When the $250-million fundraising campaign began for a new cancer centre in Calgary, everyone involved knew it would be a healthy challenge. Today, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and its partners — the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the University of Calgary — can celebrate an historic gift that’s brought their campaign closer to its goal of transforming cancer care in Alberta.
A $50-million donation by the Arthur J.E. Child Foundation — the largest philanthropic gift in AHS’ history — was presented to the new Calgary Cancer Centre recently.
This gift will support the success of the new centre through precision oncology and clinical excellence as well as help it to attract and retain the best and brightest professionals, and to capitalize on opportunities to bring new treatments and research initiatives to Albertans sooner.
In recognition of this gift, the Calgary Cancer Centre will now officially be called the Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre. It will be the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Canada and a world-leading healthcare facility for research and education in oncology, as it delivers fully-integrated cancer care under one roof.
“As an advocate for perpetual advancements in science and specifically medicine, Mr. Child was committed to supporting causes that will make a significant difference through research,” says Lorne Jacobson, Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, TriWest Capital Partners and Lead Trustee, Arthur J.E. Child Foundation.
“This $50-million donation closely aligns with Mr. Child’s commitment to accelerate cancer care and research, not only in Alberta, but to help defeat cancer at every level around the world.”
Arthur J.E. Child was a prominent businessman and former majority shareholder and CEO of Burns Foods of Calgary, known both for his financial acumen and his personal philanthropy, until his passing in 1996. In his lifetime, he was recognized for his impressive record in business, military, education and public service — evidenced by his Order of Canada honours in 1985. To further his legacy, the Arthur J.E. Child Foundation was created to receive the majority of his estate to continue his generosity into the future.
“At the foundation, we’re looking for significant projects that can continue the legacy of Mr. Child in a way that he would be proud of as it serves people, improves science, and generally improves the lives of the people that were in his community. We thought that the cancer centre was a unique opportunity to do that … it was a perfect match,” adds Jacobson.
“What a wonderful opportunity! This magnitude of gifts does not happen very often,” says Don Morris, Department Head of Oncology, Facility Medical Director, Calgary Cancer Centre. “So, this will be a fundamental gift that will in fact put the comprehensive nature into the Calgary comprehensive cancer centre.
“No one ever wants to hear the words you have cancer, but when you do, it is such a help to see a facility like this that incorporates research, treatment and houses all the necessary personnel and equipment necessary to help beat cancer overall,” says Don Wood, Patient and Family Advisor.
“From the volunteer greeter to the porter, to the researcher working late at night, to the nurses, care teams, oncologists, and all other support staff involved — thank you — you are all angels for our care.”
The Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre will provide patients with:
Outpatient cancer clinics
More than 100 patient exam rooms
160 inpatient unit beds
Clinical and operational support services
Clinical trials unit and Alberta Precision Laboratories
Wet and dry research labs
Systemic treatment services including more than 90 chemotherapy chairs
Radiation treatment services including 12 radiation vaults, with three more shelled-in for future growth
New underground parking with 1,650 stalls
The centre is scheduled to open in 2024.