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Canada NewsWire

$50 million investment enables first-of-its-kind partnership between CHU Sainte-Justine and The Hospital for Sick Children, targeting individualized care for children

Joint announcement from The Hospital for Sick Children, CHU Sainte-Justine and the Azrieli Foundation

TORONTO And MONTREAL, Dec. 11, 2023 /CNW/ - 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 paediatric medicine in this country, 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 paediatric 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-Justine are two of North America's largest child health research hospitals, with combined coverage of 61 per cent of Canada's paediatric population. Together, they treat the majority of acute paediatric 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 paediatric 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, paediatric care," said 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 be revolutionizing pediatric healthcare and reshaping 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."

About the Azrieli Foundation

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.

About the CHU Sainte-Justine

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 paediatric rehabilitation centre in Québec. The World Health Organization has recognized CHU Sainte-Justine as a "health-promoting hospital." Learn more about CHU Sainte-Justine.

About The Hospital for Sick Children

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world's foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada's leading centre 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-centred 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 paediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World. Learn more about SickKids.

SOURCE Azrieli Foundation

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