May 11, 2023

Mourning the Loss of Margaret Juravinski

A joint statement from St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation and St. Joseph’s Health System

Our Hospital was founded by the courageous women who made up the order of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton. It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that another formidable woman from our community, Margaret Juravinski, passed away on May 9th in Hamilton at the age of 91.

A joint message about Margaret’s many contributions to our community was issued by Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton earlier today, but always remaining true to our compassionate values, we felt it was important to acknowledge the special place Margaret holds in our hearts here at St. Joe’s.

Most of us knew Margaret as the wife and lifelong companion of the late Charles Juravinski, whose passing preceded hers by little more than a year. But those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Margaret a little better understood that she was a lover of books, a caregiver of our community, and a woman of few, but astute and impactful words. Margaret’s strength was conveyed not through grand displays, but through a quiet consistent presence, a keen understanding of the evolving healthcare system, and an unwavering commitment to sharing her good fortune in the hopes of making a difference in the community she called home for nearly a century.

Here at St. Joe’s, over the past 21 years, our Hospital has been the grateful beneficiary of more than $22.5 million in donations from Margaret and Charles Juravinski. The $5 million gift they made in 2005 helped to construct the 10-storey Juravinski Innovation Tower at our Charlton Campus, while a $10 million gift made a decade later was integral to the creation of the Margaret & Charles Juravinski Centre for Integrated Healthcare at our West 5th Campus.

More recently, Margaret and Charles, through their namesake Foundation, have provided more than $16.5 million in funding to kickstart 21 research projects designed to address widespread issues from curbing addiction to coping with burn trauma; supporting child and youth health to improving access to healthcare for those living in group homes and subsidized assisted living facilities.

While Charles Juravinski may have been the more vocal of this dynamic duo, both he and Margaret made it clear time and time again that the success of their long-standing marriage relied heavily on the fact that they were partners: in business, in marriage and in life. In a 2019 letter to the community, Charles and Margaret wrote: “Throughout the better part of our seven decades together, our love for one another has been a steady foundation. We are true partners, each drawing joy, strength and inspiration from the other. Our loyalty and the genuine pleasure we get simply from being together is something we wish everyone could know.”

Margaret and Charles were our partners, too. They were partners in providing exceptional care to our community. Partners in pushing the boundaries of health research. And partners in helping others to see how philanthropy can bring great joy to our lives while also helping to bridge the gaps in healthcare funding. The same 2019 letter to the community reads, “It brings us great pleasure to think that when we are gone, our legacy to this community may be measured in the good health of those who come after us.”

Perhaps after spending more than 65 years side by side, Margaret was called to join her husband for the happy hour martinis they shared every day without fail. May they be reunited once more and rest in peace knowing that their legacies will live on every single day in the care that we are honoured to provide and the research we are privileged to undertake in the buildings and institutes that bear their names.

Yours in sympathy, remembrance and reflection,

Melissa Farrell
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Sera Filice-Armenio
President & CEO
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation

Elizabeth Buller
President & CEO
St. Joseph’s Health System

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