Today, an unprecedented gift of $100 million donated by the Peter Gilgan Foundation, was announced at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). This is the largest single gift ever to SickKids. Together with donations made to other hospitals and health-care organizations to date, this makes Peter Gilgan and the Peter Gilgan Foundation the largest benefactor to health care in Canada.
This $100 million gift will support the SickKids VS Limits campaign, a key element of which involves redevelopment of the SickKids campus, including building a new patient care tower on University Avenue, which will be named the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower.
“We are extraordinarily grateful to Peter Gilgan and the Peter Gilgan Foundation for their ongoing philanthropic leadership and dedication to SickKids. Our vision for the children’s hospital of the future includes the construction of a state-of-the-art building, matching our world-class care with family-friendly spaces for patients and their loved ones. This gift is unparalleled and will help ensure our vision becomes reality,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, president and CEO of SickKids. “In conjunction with a commitment from the Government of Ontario, and support from other donors, this gift will help SickKids continue to advance children’s health through exemplary clinical care, breakthrough research, and teaching excellence both at home and around the world.”
SickKids is at a crossroads. We are a leader in paediatric health, yet our buildings do not reflect the quality of care provided for the over 150,000 patients we see each year. When SickKids was built at 555 University Avenue in 1949, the building was the largest children’s hospital in the world. In 1993, nearly 25 years ago, the hospital expanded with the opening of the Atrium building at 170 Elizabeth Street. But medical treatments and technology have come a long way since the 1940s or even the 1990s, making it more important than ever before for the hospital to evolve to fully realize the possibilities in children’s health. For SickKids to remain a world leader in paediatric health, the time to realize a fully redeveloped campus is now.
“To continue to have the opportunity to support SickKids is an honour and is also very humbling,” says Peter Gilgan. “I’m in a privileged position to be able to make this gift, and I know it’s going to be used to help children today and in the future live longer and healthier lives. I want to thank my family, both the Gilgans and my Mattamy family, whose unwavering support over many years has made this commitment possible.”
The commitment from the Peter Gilgan Foundation to ensuring the SickKids campus is a cutting-edge world leader began in 2012 with a transformational gift of $40 million to support the construction of the SickKids Centre for Research and Learning. The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning brings together 2,000 research staff – who previously worked in six different buildings – under one roof to enhance interactions between clinical and research colleagues. The integration of research with patient care and learning are among the strengths of SickKids. Today’s donation brings the cumulative giving from the Peter Gilgan Foundation to SickKids to more than $140 million.
“Generosity of this magnitude is transformative. We continue to be grateful to visionary philanthropists like Peter Gilgan whose historic gift today will help change the future of children’s health,” says Ted Garrard, CEO of SickKids Foundation. “The SickKids VS Limits fundraising campaign is the largest in Canadian health-care history and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help reimagine the SickKids campus. Today’s gift takes us closer to reaching our goal of raising $1.3 billion through philanthropy and will undoubtedly inspire the community to help us continue to build the momentum needed to unleash the full potential of SickKids.”
SickKids will break ground in October 2019 on the first of two buildings. The first building, the Patient Support Centre, will house the SickKids Learning Institute with 1,200 world-class trainees, a Simulation Centre for hands-on teaching, and provide 6,000 professionals, management and support staff with up-to-date spaces to do their best work. The second building, the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower, will house critical care and inpatient units. It will reflect the very latest in medical design: private one-family rooms, dedicated mental-health beds, a state-of-the-art blood and marrow/cellular transplant therapy unit, specialty operating theatres, advanced diagnostic imaging facilities, and a vastly expanded emergency department.
“I am honoured to be part of this historic campaign alongside committed donors like Peter Gilgan and his family who truly reflect this country’s giving spirit,” says Katie Taylor, Chair, SickKids Foundation Board of Directors.
To-date, the SickKids VS Limits campaign has raised more than $914 million towards the $1.3 billion goal. This includes support from corporate partners, community organizations, events, individuals and families, reflecting the full breadth of the donor community. The campaign period is anticipated to run through to March 31, 2022.
Photo: More than 50 patients and their siblings at The Hospital for Sick Children walk in a procession with Peter Gilgan (centre), founder of Mattamy Homes, to celebrate the Peter Gilgan Foundation’s unprecedented $100 million donation to the SickKids VS Limits campaign on June 3, 2019 in Toronto. (CNW Group/SickKids Foundation)