TD Bank Financial Group strengthens access to new and continuing medical education with $1 million donation to Reach!

    CALGARY, Oct. 26 /CNW/ - TD Bank Financial Group today announced one of
its largest gifts to date in Alberta with a $1 million donation to Reach!, the
joint fundraising initiative of the Calgary Health Region and the University
of Calgary. TD's partnership with Reach! will provide financial support for
undergraduate medical students at the University of Calgary Faculty of
Medicine by way of bursaries and scholarships, and financial support for the
ongoing training of health care professionals within the Calgary Health
    "The TD Grants in Medical Excellence program has made $1 million
available to invest in the future vitality of Alberta's healthcare community,
which we believe will help ensure the current generation of medical students
and practitioners receive the best education and training possible," said
Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group. "We're proud to partner
with Reach! in this province to help make a difference together."
    The Calgary Health Region employs 9,500 nurses and 4,000 allied
professionals whose daily business is conducted in a highly technical,
constantly changing environment. Each year health care practitioners must
contend with understanding and incorporating new medical practices and
procedures, new techniques and equipment and ongoing developments in
pharmaceuticals. The evolution of medicine is positive and Calgary is on the
forefront of these medical advances.
    "Ongoing education of our medical practitioners helps us retain the best
and brightest, ensuring that we can continue to offer the best patient care,"
states Jack Davis, President & CEO, Calgary Health Region. "History has proven
that the provision of ongoing education is a critical tool in maintaining a
competitive advantage when hiring. Physicians, nurses, technicians and
therapists all recognize the need to upgrade skills, which in the long run,
optimizes patient care."
    The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary provides an
outstanding medical education curriculum and is home to numerous innovative
programs that educate students, practicing physicians, medical scientists and
other health science professionals. Yet as the cost of education rises, a
scholarship or bursary opportunity can be a deciding factor in a talented
student's choice of school or even their ability to enter into their program
of choice.
    "As society's need for medical professionals grows, so too does the cost
of post-secondary education," says Dr. Tom Feasby, Dean, Faculty of Medicine.
"The support provided by TD will ensure equal access to our medical programs
for all students, regardless of socio-economic background. These scholarships
will allow us to continue to attract top talent to our program and to meet the
need for capable, caring physicians in the future."
    "TD Bank is to be commended for this bold, responsible commitment which
affects change, not only today, but well into the future," says Bill Sembo,
Co-Chair of Reach!. "They have made education a key priority area, and by
supporting both students and the established health care professionals their
gift will have lasting impact on the full spectrum of care for the community."

    About Reach!

    Reach! is a three-year, $300 million joint fundraising partnership
between the University of Calgary and the Calgary Health Region designed to
raise targeted philanthropic dollars to build on excellence within Calgary's
existing health system. Projects included within Reach! span the continuum of
the health system, from research and education to patient care and community
health. Our vision is to "build a new world standard of health". Over
$220 million has been raised to date.

    TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together

    Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the
three primary areas of focus for TD's community giving. The major flagship
programs within these areas are: TD Children's Hospital Fund, TD Friends of
the Environment Foundation and the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, TD
Canadian Children's Book Week, TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community
Leadership, and the TD Summer Reading Club. In addition, through the support
of our customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national,
regional and local programs in support of diversity, arts and culture and
other causes. In 2006, TD donated $33 million to more than 1,600 charities and
not-for-profit organizations across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Lois Epp, Reach!, Director, Communications,
(403) 220-2945, (403) 830-5647,; Jennifer Martin, TD Bank
Financial Group, (416) 308-6473,

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