Hamilton philanthropists Charles and Margaret Juravinski will create an endowment of more than $100 million to support researchers across Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.
Their estate gift is one of Canada's largest ever legacy gifts. A planned endowment of $100 million or more will provide up to $5 million a year to the institutions, in perpetuity.
"It brings us great pleasure to think that when we are gone, our legacy to this community may be measured in the good health of those who come after us," the Juravinskis said in a letter to the community released today. "As a couple, our most important lesson has been this: the greatest pleasure in life and the most powerful force for good in the world is sharing."
The endowment will create the Juravinski Research Centre, which will equally support Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton by funding health research in a variety of areas including cancer, mental health, lung and respiratory care, and diseases of aging.
"McMaster had already started talks with Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's about how we could create new dimensions to our research partnerships to deliver even more to our community, when I received a call from Charlie Juravinski. He was very excited to explore how he and Margaret could leave a legacy that would improve the health of people in Hamilton and around the world by supporting research," said Paul O'Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
"We will be eternally grateful for Charlie and Margaret's vision and their confidence in our world-class researchers' ability to have deep and long-lasting impact in many critically important areas of health research," he said.
The Juravinskis, who have called Hamilton home for decades, are generous benefactors to health care, education and research in the city.
They have given more than $50 million to Hamilton organizations, which includes support for the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre at Hamilton Health Sciences, the Margaret & Charles Juravinski Education, Research & Development Centre at McMaster University and the Margaret & Charles Juravinski Centre for Integrated Healthcare and the Juravinski Innovation Tower at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton.
"Charles and Margaret Juravinski's transformational gifts have forever changed health care in Hamilton and their legacy of giving will continue thanks to their investment in world-class research. By enabling collaborative research into mental health care, lung and respiratory health, oncology, and diseases of aging, the Juravinskis' gift will impact not only patients and families in Hamilton, but countless others around the world for generations to come," said Thomas Stewart, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Health System.
Together, the partners will engage in collaborative, strategic projects that are focused on health-related research enhancing the health and prosperity of the entire community.
"The health of generations of Canadians will be positively impacted by this wonderful legacy gift made by Charles and Margaret Juravinksi. In making this gift, they also helped inspire and enable our three organizations to collaboratively address some of the most important health issues of our time," said Rob MacIsaac, president and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences.
"It is exciting to see this unique partnership unfold," said Mary Williams, McMaster's vice-president university advancement. "The Juravinskis are amazing philanthropists and it has been an honour to work in partnership with our organizational leaders and with my colleagues at the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton Foundation to help bring Charles' and Margaret's vision for this legacy for health research to fruition. The strength of the partnership and the commitment of our academic and hospital leaders is equally inspiring."
An eight-member steering committee will be responsible for setting all priorities and programs to be undertaken by the Juravinski Research Centre.