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Philanthropist Jim Neill donates record $5M for Peterborough Regional Health Centre cardiac care

Jim Neill is committing $5 million to cardiac care at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. PRHC photo

A Peterborough-area philanthropist is committing $5 million to cardiac care at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre, officials announced Tuesday.

At a private donors event, the PRHC Foundation announced Jim Neill is committing the $5 million in funding to support cardiac care at the hospital. The gift is the largest donation in the foundation’s history. The foundation fundraises to purchase equipment and technology for the hospital.

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“Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen firsthand how vital it is that Peterborough Regional Health Centre has the people and technology needed to provide lifesaving patient care, close to home,” said Lesley Heighway, foundation president and CEO.

“Our hospital has an exciting vision for the future of cardiac care at PRHC — including the expansion of services and bringing new treatments to our region — but we won’t get there alone.”

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“With his incredible $5-million donation, Jim is joining a long and proud tradition of philanthropists who know that it takes the collective generosity of many today, to create the world-class patient care of tomorrow.”

Neill, who recently moved back to the Peterborough area from Toronto, says he was inspired to provide the gift after seeing how important access to cardiac care close to home is for patients. He noted in Toronto there were four hospitals offering cardiac care within a 15-minute drive from his home.

“As I understand it, it’s essential that we limit the time and distance our loved ones, friends and neighbours need to travel to get to get the same standard of care,” he said.

“I want to be part of that process of providing very timely cardiac care close to home.”

PRHC opened in 2008, replacing the former Peterborough Civic Hospital where Neill said his son was born.

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“My son was born in this hospital over 50 years ago, so I saw the hospital then — and I’ve seen it developed into a regional health centre — very, very impressive,” he said.

“Then I moved away, then I moved back and have seen the hospital make such great progress, and they’ve got great plans for the future. I just wanted to be part of the process of providing that kind of very timely cardiac care.”

Neill said he’s honoured to be part of the tradition of philanthropy that has supported the hospital from the beginning.

“The new lifesaving treatments coming to PRHC in the near future will once again change the face of cardiac care in our region,” Neill said.

“I’m excited to be part of that and I hope that my donation will encourage and inspire others, as the donors who have come before have inspired me.”

Dr. Warren Ball, PRHC’s interventional cardiologist and head of division cardiology, said the donation will have a transformational impact on patient care now and in the future.

“Jim’s generosity will help us keep our hearts here today by investing in significantly improved technology,” Ball said.

“And when you add state-of-the-art technology to our exceptional patient care, it will also empower us to pursue our vision for tomorrow. While the planning for this exciting opportunity is in the early stages, I can tell you we’re committed to ensuring our patients have access to the finest, most comprehensive cardiac care available, right here at PRHC.”

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Highlights of the private donor’s event held at PRHC. PRHC

 

PRHC president and chief executive Dr. Peter McLaughlin at the event said the “exceptional standard of care” found at PRHC would not be possible without the support of donors.

“Over the years, many individuals, foundations and corporations have stepped forward to embrace our vision as their own, through donations of all sizes,” McLaughlin said.

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“Now here we are once again, about to embark on a new era of cardiac care thanks to the support of another visionary leader. That’s the power of philanthropy and we’re grateful for Jim’s and all our donors’ support.”

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