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For Immediate Release


March 10, 2008

Office of the Premier

University of British Columbia

Vancouver Coastal Health




VANCOUVER – Building on a commitment made in the throne speech, the Province is providing a one-time grant of $25 million towards a new world-class Centre for Brain Health to be built at UBC Hospital, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.


            “Understanding the causes and preventing and treating a multitude of brain diseases is a critical step in our ongoing efforts to improve health care and disease prevention in our province,” said Campbell. “Close to 50 per cent of British Columbians have been touched by brain diseases, either directly or indirectly, often with devastating outcomes.  This new facility will be Canada’s leading centre for brain research, diagnosis and treatment and pave the way as a centre of excellence for the future.” 


This new facility will be unique in Canada as a patient-focused facility, combining patient care with clinical research and basic research in both psychiatric and neurological disorders. Patients will benefit from this direct collaboration between research and clinical services to patients.


“The Centre for Brain Health will improve outcomes for patients,” said Ida Goodreau, president and CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health. “It will allow us to provide one-stop access for both neurological and psychiatric services and, by locating research with patient care, we can accelerate the pace of discovery and bring new treatments to the bedside as quickly as possible. What is also greatly exciting is the advancement of new knowledge that will lead to strategies to prevent brain diseases from occurring in healthy populations.”


The new centre will build on the success of the Brain Research Centre, a world-renowned research facility representing a partnership between the Province, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.


“The investment being announced today by the provincial government will help improve quality of life for patients with brain diseases and their families,” said Professor Stephen Toope, president of UBC. “It builds on the foundation of research success we have established at the

Brain Research Centre and further establishes UBC as an international leader in this important field of research.”


The Centre for Brain Health will include an ambulatory clinic and short-stay beds for patients with brain diseases that are fully integrated with data management, clinical trials, biobanking, genotyping and functional imaging. Teams of health professionals who specialize in both diseases of the brain (neurology) and of the mind (psychiatry) will combine their expertise allowing for optimal treatment for patients as researchers will back up clinicians and be able to share data and identify patients who will benefit the most from new procedures.


“As an organization committed to improving our understanding of the brain and brain health, we commend this investment,” said Rosemary Rawnsley, executive director of the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “In the face of the rising tide of dementia, we look forward to having the opportunity to partner with the new centre in translating research into action.”


“I am very encouraged to see that government is paying close attention to brain health,” said Diane Robinson, executive director of the Parkinson’s Society British Columbia. “Any work and research that can be done under one roof on all neurodegenerative disorders will assist in gaining insight as to the cause of these disorders, and perhaps new treatments. The Centre for Brain Health will obviously play a key role and be most welcome.”






Dale Steeves

Communications Director

Office of the Premier

250 387-6605


Lisa Carver


Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

604 319-7533



Catherine Loiacono

Senior Communications Co-ordinator /Public Affairs

University of British Columbia

604 822-2644

604 209-3048 (cell)


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