When Manulife first acquired the century old, and locally founded, Dominion Life Assurance Company in 1984, they made a corporate commitment to maintain a substantial presence in Waterloo Region. Now, decades after the original agreement, Manulife continues to uphold and value their promise. Their assurance extends beyond the business, to support and invest in the community in which its Canadian headquarters are based.
A commitment exemplified through their on-going investment in healthcare, particularly cardiac care, at St. Mary’s General Hospital’s Regional Cardiac Care Centre.
As St. Mary’s longest standing corporate partner, the support of Manulife backed the evolution of cardiac care in Waterloo Region. From the original cardiac diagnostics in 2001 to the establishment of the Heart Rhythm Program today, their investments have helped to shape the Cardiac Centre into what it is now – a nationally recognized facility and a leader in best practices and patient-centered care.
“At the time the partnership began, nearly half of Manulife’s Canadian employees were based out of Waterloo. It was really important for us to get more involved.” says Bruce Gordon, former CEO of Manulife Canada and key stakeholder in developing the inaugural partnership between the two organizations in 2001. “St. Mary’s had just been named the Regional Cardiac Care Centre which meant specialized cardiac services would be available locally. It was an opportunity for us to be a part of a significant advancement in local healthcare; one that would really make an impact for the residents of Waterloo Region.”
From that decision blossomed a tremendous partnership between Manulife and St. Mary’s that has grown and evolved. “Manulife is deeply rooted in this community,” explains Marianne Harrison, CEO of Manulife Canada, “We are proud of our longstanding relationship with St. Mary’s. Our partnership means more than financial investment. It means enabling innovation and excellence in healthcare and supporting the health and well-being of individuals and families in this community.”
From 2001 – 2011, Manulife and its employees devoted countless volunteer hours, resources and, sponsorship for the Manulife Bike and Hike for Heart. Over the lifetime of this event, more than $2 million was raised in support of cardiac care at St. Mary’s.
In 2012 Manulife brought the world to Waterloo Region through the Manulife LPGA Classic. For six years, the tournament generated millions in business for this community and generously named St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation as their official charity partner for the duration of its run. This important partnership provided two fundamental things for St. Mary’s: a platform to help raise awareness in the community about the serious risks of heart disease, particularly among women, and, more than $2 million in support of St. Mary’s latest cardiac priority, the Heart Rhythm Program.
Last year, in recognition of their on-going investment in cardiac excellence, Manulife was awarded the inaugural Leadership in Philanthropy Award by St. Mary’s General Hospital Foundation; a top honor designated for those who have played an integral role in the advancement of cardiac care at St. Mary’s.
“We look forward to many more years of successful collaboration with St. Mary’s and appreciate that it is community support that enables excellence in healthcare locally,” adds Marianne ,“We invest because we believe it is important to support this community and because we know our support helps save lives every year.”