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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

Myron and Berna Garron donate $10 million to fund a dramatic boost for MRI testing

Myron and Berna Garron

Myron and Berna Garron

Donation being celebrated by renaming Our Lady of Mercy Wing to Garron Family Our Lady of Mercy Wing

Every year, more than 182,000 imaging tests are run at St. Joseph’s Health Centre to support the treatment of the half-million west-end residents the hospital serves. Of these, about 15,000 are MRI tests, performed on a machine that runs 24/7.

Thanks to a transformative $10 million donation by Myron and Berna Garron that was announced Wednesday, the hospital will be able to purchase two new MRI machines and double its testing capacity.

It was a tour through St. Joe’s, and learning about how vital the hospital’s lone MRI machine is to patient care, that inspired the gift.

“I thought to myself, ‘What the heck is going to happen if that machine shuts down?’” Myron Garron said at an event celebrating the donation. “So I thought it was time to speed things up a bit.”

Maria Dyck, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation, said the Garrons’ gift will help decrease the stressful wait times that create uncertainty for patients in Toronto’s growing and diverse west-end community.

“More and more people, both young and old, are choosing to put down their roots here. This transformative gift from the Garrons will help our neighbours get the very best care – and close to home,” Dyck said.

In addition to the unveiling of the Garron Family Our Lady of Mercy Wing – where 40 per cent of St. Joe’s patients receive their care – the donation will also be commemorated with the naming of the Garron Family Centre of Excellence in MRI.

The Garrons had also previously supported the hospital’s Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation Centre of Excellence in Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment. The family’s contributions will help build a second mammography suite that will double the number of breast screenings that can be performed annually at the hospital.

Victor G. Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC and campaign co-chair of the hospital foundation’s Promise Campaign, has a strong family connection to St. Joe’s. He and his brother were born at the hospital, his son has received excellent care from its staff, and it’s also where his father passed away.

“St. Joseph’s is the heart of health care in the west-end and is vital to helping serve and support this vibrant community’s diverse needs,” said Dodig.

“As the community grows, St. Joe’s will continue to provide residents with the care they need, and the generous contributions Myron and Berna Garron, will help improve care for those who call the west end home,” added Dodig.

This latest donation builds on a wave of momentum as St. Joseph’s Health Centre moves forward with modernizing and enhancing spaces for patients and improving care with purchases of new equipment and technology.

In September 2017, Mattamy Homes CEO Peter Gilgan donated $10 million to the hospital foundation’s Promise Campaign, which has raised over $90 million thus far. And in June, the foundation announced Hans Koehle had donated $11.6 million in honour of his late wife to help build the state-of-the-art Lake House Palliative Care Centre, which is set to open next year.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said the generosity of the Garrons, Gilgan and Koehle may also inspire others to donate to worthy causes, even if it’s just contributing $10.

“It’s very powerful when people who are blessed with the good fortune to do so step up and do something that’s very much involved in community building and helping other people and promoting and enhancing and establishing the Toronto values that we know that we share.”


St. Joseph’s Health Centre is undergoing major transformations. Projects under construction include the Lake House Palliative Care CentreBachir Yerex Family Dialysis Centre, Mental Health Emergency Services Unit and the final phase of the Breast Cancer Screening and Treatment Centre.

You can help support these and other priorities such as building a new Emergency Department by donating today.

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