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The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation donates $5 million for new respirology unit

Toronto, March 24, 2014

By Leslie Shepherd

Geoffrey H. Wood
Geoffrey H. Wood (1896 – 1995)

The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation, a longtime supporter of St. Michael’s Hospital, has donated $5 million to build a state-of-the art respirology unit on the sixth floor of the new patient care tower.

The current Respirology Unit is located in the Bond Wing, which was last renovated in 1998. The rooms are small and cramped and there is difficulty accommodating modern medical equipment. With shared bathrooms and shower facilities, cleaning staff must be diligent to ensure proper infection control.

The new Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation Respirology Unit will consist of 15 rooms in the new tower. It will house patients with a variety of lung conditions, although the majority of the hospital’s respirology inpatients are young adults with cystic fibrosis who have graduated from treatment at SickKids.

All in-patient rooms in the new tower will be private rooms with their own washroom and shower, which is especially important for CF patients who are at significant risk of infection. Three of the rooms will be negative pressure isolation rooms for patients with highly infectious diseases.

The larger rooms with natural light will also make longer stays more pleasant and comfortable. The average length of stay is 10 days although many CF patients remain as inpatients for up to six weeks and others require extended stays as they await lung transplantation.

“This new unit will facilitate state of the art care in a healing environment,” said Dr. Elizabeth Tullis, director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Clinic and a leading researcher on the disease. “The health care team and our patients excitedly await the completion of the new unit and are grateful to The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation for making this a reality.”

“We have been regular donors to the great work of St. Michael's since 1998. Over those years, they have always kept in touch,” said John Broley, president and executive officer of The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation. “So when our board decided it wanted to publicly recognize Mr. Wood's contribution to our community, St. Michael's was our first stop. The rest is history. We are delighted to assist Dr. Elizabeth Tullis and her team with this new facility."

In addition to having the largest adult CF clinic in North America, with more than 400 patients, the Respirology Unit also cares for patients with complex respiratory diseases such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia as well as more common respiratory conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sleep related breathing disorders. With St. Michael’s expertise in disadvantaged and marginalized populations, the hospital also treats more tuberculosis patients than any other centre in Ontario.

The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation is a private charitable foundation founded by Geoffrey H. and Edith A. Wood in 1987 with the proceeds from the sale of the G. H. Wood & Company Ltd., which was known by its slogan “Sanitation for the Nation.”

The foundation’s previous donations to St. Michael’s Hospital included the establishment of the Positive Care Clinic for patients with HIV/AIDS and the purchase of equipment for the Women’s Health Centre.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.