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, 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.