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Charity softball game funds life-changing equipment, clinics and research at the Montreal Chest Institute of the MUHC

Mitchell Rosenberg is proud to be “playing it forward” in appreciation of the exceptional care he received at the Montreal Chest Institute (MCI) of the MUHC. The founder and driving force behind the annual Raymond James Charity Softball Game knows firsthand what it is like to live with a respiratory disease as he has severe asthma. 

“During an asthma attack, it felt like a piano was sitting on my chest,” said Rosenberg, who is a financial advisor at Raymond James Ltd. and Vice Chairman of the MCI Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Thanks to Dr. Ronald Olivenstein and the friendly, knowledgeable team at the MCI, my asthma was finally brought under control…. It is deeply gratifying to know the Raymond James Charity Softball Game is helping patients just like me breathe easier.” 

On July 3 researchers and clinicians joined representatives of the MCI Foundation to unveil a plaque in the Centre for Innovative Medicine (CIM) of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI‑MUHC), and to acknowledge in person the contribution made by members of Raymond James. The financial services firm’s annual Charity Softball Game has raised $130,000 for life-changing equipment, clinics and research at the MCI of the MUHC in the past five years.

A path to new modalities of treatment

The plaque is located outside the Exercise Training Research Unit in the CIM for good reason. The donation makes it possible for MUHC patients to benefit from the cutting-edge equipment inside this research platform. 

With part of the donation, the MCI purchased exercise-testing equipment used by Dr. Jean Bourbeau and his team, including Dennis Jensen, PhD, an exercise physiologist, and Tania Janaudis-Ferreira, PhD, a specialist in respiratory physiotherapy. These members of the Translational Research in Respiratory Diseases Program at the RI-MUHC are developing and testing rehabilitation programs for patients with such respiratory diseases as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung disease.

These projects have led to new modalities of treatment. “An exercise program reduces breathlessness and fatigue, improves physical fitness, reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improves the patient’s overall quality of life,” Dr. Bourbeau explained. “The new research exercise unit at the CIM offers new possibilities of research development for patients with lung, cardiac and chronic diseases, and a novel approach to be tested for patients having solid organ transplant treatment.”

“We can’t thank Raymond James enough for investing in the health and well-being of Quebecers,” said Dr. Kevin Schwartzman, Director of the Respiratory Division at the MCI of the MUHC and a researcher at the RI‑MUHC. “Health care is constantly advancing. It is essential the MCI keep pace so Quebecers with acute respiratory ailments continue to receive the best care available. We consider donors like Raymond James our partners in care. Because, quite frankly, without their financial support and the support of other donors and corporations, our ability to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and fund new programs and research would be significantly curtailed.”

Read the story on the MCI Foundation website here.  

—Published July 31, 2018