(Hong Kong, 30 November 2005) The Li Ka-shing Foundation (“LKSF”) announced today that St Michael’s Hospital (“SMH”), an affiliated hospital with the University of Toronto, will receive a grant of CAD 25 million from Li Ka-shing (Canada) Foundation (“LKSCF”). This well known hospital, warmly dubbed as the “Urban Angel”, has a long and proud history of caring and compassion, serving the sick and the poor of Toronto’s inner city since its establishment in 1892.
As the first grant recipient from LKSCF, SMH will be joining University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, the University of California at Berkeley in the United States and Institut Pasteur in France, the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Shantou University in Mainland China who had received major grants under LKSF’s HKD 3 billion biomedical programme. (Photo 1)
Leading with Innovation
SMH is a teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, with more than 5,000 staff, 600 physicians teaching more than 1,600 students. The hospital is recognised for its excellence in clinical education, and is a research leader in many areas including inner city health, cardiac gene therapy, trauma/critical care and global health. The CAD 25 million gift from LKSCF will fund the setting up of a unique centre combining research and education “The Li Ka-shing Knowledge Institute”, which aims to establish the first prototypical academic/clinical knowledge translation partnership at one of Canada’s leading teaching hospitals.
The Li Ka-shing Knowledge Institute will comprise two centres with a total gross floor area of 285,500 square feet. Construction of the institute will commence next spring and completion is scheduled for 2009.
The vision at SMH is to be a world leader in translational research by developing a programme of scientific innovation tightly linked to specific clinical therapeutic targets: cardiac disease, trauma/critical care, diabetes, kidney disease and hematology.
Serving with Compassion
Today, SMH remains dedicated to treating all with respect, compassion and dignity. The philosophy and beliefs of SMH is well epitomized by the commitment of their staff, physicians, volunteers, students, community partners and friends to the core values of human dignity, compassion and responsibility. Together they take pride in bringing this rich service of hope and healing to every person in their care. SMH serves 24,000 in-patients with its 550 in-patient beds, and also serves a total of 670,000 out-patients every year. In addition, a number of community outreach programmes of the hospital, such as family practice units and a women’s drop in centre, provide accessible care for the city’s population.
SMH’s President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Lozon said Mr Li’s donation would catapult the hospital into the international arena.
“This is the largest single donation ever received by SMH. This incredible donation reinforces that Canadian research, education and patient care are at the forefront of international medical science,” Mr Lozon said. “By using our hospital as a living lab we will discover the best ways to increase the adoption of best practices among our health professionals. We can then share these insights broadly to other health care institutions within Canada.”
University of Toronto President David Naylor said the Li Ka-shing Knowledge Institute will be a partnership between the university, the hospital and world-class philanthropists joining together in a synergistic union to make an impact on the world.
“Now for the first time ever, we will be building on the education that researchers, educators and clinicians receive from the university and we will be building on the knowledge and accelerating their findings to the front lines of care, thus setting a new standard in health care,” Dr Naylor said.
Researchers use the skills they have acquired to translate their findings to clinicians; and clinicians, in turn, relay back the findings to their patients. Students are an integral part in this constant transfer of knowledge, aiding researchers in their laboratories and working with clinicians to provide direct care. This unique collaboration hastens the transfer of knowledge between the three realms.
By combining groundbreaking research and education with practical training in a hospital facility, the Li Ka-shing Knowledge Institute will serve as a new model for other hospitals in Canada and for other institutions in the world.
Mr Li expressed his great admiration for the dedicated service SMH is providing the community.
“Today, in a world bombarded by all kinds of ‘isms’, loud in their stringent demands but complacent to their own failings; who lacks a generosity of spirit that is essential to care and society’s constructive progress, it is refreshing and touching to know that an institution has stayed true to its commitment to progress and care throughout the years.
“I believe an equitable society can only be achieved if each and every individual is ready and willing to do his or her part in capacity empowerment through education and the building of a caring society, particularly through medical and healthcare related projects. These are two important pillars of hope for any society,” Mr Li said.
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