Scleroderma Society of Ontario makes $456,000 investment in Research, Care and Education at St. Joe's

HAMILTON, ON, April 27 /CNW/ - At a special event today hosted at St. Joe's, the Scleroderma Society of Ontario (SSO) announced their largest donation ever: a $456,000 gift to support the innovative research education and patient care provided by the Hamilton Scleroderma Group (HSG) at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.

Maureen Sauvé, president of the SSO, said, "St. Joseph's has always been home to some incredible care providers and physicians. But it's also a place where those physicians don't just want to treat your disease, they want to better understand it, know where it came from, and how it can be treated most effectively. That's the kind of holistic, research-based clinical care the Scleroderma Society of Ontario, and its regional chapters are proud to support."

Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune connective tissue disease that affects small blood vessels and causes excess collagen accumulation. It causes a thickening of the skin or tissue on internal organs. It can also cause joint swelling and pain. At present, there is no cure for the disease, though treatment options are available to slow its progression and help with symptoms. It is estimated that some 40,000 Canadians are living with scleroderma.

Specifically, the Society's gift will support the Hamilton Scleroderma Group, an interdisciplinary clinic at St. Joseph's Charlton Campus that specializes in the research, treatment and care of people living with scleroderma. All of the HSG doctors are attending physicians at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and faculty members at McMaster University's School of Medicine.

Dr. Gerard Cox, co-chair of the Hamilton Scleroderma Group, explained why bringing healthcare research and education together with clinical care is so vitally important. "Scleroderma is a complex disease, with varying symptoms and many compounding medical concerns. We're unsure of its root cause, and right now there is no cure. But by combining clinical care with scientific research, we're enhancing our understanding of the disease and ensuring our patients have access to clinicians who are educated in the latest advances in Scleroderma care," he said.

St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation President and CEO, Sera Filice-Armenio concluded the event by thanking the SSO for their kind support. "St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is honoured by this demonstration of your confidence in the care we provide. With remarkable gifts from our partners in caring, like the Scleroderma Society of Ontario, we will work together to improve the lives of those living with scleroderma," she said.

About the Scleroderma Society of Ontario
The Scleroderma Society of Ontario (SSO) is committed to promoting increased public awareness, advancing patient wellness and supporting research in scleroderma. The SSO is one of the leading supporters of scleroderma research in Canada. Since 2006, the society has donated more than $1 million to research. Over the next three years, SSO has committed over $880,000 to fund research projects in Canada. For more information, visit

About St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and its Foundation
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is an acute care, teaching and research hospital affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and Mohawk College. It consists of three campuses: the Charlton Campus in downtown Hamilton, the King Campus in the east end of Hamilton, and the West 5th Campus on the West Mountain. Since 1890, St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton has cared for the community in a spirit of compassion, innovation, and commitment, a drive that has nurtured the growth of the organization into a multi-site, regional, tertiary, academic health science centre. For more information, visit 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 than120 years. To learn more, visit

SOURCE St. Joseph's Health Care Foundation

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For media inquiries:

Debbie Silva                      Michelle Rickard
Media Relations Coordinator       Communications Officer
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton    St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation
905-522-1155 ext. 33037       905-522-1155 ext. 35973                   


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