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Transformational Gift Contributes to World-Class Stroke Program at Hamilton Health Sciences

Dr. Mike Sharma

Dr. Wes Oczkowski, Co-Director, Hamilton Health Sciences/McMaster Stroke Fellowship Program, Stroke Neurologist, Hamilton Health Sciences; Dr. Kanjana Perera, Graduate of the Fellowship Program, Stroke Neurologist, Hamilton Health Sciences; Dr. Mike Sharma, Senior Scientist, Stroke Neurologist, Hamilton Health Sciences; Dr. Ashkan Shoamanesh, Stroke Neurologist, Hamilton Health Sciences and Inaugural Chairholder, Marta and Owen Boris Chair in Stroke Research and Care at McMaster University.

HAMILTON: Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation is pleased to announce a transformational gift from the Marta and Owen Boris Foundation.

In announcing the gift, Pearl F. Veenema, President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation indicated that “the Boris family’s commitment to addressing the devastating impact of stroke is truly remarkable. This gift will have a significant impact on the work of the dedicated researchers, educators and clinicians who are focused on addressing a disease that directly impacts nearly 50,000 people each year in Canada.”

The gift investment has three components including research, education and clinical care associated with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stroke. Specifically, one component includes funding for the Marta and Owen Boris Chair in Stroke Research and Care at McMaster University. These funds have been used to attract the inaugural chairholder, Dr. Ashkan Shoamanesh who was recently selected by the 2015 International Stroke Conference to receive the Mordecai Y. T. Globus New Investigator Award in Stroke.

The second component enables the expansion of the Stroke Fellowship Training Program, which involves building a critical mass of specialized stroke researchers and clinicians with expertise in stroke prevention and treatment. “This investment provides us with the opportunity to foster the next generation of stroke experts and increase the level of clinical care for patients of this debilitating disease,” said Dr. Wes Oczkowski, Co-Director, Hamilton Health Sciences/McMaster Stroke Fellowship Program. This program is operated by Hamilton Health Sciences in conjunction with McMaster University.

The acquisition of a state-of-the-art Neurointerventional Imaging System is the third component of the gift. This system allows for the use of minimally invasive procedures to treat strokes including clot retrieval, contributing to an improvement in patient outcomes.

Jackie Boris-Work, speaking on behalf of the Boris family, indicated that “this gift supports the acquisition of innovative medical technology, enabling ongoing education and funding research. Our goal is to help reduce the occurrence of stroke, while enhancing the clinical options for treatment and recovery. As a family, we are honoured to contribute to the fight against a disease with such devastating consequences.”

Dr. John G. Kelton, Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University, said that “this gift represents an outstanding continuation of the Boris family’s support for medical research, innovation and the education of the next generation of clinicians and researchers in stroke. We are grateful for this investment into a disease which has such a profound effect on the lives of millions of people here in Canada and around the world.”

“We are grateful to the Boris family for this generous investment which will continue to expand the world-class leadership of Hamilton Health Sciences Stroke Program. In addition to being home to the largest concentration of stroke experts in Ontario including researchers, educators and clinicians; Hamilton Health Sciences was responsible for the largest clinical trial for secondary stroke prevention ever initiated in Canada,” said Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences.

Every ten minutes, someone in Canada will suffer a stroke. Today, effective treatment has revolutionized acute stroke care and ongoing medical research is giving hope to millions who are affected by this devastating disease. This investment will further that effort and have a direct impact on care for Canadians.

About Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation:

Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation is a registered charitable organization which includes Hamilton General Hospital Foundation, Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation, McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation, St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation and all of their associated programs. Serving more than 2.3 million residents of Hamilton and south-central Ontario, Hamilton Health Sciences is the second largest hospital group in Ontario, and serves as a regional referral centre for cardiac, stroke, burns, trauma, neurosurgery, pediatrics, digestive diseases, high-risk obstetrics, cancer, orthopedics, geriatrics and rehabilitation services. Through the generosity of our donors, The Foundation funds capital redevelopment projects, purchases medical equipment and technology, and invests in research and education. Our mission is to raise funds and manage donor gifts to support outstanding clinical care and research for the communities served by Hamilton Health Sciences; our goal is Health Care, Transformed.

For more information:

Tamara Pope
Vice President Marketing and Communications
Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation
905-521-2100 ext 43744
905-979-0325