Montreal, May 15, 2013

McGill University, the McGill University Health Centre, the Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Center today announced a major collaboration with a leading philanthropic foundation to contribute to the province’s commitment to enhance cancer care. This initiative, the Rossy Cancer Network (RCN), aims to improve quality of care and patient satisfaction, increase survival rates and reduce the burden of cancer.

The announcement represents a total investment of $58 million and is inspired by a gift from the Larry and Cookie Rossy Family Foundation (LCRFF). The RCN, which forms part of the Quebec cancer network and is aligned with Quebec’s recently announced action plan for cancer care, builds on the strengths of the partners based on a shared vision, mission and rigorous plan for tracking the patient experience and management of the disease, and improving outcomes. It will be supported by resources, tools and initiatives that are standardized across the institutions, such as common patient satisfaction surveys, information technology and best practices in disease management.

“More than11,000 Quebec patients were diagnosed with cancer in the Rossy Cancer Network in 2012, and thousands more depend on our cancer care and services,” says Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. “By leveraging the oncology expertise of our doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, researchers and support staff across the spectrum of the disease, we are taking a major step forward in the fight against cancer.”

The partner hospitals – led by Mr. Normand Rinfret, Director General and CEO of the McGill University Health Centre, Dr. Hartley Stern, Executive Director of the Jewish General Hospital, and Dr. Arvind Joshi, Director General and CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital Center, are united in their commitment to the RCN as the most effective way to serve the best interests of patients, to ensure they are at the centre of all efforts.

Dr. Hartley Stern, representing the partner institutions involved, says: “The era of close cooperation in all areas of health care must take precedence, as is now happening with the RCN. The Rossy Cancer Network is tangible evidence of our commitment to improving the well-being of all Quebecers. If we look at the best systems in the world, their success is due, to a considerable degree, to these types of partnerships. The Rossy Foundation has been instrumental in making this happen.”

Over the last 18 months, the RCN partners, together with the LCRFF, have been working closely to develop the common framework to track patient satisfaction, quality of care and cancer outcomes consistently across the network. Not only will this serve as the basis for action plans and continuous improvement, it will positively influence research and teaching missions, preparing the next generation of skilled scientists and trainees with new research tools to build on the progress made.

“This is an extraordinary moment for McGill and our hospital partners, rooted in an exceptional act of philanthropic generosity and leadership,” said Prof. Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. “The Rossy Cancer Network epitomizes the extraordinary things that can happen when the vision and passion of donors is united with the unique capacity of a research-intensive university to develop and realize concrete advancements to serve society. For our institutions, and – most importantly – for cancer patients and their families in Montreal and across Quebec, this is a significant milestone.”

“From day one, my wife and I wanted to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the more than 47,000 Quebecers diagnosed with cancer each year,” says Larry Rossy, founder, Chair of the Board of Directors and CEO of Dollarama, Inc. “Together, we have laid the groundwork to achieve the goals we all share. It is my great hope that in the near future, we will all look back on this initiative and our collective efforts as a defining moment when Quebec became the model for how to make cancer care better.”

The total philanthropic investment of $58 million over 10 years includes $30 million from the Larry and Cookie Rossy Family Foundation. The partners have agreed to contribute $28 million to the RCN through the fundraising efforts of McGill University and the respective foundations, including the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation and, in support of the MUHC campaign, the Cedars Cancer Institute.

About the RCN Partner Institutions

McGill University, the McGill University Health Centre, the Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Center, together with the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, are major partners in the McGill network of affiliated teaching hospitals and centres. This network is responsible for facilitating access to training, research and health care for close to 1.8 million Quebecers across 63 per cent of the province’s landmass. The Rossy Cancer Network is composed of McGill and the three major teaching hospitals with cancer missions, namely, the McGill University Health Centre, the Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Center.

The Cedars Cancer Institute at the McGill University Health Centre is a mission-based public foundation. In addition to funding cancer research and equipment, it provides vital and compassionate support for cancer patients – pediatric, adolescent and young adult (AYA), adults and those in palliative care – their loved ones and the medical professionals who care for them. 

The JGH Foundation partners with inspired volunteers to raise critical funds which support equipment acquisition, facility renovation and expansion, and physician and nursing recruitment at the Jewish General Hospital. In addition, province-wide events, such as the Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s Cancers and the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, play an essential role in advancing and enhancing the work of the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital, and that of its partners across Quebec, benefiting the people of Montreal and Quebec.

St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation’s commitment to community cancer care is reflected by its creation and support of the unique McGill Chair in Community Cancer Care based at St. Mary’s Hospital Center. This reinforces the patient-centered, continuum-of-care approach to cancer management upon which it has built a praiseworthy reputation. 

For more information about the Rossy Cancer Network, click here

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Twitter : #RCNMCGILL

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