Research Stories

Campaign injects $11 million into research and innovation

Drs. Sylvia and Richard Cruess have shaped the face of healthcare in Quebec for years.

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation is pleased to announce the close of its fundraising campaign inspired by two medical luminaries, Drs. Sylvia and Richard Cruess. Sharing an extraordinary bond as husband and wife and as physicians and educators, the couple has made an invaluable contribution to shaping healthcare in Quebec for more than 60 years.

The MUHC Foundation launched the Cruess Campaign 16 months ago, with the goal of raising $10 million. With the support of our community, the Foundation has exceeded that objective by one million dollars, and all funds raised will be going directly to continued excellence in research at the MUHC.

“We are able to recruit among the best doctors and scientists to the MUHC, because they know that they are stepping into an outstanding hospital and research facility,” says MUHC Foundation Chair Norman Steinberg. “Philanthropy contributes greatly to our success. That’s why our donors and volunteers are so important to advancing innovation in research, which ultimately benefits our patients, and the broader community.”

With more than 400 members and 1,100 research trainees, the RI-MUHC is the top hospital-based research institute in Quebec, and has ongoing research collaborations with over 50 countries.

 “As a leading academic health centre, the MUHC provides specialized and ultra-specialized care to patients across Quebec, including unique treatments and services emerging from the research of clinician-scientists and investigators of the Research Institute of the MUHC (RI-MUHC),” underscores MUHC President and Executive Director Dr. Pierre Gfeller. “By focusing our energy on our strengths and opportunities, I am certain that the population will benefit from even more innovation.”

As part of the Cruess campaign, two Montreal foundations have joined forces to encourage ground-breaking research and innovation at the RI-MUHC. Together, the Trottier Family Foundation and the R. Howard Webster Foundation have contributed $3 million in an endowment towards a special Research Innovation Fund. Furthermore, it will be a Fossil Fuel Free endowment, incorporating sustainable finance in the funding of this Research Innovation Grant. Researchers at the RI-MUHC will have the opportunity to apply to an annual competition for a $100, 000 award. Only the most cutting-edge and transformative proposals will be considered for funding.

“Our goal is to encourage truly exceptional research,” says Claire Trottier, Director of the Trottier Family Foundation and Co Vice-Chair of the MUHC Foundation. “The early-stage innovation concepts that our award will fund must have the potential to change the way we deliver healthcare in a meaningful way.”

The R. Howard Webster Foundation and The Trottier Family Foundation have played an important role in building, and equipping the MUHC, and now they are committed to further advancing patient care through encouraging state-of-the-art research.

“The R. Howard Webster Foundation has a long history of supporting projects that benefit and improve Canadian society and it is very proud to contribute to promoting innovation in research at the MUHC,” states Howard Davidson, President of the R. Howard Webster Foundation.

The Research Institute of the MUHC’s integrated approach to collaboration is changing the face of investigative science for the benefit of patients and the community. The research facilities at the MUHC unite a wide array of scientists under the same umbrella to foster interdisciplinary research, training and public outreach.

“This kind of generous support for research will significantly impact future diagnosis, treatment and care of patients at the MUHC, across Canada and around the world,” says Dr. Bruce Mazer, Interim Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer, RI-MUHC. “This is a unique funding mechanism, to allow our researchers to work on novel, out-of-the-box concepts that will definitely impact health care.”

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At the MUHC Foundation, patients and their families are at the heart of our mission, and we understand the importance of having world-class patient care available to them when they need it most.  It is an honour and a privilege to inspire our community to philanthropically support the greatest needs of the MUHC. Our donors motivate us, as well as our researchers and healthcare providers, to offer the best care for life.

Julie Quenneville

President, MUHC Foundation