensive expertise related to
the promotion of healthy living. Through the BMO Financial Group Endowed Research Fund in Healthy Living, there is an opportunity to unify, strengthen and significantly advance
progress toward achieving healthy living and healthy body weights for
"We are very grateful to BMO for 24 years of generous support for the
Alberta Children's Hospital during which time they have donated more
than $2.5 million to help the kids and families we serve," said Saifa
Koonar, CEO of the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. "Their most
recent gift will help our researchers make significant strides in this
important area of study and ultimately help our children be healthier
and more active."
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 $555 billion as at April 30, 2013, and more than 46,000
employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and
commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products
www.bmo.com Twitter: @BMOmedia
The Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute for Child and
Maternal Health (ACHRI)
ACHRI is a multi-disciplinary partnership Institute of the University of
Calgary, Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Children's Hospital
Foundation - the membership of which encompasses the Faculties of Arts,
Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, Kinesiology,
Science and Social Work.
University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in
the nation's most enterprising city. The university has a clear
strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research
universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in
hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead.
This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic
motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' For more
information, visit ucalgary.ca.
Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible
for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than
3.8 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to
provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and
sustainable for all Albertans.
The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation
The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation is a founding partner of
ACHRI, as well as the primary funder. The Alberta Children's Hospital
Foundation raises funds for excellence in child health, research and
family centred care. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation
provides funding for innovative programs, state-of-the-art equipment,
advanced medical training and internationally-recognized pediatric
SOURCE: Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation
For further information:
Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation
Sr. Associate, Communications
BMO Financial Group
Senior Manager, Media & PR, Western Canada