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$50 million latest gift to benefit pediatric medicine moves Azrieli family giving near the billion-dollar mark
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$50 million latest gift to benefit pediatric medicine moves Azrieli family giving near the billion-dollar mark

In a groundbreaking move for Canadian healthcare, CHU Sainte-Justine and the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) are combining forces to revolutionize the future of pediatric medicine in Canada, with the support of a $50 million investment from the Azrieli Foundation.

Directing the funds to the advancement of Precision Child Health, the unprecedented partnership will establish a discovery and research pipeline between Canada’s top pediatric hospitals, resulting in better outcomes, improved quality of life and tailored medical care for children across the country.

The significance of this partnership lies in the scale and ambition of the working relationship. SickKids and CHU Sainte-Jutsine are two of North America’s largest child health research hospitals, with a combined coverage of 61 percent of Canada’s pediatric population. Together, they treat the majority of acute pediatric cases countrywide. Further, these internationally recognized institutions will focus their ambitions on three innovation pillars: genomics, novel therapies, and rich research data.

Precision Child Health uses information about a child’s genes, biology, environment, and social determinants to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat disease in a more targeted and individualized way. The approach also has dramatic implications for children’s long-term health into adulthood.

The Azrieli Foundation first invested $2.6 million in seed funding two years ago to allow the partners to establish the required frameworks for governance, legal agreements, engagement of patient partners, and ethical considerations. With these frameworks in place, the Foundation has now invested an additional $50 million to accelerate this transformational vision for personalized child healthcare.

Through pioneering research, cutting-edge technology, and a deep understanding of the unique needs of each young patient, the partnership ushers in a new era of pediatric care – one that transcends traditional boundaries and promises a future where every child in Canada receives healthcare that is as unique as their own DNA.

“Today marks a pivotal moment in Canadian healthcare history as we embark on a new era of delivering personalized, pediatric care,” said Dr. Naomi Azrieli, O.C., DPhil, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation.

“This partnership is based on excellence, visionary leadership and courageous collaboration. Together, we will eliminate barriers and shift the paradigm in children’s health. Philanthropy has been essential as a catalyst for innovation and progress, but our commitment goes beyond funding: we have taken a hands-on approach to foster a healthcare revolution with the extraordinary potential to improve lives.”

“The collaboration between our two institutions, launched by a generous donation from the Azrieli Foundation, establishes an innovative interprovincial health model, unlocking promising new avenues in research” stated Caroline Barbir, President and CEO of CHU Sainte-Justine. “Through the unity of our efforts and by leveraging our expertise, this partnership will revolutionize pediatric healthcare and reshape the lives of both current and future generations.”

“After over three years of hard work and meticulous planning, we are now taking a powerful next step in our collective vision for Precision Child Health,” said Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO, SickKids. “Precision Child Health is more than just a shift in the approach to children’s health care. In order to shift to this new paradigm and redefine the care trajectory, it will take tremendous financial and strategic investment – and thanks to the vision and generosity of the Azrieli Foundation, we are on our way.”

The Azrieli Foundation has been opening doors, breaking ground and nurturing networks for more than 30 years. The Foundation focuses on improving the lives of present and future generations through education, research, healthcare and the arts. The largest public foundation in Canada, the Azrieli Foundation, funds institutions and operates programs in Canada and Israel. Learn more about the Azrieli Foundation.

The Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine is the largest mother-child hospital in Canada. A member of the Université de Montréal extended network of excellence in health (RUIS), CHU Sainte-Justine has 6823 employees, including 1806 nurses and nursing assistants; 1100 other healthcare professionals; 520 physicians, dentists and pharmacists; 881 residents and over 295 researchers; 200 volunteers; and 3 472 interns and students in a wide range of disciplines. CHU Sainte-Justine has 484 beds, including 67 at the Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant (CRME), the only exclusively pediatric rehabilitation center in Québec. The World Health Organization has recognized CHU Sainte-Justine as a “health-promoting hospital.” Learn more about CHU Sainte-Justine.

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost pediatric healthcare institutions and is Canada’s leading center dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research, and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centered care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive, and sustainable child health system. SickKids is a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high-quality, consistent and coordinated approach to pediatric health care that is centered around children, youth and their families. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World.

International philanthropist Dr. Naomi Azrieli has been an executive director of the Azrieli Group since June 2010.

She is the chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, the largest non-corporate philanthropic organization in Canada, which supports a broad range of initiatives and organizations.

 The Azrieli Foundation has improved the lives of current and future generations by making strategic grants in education, research, healthcare and the arts in Canada and Israel. Naomi has also initiated and directed the operation of numerous programs in Canada and Israel, such as the Azrieli Fellows Program and the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program.

In addition to the positions, she holds in the Azrieli Group and the Azrieli Foundation, Naomi is also the president of Canpro Investments Ltd. and Omico Investments Ltd.

Naomi holds a doctorate (DPhil.) from the University of Oxford, an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Naomi is a second-generation family member of the Azrieli family who was featured on the cover of Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence.

40 years ago: Family Patriarch, mega-philanthropist and LM cover subject David Azrieli, with Lifestyles Magazine founder Gabriel Erem

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