The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) has announced today that the new Cancer Centre at the Glen hospital site will be known as the Cedars Cancer Centre and is set to open in June 2015.
“It’s fitting that our new state-of-the-art cancer centre bear the Cedars name,” said Normand Rinfret, MUHC Director General and CEO. “This Foundation has been supporting MUHC cancer patients and their families for almost 50 years and has helped ensure we remain a world leader in cancer care, teaching and research.
“This honour is in appreciation of our longstanding partnership and in recognition of the important and expanded role we expect Cedars to play within the MUHC and the Rossy Cancer Network over the coming years.”
The Cedars Cancer Foundation also announced gifts totalling over $16 million to The Best Care for Life Campaign of the MUHC. The Rossy Family Foundation gift of $12 million is in addition to its $28 million transformational donation creating the Rossy Cancer Network last year. Mr. Andrew Lutfy and family are donating $3 million and Andy Chelminski and family are contributing $1.6 million.
“This modern centre,” added Dr. Armen Aprikian, chief of the Cancer Care Mission of the MUHC, “will allow our medical professionals to continue to be pioneers in cancer diagnosis and treatment while providing patients with the highest level of care and support. Patients and their families will benefit from having everything they require in one location, in a space that has been conceived and designed to optimize as much as possible the patient experience.
“With this new facility,” he noted, “we are better positioned to support the crucial work of the Rossy Cancer Network. Together with our colleagues from McGill, the Jewish and St Mary’s we are determined to remain leaders in improving quality, effectiveness and efficiency across the continuum of cancer care.”
The patient has been at the forefront of the thinking throughout the design of the Cedars Cancer Centre. Very ill patients, for example, who arrive at emergency will be assessed immediately and directed to the appropriate service or department. They will also benefit from a dental care room, a patient and visitor-resource centre and healing gardens, to name a few of the advantages of the new facility.
“We are delighted with this honour and are well aware that increased responsibility comes along with this recognition,” explained Bruce Shadeed, Chairman of the Cedars Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “As we approach our 50th anniversary, we are entering into a new phase of our development and are looking to expand significantly our fundraising efforts. Today’s three major donations, which are unprecedented in our history, are confirmation of outstanding community support for Cedars and the MUHC.”
“As a result of these gifts and those of many other supporters of Cedars,” added Shadeed, “we have now fulfilled our commitment to The Best Care for Life Campaign. In total, we have raised $25 million on behalf of this major initiative for our city.”
“I believe I speak for all donors when I say that contributing to the well-being of cancer patients is one of the most important healthcare investments we can make,” said Larry Rossy, founder, Chair of the Board of Directors and CEO of Dollarama, a retail chain with over 900 stores across the country. “We all know someone touched by this disease, which is why we are grateful to the many healthcare professionals at the MUHC/Cedars and throughout the Rossy Cancer Network for their exceptional clinical care and research. They are committed to continually improving cancer survival, mortality and patient satisfaction so that the outcomes at the Rossy Cancer Network hospitals will be on par with or better than other leading international comprehensive cancer centres. I can’t think of a better cause to support.”
“My grandfather was a founder of Cedars, and I am delighted today to be supporting his legacy and his vision of helping cancer patients and their families,” explained Andrew Lutfy, CEO of Groupe Dynamite Inc, a privately-owned company which operates more than 300 stores. “Cedars has made a difference in the lives of so many Quebecers through initiatives like CanSupport and the acquisition of the Da Vinci surgical system.”
“My family and I are proud to be part of the Cedars community and urge others to join us in supporting the work of this important foundation,” said Andy Chelminski, founder of the Bentley Group, a chain of more than 400 retail stores throughout Canada, and presently President of Continental Capital. “We all must do our part to give back, and in supporting Cedars we are making an impact in the lives of so many touched by cancer.”
Speaking as Chair of The Best Care for Life Campaign, John Rae concluded, “Cedars has, since the outset, been a strong and consistent supporter of plans for a new MUHC and a true partner in our fundraising efforts. We are grateful to these donors for their generosity and their commitment to building a world-class health centre in our city. They are a shining example for all of us.”
The Cedars Cancer Foundation is a hospital-based charity whose mission is to support comprehensive cancer care for all cancer patients – pediatric, adolescent and young adult (AYA), adults and those in palliative care – who are being treated at the MUHC. The Cedars Cancer Foundation fulfills this mission by providing much-needed funds to:
- Purchase state-of-the-art diagnostic oncology equipment
- Improve facilities for the treatment and care of cancer patients. Accomplishments include the creation of the Cedars Breast Clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital, renovations to Sarah’s Floor – the hematology/oncology division at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, renovations to the Palliative Care Unit at the Montreal General Hospital, and much more
- Run the Cedars CanSupport program, which offers free psychosocial, practical and humanitarian assistance to cancer patients and their families, as well as financial assistance through the Wilfrid Howick Humanitarian Endowment Fund
- Support cancer research through the Henry R. Shibata Fellowship Award
- Provide annual visiting professorships in oncology that bring world-renowned researchers, educators and physicians to the McGill teaching hospitals – the Vivian Saykaly Visiting Professorship in Medical Oncology and the Edward J. Tabah Visiting Professorship in Surgical Oncology
- Improve awareness of cancer-related issues through free public lectures and educational programs