Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, Ont., cardiovascular campaign gets $500k boost

A fundraising campaign aimed at creating a cardiovascular surgery program in Thunder Bay has received a major financial boost.

John Andrews Foundation donation will go toward equipment

L-R Don Henderson, Allan McKitrick, and Alexander Paterson of the John Andrews Foundation made a $500,000 donation on behalf of the foundation to the Our Hearts At Home Cardiovascular Campaign.

A fundraising campaign aimed at creating a cardiovascular surgery program in Thunder Bay has received a major financial boost.

The John Andrews Foundation has donated $500,000 to the Our Hearts at Home Campaign. The donation will be used to purchase equipment for the planned cardiovascular unit, which will be built at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC).

"We are proud to continue our support of local healthcare services," Allan McKitrick, chair of the John Andrews Foundation, said in a statement. "This particular donation is significant as all of us have seen the stress that people experience when they need to leave town to access life-saving cardiac surgery. We want to ensure that, should people need surgery, they can have it here at home."

According to the campaign website, northwestern Ontario has the highest rates of cardiac disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease in the province. People in need of cardiovascular surgery, however, also have to travel thousands of kilometres for the service, as it isn't available in the region.

"Our program will benefit greatly from the John Andrews Foundation," Dr. Peter Voros, executive vice president of in-patient care programs at the TBRHSC, said in a statement. "Their donation will be used to help expand an existing operating room for cardiac surgery, and help build a new in-patient recovery ward for patients who undergo surgery. We are tremendously grateful to them for choosing our Hospital as a beneficiary of their funds."