THUNDER BAY – LIVING – The Cardiovascular Surgery Program at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre got a significant boost today. Announced this past summer by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Hospital has been given support to proceed with the development of a program to offer both vascular and cardiac surgery in Thunder Bay. While the provincial government has committed to funding 90% of the construction costs associated with this program, the community must step up to the plate and cover the remaining 10% of construction costs plus 100% of the capital equipment costs.
Leading the way with the community’s portion of the funding to this life- and limb-saving program is an organization who has firmly established itself as a leader in healthcare philanthropy with years of giving to support patients and families across the Northwest.
“Tbaytel is happy to announce on behalf of our over 400 employees, that the company will be donating $500,000 to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation in support of the Cardiovascular Surgery Program,” said Tbaytel President & CEO Dan Topatigh. “Tbaytel is extremely proud to be providing such a significant gift to this much needed, long-awaited program. Having access to care and services in our own neighbourhood of Thunder Bay and throughout Northwestern Ontario, is vitally important and partnerships are key to building what we need right here at home.”
“Our region is one where a large percentage of the population faces serious medical issues,” said Dr. Mark Henderson, Executive Vice President, Patient Services, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. “Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer in our region and our amputation rate is almost 3 times that of the rest of Ontario. This is specifically prevalent in our Indigenous community – meaning that local access to vascular surgery is critically important for our patients because they are losing limbs due to the lack of vascular surgery.”
Dr. Henderson added, “Once in place, our program will serve approximately 1,000 patients annually, creating better access for urgent and emergent cardiac surgery, enhance our regional trauma care, improve vascular access for patients needing dialysis and decrease the use of amputations as the first line of treatment for vascular disease. Thanks to Tbaytel, we will be able to move ahead with the program to bring cardiovascular surgery services to our Hospital and serve patients and families here locally.”
“This gift is going to transform and save lives,” confirmed Eric Zakrewski, President and CEO, True Grit Engineering and Vice Chair of the forthcoming capital campaign for the Cardiovascular Surgery Program. “We are exceptionally grateful to Tbaytel for providing their generosity and support of this program.”
Continued Zakrewski, “Tbaytel has been a part of our family of donors to the Hospital for quite some time. Today, they’re actively ensuring that families across Northwestern Ontario can be together – before, during and after surgery. Not only that, thousands of people in Northwestern Ontario will live longer, better lives thanks to the generosity they’ve shown today.”