Dear Colleagues,

When I started working as UHN CEO I had no idea that I would spend so much time thinking about philanthropy and working with donors and our wonderful foundations. I have learned a great deal about the importance of building relationships and talking about the hospital's needs while relying on the wisdom and generosity of our donors and the professional approach taken by the staff members in all of our foundations.

This week we are celebrating the $50 million donation from Emmanuelle Gattuso, her husband Allan Slaight and their family to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. That money will be donated over a 10 year period and will be available to recruit and retain the best scientists, clinician-scientists, and clinicians we can find who want to develop Personalized Cancer Medicine in the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Ben Neel and Mary Gospodarowicz will spearhead that effort in consultation with a great many people at UHN who are focusing our efforts in the area of Personalized Cancer Medicine. For me, this field certainly encompasses the idea of better detecting, diagnosing and providing targeted treatment of cancer- guided by a profound understanding of each patient at the genetic and molecular level. It also includes all supports available to the patient throughout the course of their disease. Indeed Personalized Cancer Medicine will be embedded in every step of a patient's journey -- from sophisticated diagnostic techniques through survivorship. This gift is targeted at Personalized Cancer Medicine- however what we learn will help the application of molecular diagnosis and characterization to all of our ten Programs.

A gift of $50 million represents an enormous trust in our program and the people who run it. It also demonstrates a very strong belief by Emmanuelle, Allan and their family members that better care for all Canadians will come from research and that UHN is a place that delivers answers to difficult questions. I have thanked them for that belief and trust and will work with Ben Neel, Mary Gospodarowicz, Chris Paige and our leaders in the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to ensure that this very generous commitment is spent to recruit, retain and support the very best people.

I will close by thanking everyone at UHN who works in our foundations. While the spotlight is certainly on the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation this week, I have no doubt that we will celebrate throughout the year with all of our foundations. The work of our foundations is essential to making UHN one of the world's top research hospitals.​


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