At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians,
staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make
the most of our resources.
At the heart of everything we do at UHN are our Healthcare Professionals. Refer a patient to one of our 12 medical programs. Learn more about the resources and opportunities available for professional growth.
University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community
and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
The Newsroom is the source for media looking for information about UHN or trying to connect with one
of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
podcasts and more.
Living with eye issues all of his life, donor Donald K. Johnson knows vision is essential to a person's quality of life
Donald K. Johnson has had vision problems for most of his life. He was diagnosed with myopia – also known as short- or nearsightedness – when he was a child, and as an adult he developed glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.
So in 2007, when he had an opportunity to help establish an eye centre at Toronto Western Hospital that would offer patients the latest treatments, Mr. Johnson stepped up – with a $5-million gift.
"Having good vision is key to experiencing a very productive and enjoyable life," says Mr. Johnson, a veteran investment banker who was named to the Investment Industry Association of Canada's Hall of Fame in 2013. "It's believed that 90 per cent of what we learn comes from vision – it's essential to a person's happy lifestyle."
The $5-million donation funded the launch of the Donald K. Johnson Eye Centre. That was just the beginning. On his 80th birthday, he and his wife, Anna McCowan-Johnson, donated another $10 million.
This enabled the Krembil Research Institute to merge its Vision Science Research Program with the Donald K. Johnson Eye Centre to create the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute – a centre of excellence, where clinicians, researchers and educators can collaborate to advance the latest treatments for vision loss.
"That was the best birthday gift I received: the opportunity to top up my gift to create the leading eye institute in Canada and one of the best internationally," says Mr. Johnson, who was born in Lundar, Man., to parents of Icelandic descent. "I believe we all have a responsibility to give back to the communities and institutions that have touched and changed our lives."
Philanthropy like this has already helped support a number of groundbreaking achievements and is enabling Krembil researchers in their tireless quest for more.
Mr. Johnson says his life has certainly been changed by Krembil and Toronto Western Hospital.
"I wear contacts today," says Mr. Johnson. "I have cataracts and glaucoma, but I haven't needed surgery. I've had great treatment at Toronto Western."
Mr. Johnson's support for vision care and research dates back to the late 1980s – but his contributions to philanthropy go far beyond that. For 12 years, he lobbied for the removal of capital gains tax on listed securities donated to charity. The federal government lifted this tax in 2006. This has created more opportunities for people to be philanthropic and has had a major impact on many organizations.
"Since then, charities have received more than $1 billion virtually every year," says Mr. Johnson.
But more needs to be done, he adds. Since 2006, Mr. Johnson has turned his lobbying efforts to capital gains tax on charitable donations of private company shares and real estate.
Such efforts are critical in the face of increasingly tight government budgets, he says.
"I think it's important for people to realize that all levels of government today are facing fiscal challenges and have a limited capacity to provide research funding for all diseases, including eyes," says Mr. Johnson. "Private sector donations are really key to enabling the purchase of the latest technology and equipment, and attracting star researchers to our institutions.
"Governments can provide funding to enable organizations to be good, but it's the donations from individuals and private sector companies that help research organizations go from being good to being great."