Founding family renews philanthropic commitment to Libin Cardiovascular Institute

The Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation is renewing its commitment to improving the cardiovascular health of Canadians, announcing a $7.5 million gift to the Libin Cardiovascular Institute over the next decade.

The Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation is renewing its commitment to improving the cardiovascular health of Canadians, announcing a $7.5 million gift to the Libin Cardiovascular Institute over the next decade.

It’s the latest in a remarkable legacy of contributions to the health and wellness of southern Albertans from the philanthropic family. In 2003 the foundation, named for a prominent local businessman and his wife, donated $15 million to Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine (CSM). It was the largest one-time gift in the university’s history at the time and led to the development of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, a world-class research, education and clinical care centre.

Since then, and including this new gift, the foundation has invested more than $23-million to support improved cardiovascular health in Alberta and beyond through operating funds, scholarships, awards, projects, research and equipment. The impact of this giving has been staggering — leading to life-changing discoveries for patients suffering cardiac arrest and new ways to mitigate blood pressure fluctuations following spinal cord injury. Through an important partnership with AHS, it has led to province-wide process improvements that save lives after major heart attacks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“The Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation continues to lead the way in supporting exceptional cardiovascular care across Western Canada. Their selfless gifts in support of transdisciplinary research and superior clinical care have generated life-changing impacts,” says University of Calgary President Ed McCauley.

As Executive Director and Vice-President of the Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation, Alvin’s granddaughter Eda Libin is the foundation’s spokesperson, but the entire family, including her father, siblings and grandfather are still heavily involved in the foundation’s work.

Eda Libin says all three generations of her family are proud of what the foundation has accomplished so far, noting family members are often approached by cardiovascular patients who share that the Libin Institute has saved their life, or the lives of their loved ones.

“Our partnership with AHS and the University of Calgary has been very successful over the past 18 years,” she says. “Together, we have created a world-class institute known for its excellence in cardiac research, education, and patient care. Our hope for the future is that we continue to grow, attract new talent to Calgary, and deliver excellent care to those who need it.”

This sentiment is echoed by Alberta Health Services’ Lori Anderson, Chief Zone Officer for the Calgary Zone. “AHS is grateful to the Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation for its incredible support, leadership and vision for cardiovascular health. Strong collaborations produces big results and it is philanthropists like the Libins who have enabled us to become a world-class institute.”

Dr. Paul Fedak, MD, PhD, director of the Institute, says the foundational commitment of the Libin family has forever changed how Calgary is perceived in the world of medicine.

“The Libin Cardiovascular Institute’s mission is to improve the lives of cardiovascular patients through collaboration, innovation and commitment to excellence in clinical care,” says Fedak. “It’s critical that we take on this challenge as cardiovascular disease is still the No. 1 killer globally for both men and women.

But we can’t meet this goal without the commitment of our community, and particularly the support of the Alvin and Mona Libin Foundation. On behalf of the Institute membership, I want to thank the Libin family for their generous support.”

Like Fedak, Eda Libin is excited about the future of cardiovascular care in Calgary. She also believes that a great community is made better with philanthropy.

“We hope to grow our family foundation to continue to give back to the community that has given us so much, and hopefully inspire others to do the same,” she says. “Philanthropy, through individual donors like my grandparents, has made Calgary a very important medical centre. It is very important that we, as the next generation, continue to follow in the philanthropic footsteps of the generations that have come before us so that Calgary remains a great place to live.”

Paul Fedak, MD, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Cardiac Sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine and the director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute.

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute is a joint entity of Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary that connects world-class cardiovascular research, first-rate patient care and education in Southern Alberta, serving a population of about two million. Our more than 1,500 members include physicians, clinicians and other health professionals, researchers and trainees. To learn more or donate, visit libin.ucalgary.ca.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.


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