Jewish General Hospital Foundation launches $5M COVID-19 Campaign. Three Quebec women are leading the way with gifts totalling $1.3M

A comprehensive COVID-19 campaign has been launched by the Jewish General Hospital Foundation and already has the support of three major Quebec
philanthropists:

• Sharon Azrieli – C.Q., D.Mus.
• Sophie Desmarais – recipient of the Quebec National Assembly Medal of Honour and
• Lisa Mierins on behalf of the Mierins Family Foundation – former JGH Foundation Board member

The three women have proudly stepped up to fund the front-line fight against the worldwide pandemic  today, tomorrow and well beyond the peak of the novel coronavirus. They are asking for those who  can, to join them.

Sharon Azrieli

Dr. Sharon Azrieli has generously contributed $563,000 to fund the the Sharon Azrieli Creative  Space which will be equipped initially with three state-of-the-art industrial 3D printers. “In our  tradition, we believe strongly in the proverb – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I conceived of the Creative Space with this in mind. Not only will the JGH be able to prototype ventilators now but once they have helped  battle COVID-19, they will be able to create other critical equipment for the future” said Dr.  Azrieli of the first-in-Quebec space she personally made possible. “I honestly believe in this
idea, and if the community likes it too, I ask that they give generously. I will match whatever  additional amount is raised up to $500,000,” said the Montreal born-and-raised opera singer and  creator of the Azrieli Music Prizes.

Sophie Desmarais

For her part, Sophie Desmarais has made a $500,000 gift towards COVID-19 research at the JGH. “The Jewish General Hospital is one of the top Hospitals in Quebec, and when they informed me of these  projects, I immediately decided to get involved. I am compelled to support our hometown research  and expertise in the face of this global pandemic. We are all in this together. We need to come  together and support the exceptional efforts made by medical professionals and researchers. It is  essential everyone contributes what they can. Together we will get there,” said Ms. Desmarais.

Lisa Mierins

The $250,000 donation of Ms. Lisa Mierins, on behalf of the Mierins Family Foundation, is directed à to the immediate COVID-related equipment needs of the JGH. “It is not an option to do nothing when there is so much need. Whether big or small, we all must step up. Our family has benefited in many ways over the years from the hospital’s incredible doctors and medical services. It is our  pleasure to help the hospital and the JGH Emergency Department deal with the COVID-19 crisis during  these unprecedented difficult times,” said Ms. Mierins.

COVID-19 related initiatives funded by the $5M campaign include projects such as

• The first of its kind in Quebec:
o The Sharon Azrieli Creative Space equipped initially with three state-of-the-art industrial 3D printers, where the JGH will begin prototyping 3D ventilators and other medical equipment
• High-impact research to keep our healthcare professionals ahead of COVID-19 such as:
o Creating a biobank that will make predicting optimal treatment for COVID patients possible;
o Using artificial intelligence to predict where the coronavirus will hit and warn at- risk people;
o Investigating what makes this new coronavirus transmit so rapidly and what drugs could combat it;
o Reducing the time and space required to diagnose COVID-19;
• Important mental health programs – such as telepsychiatry to help people through  pandemic-related distress
• Patient-centred eldercare – aiding the most vulnerable members of our community using  technology like ESOGER1, an online tool used to evaluate the socio-geriatric situation of a  specific elderly person
• Critical resources for now and beyond COVID-19 – including:
o COVIDOM, an e-health application that allows patients who are COVID-positive (or suspected) to  benefit from home monitoringè

“The JGH is part of a global community and there are no borders when it comes to COVID-19. We are  striving to strengthen efforts in the face of this virus. These three women and those who join them  will change the course of this worldwide pandemic saving thousands of lives,” said Bram Freedman, President and CEO of the JGH Foundation.

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