Munks give $18 million more to UHN
TORONTO – Dr. Robert Bell, President and CEO of University Health Network (UHN), announced that the Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation is donating $18 million to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at UHN. This new gift brings the total investment by Peter and Melanie Munk (pictured) in UHN to $65 million.
“Peter and Melanie’s new gift builds on their tremendous support over the 18 years they have been involved in creating a world-class cardiac centre,” said Dr. Robert Bell. “Their generosity will continue to transform the standard of cardiac care in Canada, North America and around the world. At the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, heart surgeons, vascular surgeons, radiologists and cardiologists all work and train together on an integrated team – something that is setting the standard for the care of heart patients.”
The gift will support innovation, recruitment and retention of top cardiac talent by leveraging the incredible patient care and research discoveries already taking place. It will help recruit, retain and train top minds in cardiovascular medicine, surgery and imaging from around the globe.
The gift will also provide training in this new approach to cardiac care which breaks down the traditional barriers amongst the various specialties and creates the environment necessary for collaborative care.
“Given the outstanding success achieved and compassionate care delivered, it didn’t take much more than a heart beat for Melanie and me to support the Cardiac Centre again,” said Peter Munk. “This facility – and more importantly the excellence and innovation of its caring professionals – has put Canada’s cardiac care on the world map.”
The Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable Foundation’s latest gift also serves to launch a $100-million fundraising campaign at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre called Building the Future – from the heart. A primary focus of the campaign is building and sustaining the Centre’s greatest strength – people. This exceptional team of specialists and medical staff is responsible for the emergence of extraordinary medical discoveries and the development of innovative treatments for heart diseases and disorders. More information is available at www.inaheartbeat.ca.
Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director of the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, believes the potential for the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is unlimited.
“This campaign will help the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre to move cardiovascular care in innovative new directions and to deliver the best patient outcomes in the world,” says Dr. Rubin. “With the help of our donors, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre will lead the way in new frontiers of cardiovascular patient care, and will also lead the way in the dissemination of this knowledge worldwide.”
“Just to put this in perspective, we usually get one donor to fund one chair and everybody’s happy,” Dr. Rubin told the Globe and Mail newspaper. “This funds a total of four centres of excellence and five chairs. This is unprecedented.”
Where Mr. Munk’s previous donations to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre have focused on erecting buildings and buying tools, this one is all about luring people.
Over the next 10 years, the centre will build four centres of excellence devoted to cardiac valve disease, multinational clinical trials, personalized molecular medicine and aortic diseases.
As an example of what the centre hopes to accomplish, Dr. Rubin points to Tirone David, a Toronto-based cardiac surgeon of such renown that he’s had procedures named after him. Thanks to Mr. Munk’s support for cutting-edge research, Dr. David will head up the cardiac valve disease unit rather than be lured away to the higher pay of an American health centre.
“Many of the star doctors in the United States, in Switzerland, in France have been taken away from us,” Mr. Munk said. “With meaningful funds we can attract back to Canada the elite of the profession. We cannot pay what the Mayo Clinic can, but we can give them an endowment that generates ‘X’ dollars a year to do research.”
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, over 1.3 million Canadians are living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Over 40,000 people die annually from sudden cardiac deaths and arrhythmias. Nine in 10 Canadians (90%) have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes).
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre is the premier cardiac centre in Canada. Since it opened in 1997, the Centre has saved and improved the lives of cardiac and vascular patients from around the world. Each year, approximately 37,000 patients receive innovative and compassionate care from multidisciplinary teams in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and the Centre trains more cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and vascular surgeons than any other hospital in Canada. The Centre is based at the Toronto General Hospital and the Toronto Western Hospital – members of University Health Network.
University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret Hospitals, and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. 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 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.
Posted December 1, 2011