An $11-million donation given by entrepreneur and philanthropist Miles Nadal to the specialized cardiology program at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto will benefit the nearly 1.5 million Canadians who are diagnosed with heart disease every year.
The donation will allow the Miles Nadal Heart Centre to offer specialized care to patients, including women with heart disease who are pregnant or trying to conceive, patients who suffer from advanced-stage heart failure, as well as sleep apnea sufferers.
Nadal, whose relationship with the hospital goes back almost three decades, explained that this project appealed to him on an emotional level.
“The heart is the epicenter of the organs in one’s body and the heart centre offers specialized care and expertise. I’ve always run my life through my heart, both professionally and personally, and so I saw this as a great opportunity,” Nadal said.
According to a statement from Mount Sinai, the centre will house “Canada’s only research-dedicated cardiac catheterization lab – the Mecklinger-Posluns Cardiac Catheterization Research Laboratory,” and the funds will support an initiative to expand its clinical and research programs, and renovate the hospital.
Nadal – who’s the founder, chairman and CEO of Peerage Capital Group – said his “love affair” with Mount Sinai, which he referred to as “our community’s hospital,” began more than 20 years ago when he was part of a group that founded Leadership Sinai, which aimed to get young people involved with the hospital.
About four years ago, during a lunch with his friend Jay Hennick, chair of Mount Sinai Hospital and the immediate past chair of the hospital foundation’s board of directors, Nadal was encouraged to get involved with the hospital’s heart centre.
“When I actually met Dr. Gary Newton, who at the time was head of cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital, I realized that the research and clinical expertise of the hospital was world class, but not well known,” he said.
I’ve always run my life through my heart.
– Miles Nadal
“I thought our family could make – through our gift and devotion of time, talent and treasure – a difference in terms of raising funds for research, raising funds for clinical trials, raising funds for operational programming, in addition to attracting and retaining the best doctors, nurses and staff.
“Heart attacks are the number 1 killer of Canadians. Five per cent of all people with heart disease in Canada never get care. At Sinai, they see 31,000 patients. That’s 80 patients a day. We hope that will grow.”
Dr. Alan Barolet, site director for cardiology at Mount Sinai, said that for most heart disease patients, it’s a chronic issue.
“We need to help them find ways to manage and live well with it. I think we do a very good job of helping people, particularly once they get back home, to have as high a quality of life as possible, but we all want to do more for this patient population,” Barolet said.
“This gift from Miles Nadal will translate into more options and, hopefully, better outcomes for these patients.”
Nadal said he hopes his decision to gift Mount Sinai will inspire others, especially the younger generation, to do the same:
“I believe that as we attract more and more capital, we will attract more and more great professionals and we will enable them to further their mission of innovation in cardiology at the heart centre.”