May 29, 2024

Rooted in research: New $5.1-million gift commemorates fifth anniversary of the Juravinski Research Institute

Lehana Thabane, Vice-President, Research, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton & Chair, Scientific Committee, Juravinski Research Institute, Mike Heenan, President, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Sera Filice-Armenio, President & CEO, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, at the West Fifth Campus tree dedication in honour of Margaret and Charles Juravinski.

On May 29, 2019, Charles and Margaret Juravinski forever altered the health-research landscape in Hamilton by establishing the Juravinski Research Institute (JRI) – a partnership between Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton that is improving the health of Canadians by advancing groundbreaking research.

“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,” the Juravinskis said in a letter addressed to the community on that historic day.

Since then, the Juravinskis have invested $16.5 million into the JRI, supporting 25 innovative research projects, showcasing the depth and breadth of health research in our region. Focus areas have included COVID-19, brain health, health system transformation, age-related macular degeneration, child and youth health, integrated care, and the creation of a burn research lab, among other projects.

Sadly, Charles and Margaret passed away in 2022 and 2023 respectively. Wanting to help keep their memory alive, their namesake foundation made a new $5.1-million gift to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the JRI.

“Charles and Margaret were visionary philanthropists, whose generosity has transformed how health research is conducted, as well as how health care is delivered in Hamilton,” said Dr. Julian Dobranowski, chair of the Juravinski Foundation. “It’s only fitting that we carry on their tremendous legacy by making this new gift on the fifth anniversary of the institute they founded.”

Tree dedication plaque honouring the five-year anniversary of the Juravinski Research Institute.

Recognizing that the traditional gift for a fifth anniversary is wood, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton have all marked the occasion by dedicating a tree at their respective sites in memory of Margaret and Charles.

“The funding of health research is akin to planting a tree, the shade of which one may never sit under,” said Dr. Paul O’Byrne, chair of the JRI steering committee. “Margaret and Charles have funded research that will benefit countless future generations. While the Juravinskis are no longer with us, these trees are perpetual reminders of the health research that is rooted in their name.”

This latest $5.1-million gift will support research projects centred on the themes of cancer and brain health, and will incorporate elements of artificial intelligence, diagnostic imaging and biobanking.

“These forward-thinking research themes have the potential to improve health outcomes drastically for Canadians from coast to coast,” said Dr. Lehana Thabane, chair of the JRI scientific committee. “Charles and Margaret believed in the power of collaboration. By strategically working together with researchers across our three institutions, we will maximize the impact we will have on patients and research outcomes.”

Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton thank the Juravinski Foundation for its unwavering dedication to the JRI and for upholding the legacy of Charles and Margaret.

Everyone can follow in the footsteps of the Juravinski legacy by creating their own legacy. Learn more at the Juravinski Research Institute website.  

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