Interested donors are strongly encouraged to consult with Advancement staff at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), Lakehead University, or Laurentian University to determine eligibility.
Memorial gifts pay tribute to the memory of a person who has passed away, and can be used to express sympathy to the family. Many individuals choose to create memorial awards to support medicine and health care as particularly important to the person being remembered. The following is one example.
A living memory of Northern spirit and perseverance
The late Dr. Afrodite « Dede » Tsianou was a trailblazer, breaking boundaries to make dreams come true for herself and the people she met along life’s journey. To continue her generosity in helping others, her close friend, Dr. Catherine Mitchell, has established a NOSM bursary in Dede’s honour.
« Dede was my mentor and my inspiration, » says Mitchell. This encouragement helped Mitchell to also graduate from McMaster’s medical school in 1996 as an internist and geriatrician, establishing her practice in Thunder Bay in 2000.
Mitchell hopes that this NOSM bursary will ease the expenses of future northern colleagues. « Northern Ontario needs more doctors. Hopefully, this bursary will fill that need. »
NOSM is pleased to accept gifts that honour important people in your life. Examples include birthday celebrations, retirements, or just to simply say thank you.
Dr. Avdesh Mathur recently enjoyed an unforgettable evening when a retirement celebration was held in his honour. Roasts and toasts to the Sudbury physician provided memories and highlights of a successful career. The evening’s biggest surprise was unveiled when friends and colleagues of Dr. Mathur revealed that they had combined funds and established a bursary, in his honour, to benefit students of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Over $10,000 had been collected, and the bursary continues to grow.
Dr. Mathur is in good company. Proceeds from a March symposium on cancer awareness were donated to the Dr. Dhaliwal Bursary, which was created in honour of the doctor’s exceptional service to cancer care in Northwestern Ontario. A similar bursary celebrates Dr. Rayuda Koka’s service in Sudbury. It was established through support from Dr. Koka’s friends, business associates and fellow members of the Sunrisers of Sudbury Rotary Club. These living tributes, honouring the meaningful work of Northern Ontario physicians, will assist medical students in Northern Ontario as they pursue a medical education.
Several businesses have come forward to support medical students. Whether located within Northern Ontario or beyond, each company contributed based on a desire to advance education and health care in the North. Steel 2000 Inc. of Sudbury is one of the hundreds of businesses supporting medical students of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
As President of Steel 2000 Inc., and as a 1988 graduate of Laurentian University’s Commerce program, Richard Bellrose understands the needs of medical students and the needs of his community.
« There is a shortage of doctors, notably family physicians, in the Sudbury area, » he explains. « As we get older we need medical attention more often. With the exodus of our young, talented people to the South, it is very important to try to hold on to our youth by offering quality post-secondary education. »
As Director of Laurentian University’s Alumni Association, Bellrose serves as an advocate for students. He is aware of how many students struggle financially. Medical students in particular have years of education before they can start earning a living.
There are many examples of private citizens who, for a variety of reasons, have provided a donation to the Northern Ontario School of Medicine Bursary Fund. Each story is a compelling one. These individuals hail from a vast range of communities, backgrounds and professions. Some, such as Helen Slattery, gave because their own lives were affected by the generosity of another.
There is truth to the saying that giving begets giving, and no one embodies this better than Helen Slattery. « I wanted to go to university in the 1940s, » she says from her Toronto home, « but I didn’t have the money for the tuition, and I just couldn’t ask my parents for it – they didn’t have it! »
A bursary dropped « out of the blue » into her lap, enabling her to attend two years of university without financial hardship. This unexpected gift allowed Slattery to graduate in social work from St. Michael’s College.
Until she married and changed her career to that of a full-time mother and homemaker, Slattery practiced her profession in Toronto. One of her clients, a young Aboriginal boy, inspired her to learn all she could about Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. But beyond her professional and volunteer work, she felt that she had little opportunity to be of help.
NOSM welcomes gifts for the future. Planned gifts are charitable donations that are created during the donor’s lifetime, but are not available until sometime in the future.
Planned gift to honour medical visionaries
Through a planned gift, Robin Smith will create two medical school bursaries in honour of dedicated and well-respected physicians who have made significant contributions to the health and well-being of people: Dr. John Augustine and the late Dr. Shirley Inouye. « Dr. Augustine, with his gentle persuasion and tenacity, had worked for many years to get a medical school in Northern Ontario. Now that his dream has become a reality, this NOSM bursary will be a lasting tribute to him, » says Smith.
The second bursary is named after the late Dr. Inouye. « Dr. Inouye was a wonderful medical practitioner who gave a lot back to her community. Although she did not have children of her own, she brought thousands of children into this world, throughout her medical career, » explains Smith.
These two medical bursaries are in addition to ten awards Smith has set up for other faculties. The awards will be realized in the future – at the time of his passing – when they will become part of an estate endowment.
As an alumnus of Lakehead University, Smith wants to give back to the community that supported him. Lakehead’s bursary program provided him with a way to recognize people who have made a difference in his life and at the same time, give similar opportunities to a student.
« For many of us, universities in Northern Ontario opened the door and put us on the road to success, » says Smith, who now encourages other alumni to consider establishing bursaries and scholarships through estate planning.
Clubs and Associations
Although service clubs and associations have unique mandates and traditions, the common thread that binds many of these groups is their community dedication and goodwill. Over and over again, these organizations have proven Northern Ontario is home to generous individuals with a desire to make the community the best it can be.
Club fostering a vision for the Francophone community
For the Clubs Richelieu du Moyen-Nord, establishing a medical school bursary is a perfect opportunity to foster their vision for the Francophone community in Northern Ontario. The clubs have joined their financial forces together to create the Bourse Richelieu.
« We are hopeful that the Bourse Richelieu (or Richelieu Bursary) will encourage Francophone youth from Northern Ontario to consider a medical career, » says Gratien Allaire, President of Club Richelieu du Sudbury (founded in 1947). « We hope our bursary will help them enroll at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and remain in the area to serve our French-Canadian population. »
« Considering the high Francophone population in Northern Ontario, it makes sense to have more French-speaking doctors. This is why we have designated the Bourse Richelieu as a Francophone bursary, » explains Allaire.
Strength in Numbers
Groups may choose to band together to create student awards. For example, Lakehead University’s Alumni Association put the call out to all graduates to join together to support students of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Their goal is to encourage 40 individuals to join together to create a bursary for a NOSM student. Lakehead nursing and master of arts graduate Frances Picherack says, « The Northern Ontario School of Medicine will bring further prestige to the University and its alumni. It will also help to address the doctor shortage and improve the quality of health care for all Northerners. I am happy to support this Award. »
Donations of any size may be directed toward a general fund that is accessible to students based on financial need. In memoriam or tribute gifts can also be made to the General Fund. Unless you wish your gift to be anonymous, family members will be informed of your gift by an acknowledgement card or by letter.
The Francophone Reference Group of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine has established the Maureen Lacroix Francophone Bursary. Individuals interested in donating towards a fund which will benefit Francophone students are welcome to contribute to the Bourse Communautaire Francophone.