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The Rogers Foundation has announced a landmark $130-million gift to University Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto to create the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research.
A Timeline of Support
2000: Ted and Loretta Rogers establish the Loretta Anne Rogers Chair in Eating Disorders at Toronto General Hospital.
2007: Loretta Rogers leads a campaign to renovate the critical care facilities at Toronto Western Hospital. Ted Rogers makes lead gift to name the Loretta Anne Rogers Critical Care Centre at Toronto Western Hospital.
2009: In Ted Rogers' memory, the family creates the Ted Rogers and Family Chair in Heart Function. Dr. Heather Ross is appointed chair.
2012: Loretta Rogers and her family make a further donation to create the Ted Rogers Centre of Excellence in Heart Function to create one of the world's leading research and educational programs in heart failure, with a focus on Fellowship training and research in outcomes and mechanisms of disease.
2014: The Rogers Foundation makes a $130-million donation shared by UHN, Sick Kids and the University of Toronto to create the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research.
The largest private donation in Canadian health care history, it will be matched by $139 million in additional funds from the three institutions, bringing the total investment to $269 million.
"We appreciate the deep personal significance of your investment in this vision," Dr. Barry Rubin, Chair and Program Medical Director of UHN's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, told three generations of the Rogers family attending Thursday's announcement in downtown Toronto.
"Together we will deliver the promise of a healthy heart."
The Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research will have facilities at UHN, SickKids and the U of T, with its directorate located at Toronto General Hospital.
The Centre will be the first of its kind in the world to bring together under one umbrella research, education and innovation in individualized genomic medicine, stem cell research, bioengineering, and cardiovascular treatment and management.
Its goal is to reduce hospitalizations from heart failure by 50 per cent within a decade.
"Heart failure took Ted from us when he was 75 years old," Loretta Rogers, his widow, said of the Toronto-born broadcasting pioneer and philanthropist who died in 2008. "One million Canadians are living with heart failure today," Loretta Rogers added. "And, every year, another 50,000 Canadians will get the disease. In the future, we want fewer Canadians to experience heart failure and to have those that do live that much longer."
Ontario's Health Minister, Dr. Eric Hoskins, thanked the Rogers family for their donation, and quipped: "I think that's about half of the Ontario health care budget.
"This historic donation will change the lives of people living throughout this city, the province, this country and the world," Hoskins said. "It's a testament not only to the generosity of the Rogers family and of the institutions who are contributing today but to the thriving medical research that is going on right here."
Heart disease has a large impact on the Canadian health care system, with the annual cost for managing moderate and severe health failure patients estimated at as much as $2.3 billion.
"We are tremendously proud and tremendously grateful that the Rogers Foundation has chosen to honour Ted's legacy through this historic donation," said Tennys Hanson, President and CEO of Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation. "This announcement is wonderful news for our clinicians and researchers within Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, and for Canada overall."
The Rogers family's support of UHN goes back over 15 years. Loretta Rogers, wife of the late Ted Rogers, has been on the Toronto General & Western Board of Directors since 2005 and has served as a Board Champion for the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Campaign.
"Ted believed in progress and in innovation and knew that raising money for heart research was essential," Loretta Rogers said.