Largest Hospital Gift in Canada Creates International Class Centre

Toronto (May 29, 2006) - Mr. Philip Orsino, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of University Health Network (Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret Hospitals) and Dr. Robert Bell, President and CEO today announced that the Peter Munk Charitable Foundation is donating $37 million to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) at Toronto General Hospital.

The Munk donation represents the largest single gift ever made to a Canadian hospital.

"Mr. and Mrs. Munk's extraordinary vision and gift will transform the Centre into the premier cardiac centre of the future with the latest diagnostic and intervention facilities," said Mr. Orsino. "It will stand as a beacon of hope and compassionate care for many generations to come."

The gift funds a new program and facility that will revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and includes the purchase of state of the art imaging equipment, some of which is not currently available elsewhere in North America. The donation will establish PMCC as a world leader with the latest diagnostic and interventional facilities. The Munk gift enables clinicians, educators and researchers at PMCC to create the cardiac program of the future.

"Bob Bell and his team have put together an exceptional plan that maximizes the integration of minds and technology under one roof, solidifying our role here in Canada as the North American leader in the treatment of cardiovascular disease," said Peter Munk. "I am very pleased and proud that I have been able to support in a very tangible way this great Canadian institution and its role as a world centre for cardiac research and treatment."

The PMCC, supported through gifts totalling $45 million from Peter Munk, is now approaching its tenth anniversary. Toronto General Hospital plans to refocus the PMCC with the development of a well-defined, integrated entity to be called the I³ Centre (representing imaging, intervention and innovation).The new resources will facilitate diagnosis of cardiac problems through less invasive methods and will allow the development of less-intrusive treatments.

The new Centre will contribute to the efficiency of care and better outcomes for patients from around the GTA and across the province.

"Peter Munk invested in the physical facility which bears his name and now his incredibly generous gift gives us the ability take a giant leap forward in cardiac diagnosis and treatment," said Dr. Bell. "We have the multidisciplinary team of experts who are poised to evaluate and apply this new technology, thereby developing the cardiac program of the future.

"Peter Munk's $37 million gift is the crowning achievement of the UHN's $500 million fundraising campaign – Together We Make Life Better - which is now well over our target," Dr. Bell added. "The staff at PMCC is extremely excited about the new opportunities for research and patient care which will serve as a magnet to attract and retain the finest clinicians and researchers from everywhere on the globe."

"Peter Munk's long history with Toronto General Hospital is a testament to his acute sense of public duty and service," said George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "His vision for cardiac care will benefit Ontarians with access to cutting-edge technology and the work in the PMCC will provide the Province of Ontario with an International Centre of Excellence where we can evaluate and implement new technologies and clinical procedures."

New developments in minimally invasive cardiac procedures will take full advantage of next generation equipment's precise imaging and will likely improve efficiency of care. The PMCC with its new I³ facility is supported by the provincial government as an evaluation centre for this imaging and intervention technology. Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is the leading cause of death and disability in Canada, causing over one-third of all deaths. Although death rates have declined during the 1990s, the actual number of deaths among men and women has remained steady since the mid-1990s.

About Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital as well as their respective research arms, Toronto General Research Institute and Toronto Western Research Institute. The Foundation's vision is to enable global leadership and innovation in health by developing and sustaining strong relationships with University Health Network stakeholders.

About Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) is the premier cardiac centre in Canada. Since it opened in 1997, the PMCC has saved and improved the lives of cardiac patients from around the world. Each year, approximately 17,000 patients receive the innovative and compassionate care from the PMCC multidisciplinary heart team. The PMCC is based at Toronto General Hospital – a member of University Health Network, which also includes Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital. All three are teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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