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The Heart and Stroke Foundation has announced a $300 million initiative to support cutting-edge heart and stroke research at leading health institutions across the country.
UHN, as a member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Leadership Circle, will receive $25 million in research funding over the next 10 years .
The funding initiative is the largest research commitment in the organization’s 60-year history. It will accelerate the progress of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s goal of reducing Canadians’ rate of death from heart disease and stroke by 25 per cent by 2020.
As part of the newly-formed Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Leadership Circle, UHN is one of 19 centres to benefit from this gift. The commitment will bolster the research of scientists and clinicians across UHN who are already pursuing research, teaching and clinical breakthroughs and innovation in stroke and cardiovascular health.
“The new commitment from the Heart and Stroke Foundation will provide UHN with a stable source of funding for cardiovascular research,” says Dr. Michael Farkouh, Chair of the Peter Munk Centre of Excellence in Multinational Clinical Trials, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, UHN. “This will allow us to build on our discoveries and ensure our research is translated into better health care outcomes for Canadians who are confronting the threat of heart disease and stroke.”
The Foundation’s Research Leadership Circle also includes The University of Toronto and other U of T-affiliated hospitals, including the Hospital for Sick Children, Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Michael’s and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Together, these institutions form the largest cardiovascular research network in the country.
“UHN is thrilled to be part of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Leadership Circle,” says Dr. Farkouh, who is also Director of the Heart & Stroke Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular Research. “Working with our institutional partners, we look forward to meeting the Foundation’s goal of significantly reducing the impact of heart disease and stroke in Canada.”
"Simply put, there's an urgent need to save more lives faster and that's why the foundation has brought together the Research Leadership Circle," said David Sculthorpe, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "This $300-million commitment will allow our partners an unprecedented ability to plan major research projects, foster greater collaboration and attract even more of the world's best researchers within and outside of Canada to fight these insidious diseases."
Heart disease and stroke account for almost 30 per cent of all deaths a year in Canada. Every seven minutes someone dies from heart disease and stroke — that's nearly 69,000 people annually. These diseases are also a major drain on the Canadian economy, resulting in more than $20 billion spent each year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.