$90-million gift to the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research marks new era in cardiac health

The Rogers Foundation announces a second landmark gift, building on its $130-million gift in 2014, to sustain the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research in perpetuity and bring the promise of precision cardiac health to patients across Canada and globally.

In 2014, the Rogers Foundation made a record $130-million gift to establish the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research (TRCHR) – a visionary, collaborative initiative harnessing the strengths of its three institutional partners: The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), University Health Network (UHN), and the University of Toronto. That gift united these institutions with a vision to reduce significantly the impact of heart failure in Canada for children, youth and adults alike, with worldwide implications.

Now, in a new era of precision medicine, a second gift will make an even greater impact by harnessing the ability to treat each person according to their unique genetic, biological and environmental profiles to better diagnose, correct, predict and prevent heart failure.

Today, the Rogers Foundation is announcing a $90-million benefaction – matched with $94.2 million in institutional support and additional fundraising – that will sustain, advance, and significantly expand the reach of the TRCHR.

In addition to enabling discovery research, this investment will help more patients with heart failure to avoid hospitalization, understand the genetic basis of their disease, and receive unique, personalized approaches to heart health. These advances will reduce instances of heart failure and sudden death while slowing heart failure’s progression, setting a new global standard in care.

Passionate champions for heart health

The Rogers Foundation’s combined gifts of $220 million to the TRCHR represent one of the most significant philanthropic investments in Canada’s history.

“We’re proud to support the work of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research, which was passionately championed by our late mother Loretta from its infancy and reflects her and Ted Rogers’ spirit of innovation, ideals, and vision of cutting-edge care for all,” said Martha Rogers, Chair of the Rogers Foundation. “Today marks the start of an exciting new era in heart health not just for Canadians, but for patients around the globe. Loretta championed this gift at our Foundation board table when we finalized our new commitment last November. She was proud of and passionate about the accomplishments of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and the promise it held going forward to counter the ravages of heart failure and secure better heart health for everyone.”

“In just a few years, the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research has emerged as a model for heart health by following through on our promise of reducing rehospitalizations for heart failure by 50 per cent, among many other landmark accomplishments,”

– TRCHR’s Executive Director, Dr. Mansoor Husain

“This generous investment from the Rogers Foundation, including the late Loretta Rogers, will not only sustain this impact but allow us to scale across Canada and the world, offering health care providers 21st-century tools necessary to prescribe the right treatment for the right patient at the right time in the right place, keep more patients at home, prevent tragic and sudden deaths, and improve overall patient health and well-being,” Dr. Husain added.

Wide-ranging impacts

This second investment by the Rogers Foundation will capitalize on the achievements of the TRCHR’s first eight years and ensure its work can continue in perpetuity.

First, building on its successful reduction of rehospitalizations at UHN by 50 per cent, the TRCHR will help prevent heart failure hospitalizations on a global scale. This will involve the enhancement of its Digital Health Platform, including Medly, a proprietary heart failure management program, which enables the rapid assessment and triaging of patients in real time. The new gift will enhance the Digital Health Platform with cutting-edge wearables, novel sensor-based technologies and artificial intelligence enabled algorithms, creating new systems of care. This program will expand nationally and internationally, beginning with remote, underserved communities as well as children and youth.

Second, the investment will help researchers predict and prevent heart failure by applying artificial intelligence and machine learning analyses to complex patient data, and by building on early genetic and biomarker research to reveal the underlying mechanisms of heart failure and to identify new therapeutic targets for treatment. The TRCHR will expand genomics-based precision diagnosis for heart failure in children, youth and adults, including identification of the genetic causes of cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease.

Third, the gift will support innovation and education funds to accelerate collaboration on new heart failure care technologies and startups, and to help train the next generation of leaders in cardiac care.

“This new Rogers Foundation gift to the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research will have lasting, positive impacts on patients,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of UHN. “It will drive leading scientific research, cutting-edge technology, timely interventions, machine learning-derived algorithms, and leaps forward in genomic medicine.”

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