Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

June 11, 2012 08:00 ET

$10-Million Gift Will Revolutionize Care for Anxiety Disorders at Sunnybrook

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 11, 2012) - Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre announced today that businessman Frederick Thompson has made Canada's largest-ever private donation focused on obsessive compulsive disorder research and treatment.

This transformational $10-million gift will create the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre within Sunnybrook's Brain Sciences Program.

"This gift makes a bold statement and represents a real turning point in the research and treatment of anxiety disorders," said Dr. Peggy Richter, director of Sunnybrook's Clinic for OCD and Related Disorders.

"This centre will address the spectrum of anxiety disorders, but will focus on the treatment of OCD and its related-conditions - and no other centre in Canada offers such specialized care for these disorders. This gift truly establishes Sunnybrook as a leader in treatment and research in this important field."

Through its multidisciplinary and compassionate care, the Frederick W. Thompson Anxiety Disorders Centre will help patients recover from often-debilitating disorders with dignity. Patients will receive care in a coordinated program, and be invited to participate in important research to develop future treatments. The centre will attract international experts who will collaborate with Sunnybrook's world-class scientists, and will be an epicentre for anxiety disorder research across Canada.

Mr. Thompson said supporting such an underfunded area of health care was an easy decision.

"Sadly, mental health doesn't get enough attention - and yet the more I talk to people, the more I realize there are very few families who don't have some experience with it," said Mr. Thompson. "People suffer from these disorders through no fault of their own, and I just want them to have the best support possible. This centre at Sunnybrook will hopefully help realize this goal."

He added that he looks forward to seeing the centre's impact on the world stage.

"I hope the centre helps create a greater awareness of these devastating disorders, opens doors in treatment that have so far remained closed due to lack of funding, and that it inspires people toward their own philanthropy," said Mr. Thompson.

Dr. Barry McLellan, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, said this gift provides the Sunnybrook team with an important investment that will improve access to care.

"This new centre will provide our world class team with the resources they need to improve access and the coordination of care for people with an anxiety disorder," said Dr. McLellan. "We are fortunate to have this investment in the future of care from the Thompson family. Their generosity will ensure thousands of patients receive access to the care they need, when they need it most."

Dr. Jon S. Dellandrea, president and CEO of Sunnybrook Foundation, said the transformational gift is an excellent example of the quality of care possible through private donor support.

"We are extremely grateful for Mr. Thompson's leadership investment," said Dr. Dellandrea. "Sunnybrook's goal is to invent the future of health care, and this type of visionary support is essential if we're to conduct the research, develop the treatments, and provide the care necessary to realize that goal."

Sunnybrook is uniquely positioned to house such a centre of excellence. This centre, the Department of Psychiatry and the Mood and Anxiety Disorders program all operate within the Brain Sciences Program and benefit from Sunnybrook's overall collaborative approach.

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook is an internationally recognized leader in research and education, and is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for Canada's war veterans, high-risk pregnancies, critically ill newborns, adults and the elderly, and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological and psychiatric disorders, orthopedic disorders and traumatic injuries. For more information about how Sunnybrook is inventing the future of health care, please visit www.sunnybrook.ca

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