Campaign for Sunnybrook injects $ 800M into health care for Ontario

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TORONTO – Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history. The Campaign for Sunnybrook seeks to raise $470 million, along with $300 million in matching government support, to accelerate the pace of medical research, promote the translation of scientific advances into new life-saving treatments, and expand its ability to provide life-saving care to the people of Toronto, the GTA and Ontario.

“The pace of medical discovery has never been faster than it is right now,” said Dr. Barry McLellan, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “At the same time, the health care needs of the people we serve are growing at an unprecedented rate. Sunnybrook has kept ahead of that pace with world-class innovations. But we have to keep going. Our community needs more and they need it now.”

“The needs of the people served by Sunnybrook are significant,” said David Leslie, chair of Sunnybrook’s board of directors. “The chemotherapy suites at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre treat 18,000 patients a year. They were designed for 5,000. One in 10 women in Canada with breast cancer will be treated at Sunnybrook. These women need a centre dedicated to the research and treatment of their disease. The cardiac intensive care unit at the Schulich Heart Centre is over 40 years old. Our neonatal intensive care unit is overcrowded. Sometimes there’s room for only one parent to visit a critically ill baby.”

The Campaign for Sunnybrook will support four critical areas: $212 million for new facilities; $116 million for research; $100 million technology; and $42 million for the Sunnybrook Fund which will support the most pressing needs and promising developments at Sunnybrook. The federal and provincial governments will provide $300 million in matching funding for capital and research.

In declaring the launch of the campaign, Jennifer Tory, chair of the Campaign for Sunnybrook, announced a $10-million gift from Seymour Schulich, one of Canada’s most influential philanthropists.

“About a year ago,” Ms. Tory said, “Mr. Schulich challenged Sunnybrook Foundation to raise $10 million by the end of 2008 to rebuild the Schulich Heart Centre at Sunnybrook. The Foundation did just that and Mr. Schulich has made this $10-million gift to match those donations dollar-for-dollar. This transformational gift follows a long history of investment Mr. Schulich has made in Sunnybrook.”

Also announced at the campaign launch was a $1.5-million gift from donors David and Sheryl Kerr. Mr. Kerr’s life was saved at Sunnybrook in 2008. Their gift was made as part of Mr. Schulich’s matching challenge.

To date, $265 million has been raised for the Campaign for Sunnybrook, leaving $205 million to be raised through fundraising in the community.

“Sunnybrook has a long history of translating donor investments into medical innovations,” Ms. Tory said. “Sunnybrook invented digital mammography. We invented ‘one-day’ breast cancer radiation therapy. We performed Toronto’s first-ever minimally invasive heart bypass. Sunnybrook has an exceptional ability to take donor investment and put it directly to work, literally saving lives. This gives our donors a profound sense of making real impact right here, right now, in our community.”

Gifts from the public will fund a number of new and expanded areas of the hospital. These include a neonatal intensive care unit as the centerpiece of a new women and babies facility; the largest Breast Cancer Centre in Canada; the Dr. Brian W. Gilbert Cardiac Acute Care Unit; a major stroke prevention and recovery research centre; the expanded Tory Regional Trauma Centre; expanded chemotherapy suites at the Odette Cancer Centre; new operating and patient rooms that will double capacity for hip and knee replacements at the Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre; and, the most advanced imaging-based medical research facilities in North America.

“We are truly thankful for the generosity of our donors,” said Dr. McLellan. “Philanthropy is the engine that drives innovation at Sunnybrook. We are counting on the people of Toronto, the GTA and Ontario to give generously to the Campaign for Sunnybrook so that we can be there when it matters most, for them and all the people they love.”

Gifts to the Campaign for Sunnybrook can be made at or by calling 416-480-GIVE (4483) or 1-800-696-2008.

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