National Philanthropy Day – The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation honours Sophie Desmarais

November 16, 2020

As part of National Philanthropy Day, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) is highlighting the invaluable support of Ms. Sophie Desmarais. This great philanthropist, who for many years has been close to the cause of heart diseases, stood out this year for her involvement in the Colcorona clinical trial aimed to confirm the potential of colchicine to fight COVID-19.

“We are very fortunate at the Foundation to be able to count on Ms. Desmarais’ support,” says Alain Gignac, President and CEO of the MHIF. “Her generosity enables us to push scientific research further and make discoveries that can improve the lives of patients.”

Ms. Desmarais is known for her leadership, her human sensitivity and her deep knowledge regarding the issues at stake in the causes she supports. This year, after personally donating more than $3 million to the Colcorona clinical trial, she challenged her philanthropic peers by promising to double the amount of money raised. The community responded positively to her appeal, raising nearly $500,000 in additional funds, which she then doubled. By supporting the Colcorona clinical trial, Ms. Desmarais is actively involved in finding a drug that has the potential to reduce the severe complications, hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19. If the trial’s findings prove positive, it could save millions of lives around the world.

Whether it is to support medical teams, researchers, students, the next generation of musicians or to accompany victims of bullying, Ms. Desmarais has only one goal: to help people and have a positive influence on society. Over the years, she has been involved with many organizations, including the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, the Jasmin Roy Sophie Desmarais Foundation, Kids Help Phone, the Lighthouse Children and Families resource, the Metropolitan Orchestra, the McCord Stewart Museum, the Big Band of University of Montreal and the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, to name but a few. She was also awarded the Medal of Honour from the National Assembly of Quebec for her social involvement and commitment to the cause of bullying.

About the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation

Created in 1977, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation raises and manages funds to support the realization of the Institute’s innovative and priority projects and to fight cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the world. Its philanthropic events and its donors’ contributions have enabled this leader in cardiovascular health to become the largest cardiac research centre in the country. Over the years, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation has raised more than $309 million in donations. Its 26,032 donors have made it possible to make important discoveries and to support the Institute’s specialists, professionals and researchers to provide state-of-the-art care to tens of thousands of patients in Quebec.

About the Montreal Heart Institute

Founded in 1954, the Montreal Heart Institute constantly strives for the highest standards of excellence in the cardiovascular field through its leadership in clinical and fundamental research, ultra-specialized care, professional training and prevention. It is home to Canada’s largest cardiology research centre, cardiovascular prevention centre, and cardiovascular genetics centre. The Institute is affiliated with the Université de Montréal and has more than 2,000 employees, including 245 physicians and more than 85 researchers.

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