University of Calgary

Prevention first step for a heart healthy community

December 3, 2007

Husky Energy makes a $1 million donation to the Stephenson Cardiovascular MR Centre

Husky Energy today announced a $1 million gift to the Stephenson Cardiovascular MR Centre, at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, through Reach!, the joint fundraising initiative of the Calgary Health Region and the University of Calgary. Husky Energy’s support of the Centre will lay the groundwork for the Husky Energy Research Program for the Early Detection of Cardiovascular Risk.

“Husky’s support for the cardiovascular research program is based on our core corporate value as a responsible corporate citizen,” says John C.S. Lau, President & Chief Executive Officer of Husky Energy. “I’m pleased that the program will bring together renowned leaders in epidemiology, preventative molecular biology and advanced imaging, as well as researchers to establish an individualized preventative health care strategy.”

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in North America and the financial strain placed on our health care system by this disease is enormous. Current cardiovascular medicine focuses on detecting and treating advanced stages of the disease instead of prevention. Additionally, diagnostic tools are rarely able to identify early risk markers in apparently healthy individuals. As a result, cardiovascular diseases are currently detected at a late stage – when irreversible loss of organ function has occurred, quality of life is limited, life expectancy is reduced, and treatment is expensive.

The Husky Energy donation will be used to develop a heart disease prevention program that uses imaging for detecting risk and early stages of heart disease. The Program will bring more of the world’s best heart health researchers to Calgary, develop non-invasive tests and biomarkers to measure cardiovascular health, buy new equipment, support clinical studies, and raise community awareness about cardiovascular disease.

"Husky Energy’s generous gift truly enables us to work on the big picture – we will work on a whole new cardiovascular health care strategy that is focused on prevention instead of treatment,” says Dr. Matthias Friedrich, Director of the Stephenson Cardiovascular MR Centre. “For Albertans, this means more healthy years and decreased health care costs.”

“Husky’s support of the Stephenson Cardiovascular MR Centre is testament to the value of philanthropic support for health care initiatives. The Centre itself was initially launched through the philanthropic support of Calgary businessman Ken Stephenson, his partner Yvonne Kendrick and many other visionary Calgarians who funded the cardiovascular MRI centre,” says Bill Sembo, Co-chair of Reach!. “Through this most recent gift from Husky, we will be able to achieve a new world standard of heart health by developing a preventive strategy, one that will ultimately impact the lives of many Albertans and their families.”

“It is indeed a great compliment to the Centre and its team to be chosen by Husky Energy as a recipient of this million dollar donation,” says Ken Stephenson. “The Centre will demonstrate its tremendous gratitude by providing the best possible stewardship for this investment. The Early Detection of Cardiovascular Risk program will be foundational for the new paradigm of addressing prevention first.”