$1.8-million donation from local couple to fund transformative research at St. Joseph’s Health Care London
St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation is excited to announce a $1.8-million gift from local London couple, Kyle MacDonald and John Franklin, to fund life-changing research at the MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre, in partnership with the Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic at Parkwood Institute.
The majority of the gift, $1.5-million, will support research efforts over the next five years to identify emerging treatment opportunities in the military and for veterans suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other operational stress injuries, resulting from military service. The remainder of the gift will be used for care and comfort of veterans living at Parkwood Institute. An initial gift from the couple in 2017 created the MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre at Parkwood Institute, which is now internationally recognized for its research in military and veteran mental health.
The donation was officially announced Tuesday morning at the 15th annual Breakfast of Champions event at RBC Place London where more than 1,100 attendees heard from Lieutenant Colonel (retd.) Stéphane Grenier who shared his vision for improved workplace mental wellness, a vision inspired by his own experience of PTSD following his military service in Rwanda during the 1994 civil war and genocide. He coined the term ‘Operational Stress Injury’ used to describe any persistent psychological difficulties resulting from military duties.
“We are grateful to Kyle and John for their continued support of this important research,” said St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation President and CEO Michelle Campbell. “Without their personal interest and generous support, these programs and advances in research simply wouldn’t be possible.”
The London couple’s ongoing commitment to the care of veterans honours the memory of their fathers who both served in the Canadian military. Kyle’s father served in the Korean War. John’s father served in World War I and World War II.
“John and I witnessed first-hand the challenges our military personnel face after serving,” said Kyle MacDonald. “We are pleased to continue our support of specialized research based on the progress we have seen since our initial donation in 2017. Because of our military upbringing, we want to make sure our veterans have the best treatment options and all innovative solutions are explored.”
St. Joseph’s OSI Clinic, one of ten in the country, offers veterans evidence-based personalized treatment including individual psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy (medication). Working in partnership with the OSI Clinic, the MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre is a national and international leader focused on research on military and veteran mental health.
“The MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre is dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of veterans and their families. Our research is focused on conducting state-of-the-art, innovative research in several key areas including improving treatment outcomes related to operational stress injuries, moral injury, and personalized medicine,” added OSI Clinic Medical Director and Scientific Director of the MacDonald Franklin OSI Research Centre Dr. Don Richardson. "Donations like these play a critical role in advancing medical research, which ultimately leads to improved treatments
and better outcomes for veterans.”
As part of today’s Breakfast of Champions, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services also announced the recipients of the Champion of Mental Health Awards 2023; Mary St. Onge in the individual category, and #IveGotYourBack911 campaign in the organization category. Congratulations to the recipients and to all of the nominees who made an impact on advancing mental wellness in the Thames Valley
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