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About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 14, 2005

SickKids Foundation receives $3.5 million gift from FirstPro Shopping Centres

Toronto, Ontario - Sick Kids Foundation today announced a $3.5 million gift from Mitchell Goldhar, owner of FirstPro Shopping Centres. This generous and timely gift in support of The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) will help it maintain its position as Canada’s most research-intensive hospital and the largest centre dedicated to improving children’s health in the country.

“Sick Kids sees the most complex cases in childhood diseases. This complexity of care provided demands significant, ongoing funding from the private sector. Private gifts like this one from Mitchell Goldhar ensure that Sick Kids can continue its world-class work in child health,” said Michael O’Mahoney, president of Sick Kids Foundation.

A member of the Board of Directors of Sick Kids Foundation since June 2001, Mr. Goldhar has donated $500,000 to establish a fellowship in neonatal surgery and $3 million to Sick Kids Heart Centre for the completion of the Cardiac Diagnostic and Interventional Unit (CDIU).

“I am grateful to be able to make this gift and I hope that it inspires others to do the same,” said Goldhar.

Sick Kids sees between 800 and 1,000 admissions each year in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with life-threatening medical complications and congenital diseases, including respiratory, vision neurological and cardiac. These tiny patients represent the increasing complexity of care at Sick Kids. Approximately half of the children in the neonatal unit at Sick Kids require surgery. The fellowship in neonatal surgery will be a significant new resource which will not only enhance the care delivered to these children, but will provide specialized training in the care of surgical infants to candidates from North America and around the world.

"We are very grateful to Mr. Goldhar for this gift, which will enhance our ability to care for newborns with a variety of birth defects, and will permit us to pass on our expertise to a whole new generation of young paediatric surgeons", said Dr. Jack Langer, chief of General Surgery at Sick Kids.

The paediatric interventional cardiac catheterization program at Sick Kids leads the world in pioneering new ways to treat congenital heart disease without the need for open-heart surgery. The program is part of the Sick Kids Heart Centre known for clinical innovations and discoveries – from developing the Mustard procedure which treated children with the heart defect known as “blue babies” to the 2001 discovery that infants awaiting a heart transplant do not need to wait for an organ of the same blood type.

“We are extremely appreciative of the support Mr. Goldhar is providing for the redevelopment of the new cardiac catheterization lab. This will enhance our ability to treat children with complex congenital heart disease with less invasive alternatives,” said Dr. Lee Benson, director of the CDIU at Sick Kids.

About FirstPro Shopping Centres
FirstPro Shopping Centres is a private real estate development company owned by Mitchell Goldhar which has developed over 160 shopping centres across Canada over the last 12 years. FirstPro is committed to the creation of centres designed for the incomes and lifestyles of all Canadians.

About Sick Kids Foundation
Sick Kids Foundation, was established in 1972. Our mission is to inspire our communities to invest in medical and scientific advances to improve the lives of children and their families in Canada and around the world. Our vision: Healthier children. A better world.

The Foundation, through its National Grants program, is one of the largest non-governmental granting agencies in the area of child health in Canada.

For further information, please contact:
Flavio Volpe
FirstPro Shopping Centres
Phone: 905-760-6200 ext. 7725


For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs
The Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue
Suite 1742, Public Affairs, First floor Atrium
Toronto, ON
M5G 1X8
Phone: 416-813-5058
Fax: 416-813-5328