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Cancer patients to benefit from CIBC's $150,000 donation to University Hospitals Kingston Foundation's Together We Can campaign

    More treatment options, better access and comfort for regional cancer

    KINGSTON, ON, June 18 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) is donating $150,000 to
the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation's Together We Can fundraising
campaign for the redevelopment of Kingston's hospitals. The funds are
specifically targeted for the expansion of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern
Ontario at Kingston General Hospital.
    The doubling of facilities devoted to the care of cancer patients at the
Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario is expected to help accommodate the
increasing numbers of cancer patients in the region. In 2004, annual visits to
the Centre numbered more than 75,000. Within the next 10 years, the number of
visits is projected to be more than 104,000.
    "CIBC's commitment to breast cancer research, education and patient
treatment is well known through the annual Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
CIBC Run for the Cure. We are honoured that they have decided to make a
generous contribution toward the Cancer Centre expansion," said Peter Merkley,
Chair of the Foundation. "CIBC's donation will help us improve our facilities
to cope with the anticipated surge in diagnosed cancer cases in our region,
and provide better learning experiences for health care professionals in
training and more opportunities for cancer research."
    "We are proud to help make the Foundation's vision a reality," said
Sylvain Vinet, CIBC's Senior Vice-President of Retail Markets for Eastern
Canada. "Doubling the size of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario will
give it the much-needed ability to manage increasing patient numbers and to
give those cancer patients better treatment, improved care and greater
    Today's gift brings CIBC's total commitment to Kingston's three hospitals
to more than $600,000.

    CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our
employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities
through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of
employees. With a strategic focus on youth, education and health, and employee
commitment to causes including the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run
for the Cure, United Way and the CIBC World Markets Children's Miracle
Foundation, we are investing in the social and economic development of
communities across the country. In 2007, CIBC group of companies contributed
more than $36 million worldwide to charitable organizations and community
initiatives. Of this, $27 million was invested in Canada to support national,
regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit

    University Hospitals Kingston Foundation is the fundraising arm for Hotel
Dieu Hospital, Kingston General Hospital and Providence Care. Created in 2005,
the Foundation raises money for programs, equipment, education and research
that benefit the 500,000 people in Kingston and Southeastern Ontario served by
the three teaching hospitals. To find out more about giving opportunities or
to make a donation, call 613-549-5452 or toll-free 866-549-5452 or go online

    See attached backgrounder on the expansion of the Cancer Centre of
Southeastern Ontario.BACKGROUNDER
           Expansion of the Cancer Centre of Southeastern OntarioOUR SITUATION

    We need a new Cancer Centre
    It's been 30 years since the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario opened
its doors in the Burr Wing at KGH. Since then our Cancer Centre has become one
of the best in Ontario. The reason is a combination of our people, our
programs and our education and research connections to Queen's University. But
one thing is holding our Cancer Centre back - our overcrowded facility. As
opportunities to improve cancer treatment and prevention have grown, the
physical facility hasn't kept pace. We need a new Cancer Centre.

    A regional cancer powerhouse
    From Trenton to Prescott and Kingston to Bancroft, our Cancer Centre is
the hub for Southeastern Ontario's regional cancer program, which connects our
Cancer Centre to hospitals and community clinics throughout the area. It
provides comprehensive outpatient cancer care across our region including:
radiation, chemotherapy, palliative and supportive care, ambulatory cancer
surgery and pediatric chemotherapy. And it provides in-patient and diagnostic
services such as specialized cancer surgery, regional pathology services and
stem cell transplants. It also participates in valuable research in areas such
as clinical trials, health services, palliative care and radiation physics.
Through its connection to Queen's University and other institutions the Cancer
Centre is also a regional education centre for all kinds of health care
professionals including nurses, oncologists, pharmacists, radiation
therapists, dieticians and others. It also delivers a host of education
services for patients and families.

    The need has never been greater
    One out of every three Ontarians will be diagnosed with cancer at some
time in their lives. Two out of three Ontario households have been touched by
cancer. With our aging population cancer's reach is growing. Roughly 85
percent of new cancer cases occur in people aged 50 or older. It is expected
that the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases will grow by about 65 percent
by 2020 and 100 percent by 2028. Today, someone in Ontario is diagnosed with
cancer every eight minutes. Ten years from now, it will be every six minutes.
Never has there been such a need for improved cancer treatment in our region.
    The surge of cancer cases is actually higher in our region than elsewhere
in the province. The average annual growth in new patients should be roughly
three to four per cent. The number of patients at our Cancer Centre needing
chemotherapy, for example, is increasing at a rate of eight to 10 percent. The
primary reason is that our region is a retirement destination and has a higher
proportion of seniors than other parts of Ontario. It also has a higher
prevalence of people who are overweight and a higher proportion of daily
smokers. Taken together, it means our Cancer Centre faces an even greater
challenge than other regions in Ontario.

    A crowded place
    Every day, our Cancer Centre administers approximately 60 Chemotherapy
treatments and over 100 radiation treatments. There are more than 75,000
patient visits every year and the number is growing. Within the next 10 years,
the number of visits is projected to be about 105,000 visits. More than three
times as many patients are seen at the centre today than when it first opened
in 1977, but it is operating in essentially the same space as when it moved to
its present location more than 30 years ago. It's overcrowded. The facility is
barely meeting the current need of cancer patients and it has no capacity to
absorb increasing patient volumes.
    Partly, this is a good news story. New therapies are improving outcomes,
meaning that people with cancer are living longer than ever before. The
overall five-year survival rate for patients with cancer now exceeds 50 per
cent for most cancers. However, it also means that there are more and often
longer treatments for patients, putting additional stress on the facility.
    The Ontario Cancer Plan, created in 2004 and administered by Cancer Care
Ontario, was the first of its kind in Canada - a comprehensive roadmap for how
health care providers and government should work together to prevent cancer
and care for cancer patients today and tomorrow. Our Cancer Centre is an
important part of that plan. However, it is the only cancer centre in Ontario
that hasn't seen a major expansion or redevelopment. Our facilities are well
below the standards for similar cancer treatment centres in Ontario. Quality
measures such as infection control and occupational health and safety have
suffered as a result. So, too, has recruitment and retention of health care
professionals. The Centre can't accommodate new staff.

    Lack of comfort and privacy
    This year, more than 1,600 patients will receive radiation treatment at
the Cancer Centre. They come for treatment every day for six to eight weeks.
Treatment, consultation and waiting areas are all overcrowded and don't
provide much in the way of space for patients' families. In the existing
space, it's hard to introduce new technologies that will save time and give
greater comfort to patients.
    The patient experience for those who receive chemotherapy treatments
isn't any better. Some chemotherapy drugs take up to eight hours to
administer. It's an exhausting process made more so by the space in which it
is delivered - the crowded chemotherapy suite where there are no windows and
little privacy.

    No dedicated children's space
    Nowhere are the space constraints more visible than our children's cancer
services. Our Cancer Centre is the only one in Ontario where children receive
treatment in an adult cancer clinic. The pediatric clinic is held two days a
week. The rest of the time this space is used for adult clinics. It's hard to
make an adult space into a child-friendly space. We need to give the children
a dedicated place to play, to soothe their fears, and, if necessary, to dry
their tears.

    Limited palliative and supportive care spaces
    Cancer can kill. When the news is bad, patients and their families need
time to cope and space in which to do it. Our Cancer Centre doesn't have a
designated palliative or supportive care place where patients can seek comfort
from staff, support groups or their families and friends.

    Extra radiation machines are needed
    The radiation treatment machines at the Cancer Centre are
state-of-the-art. The problem is that there just aren't enough of them. It's
not just the increasing patient load that is stretching them to the limit;
it's the nature of the machines themselves, which take months to be activated
and months to be de-commissioned. That makes managing the flow of patients
through the radiation suites a challenge.

    Leading research
    Many people may not be aware, but our Cancer Centre is at the forefront
of cancer research in Canada. It is affiliated with the Clinical Trials Group
of the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Cancer Research Institute
at Queen's University, both located just a block away. Researchers, faculty
and students from both research institutes conduct a wide range of research
that benefits our patients - from population studies of cancer, through tumor
biology and clinical trials, to outcomes and health services research. That's
why our Cancer Centre is one of the best in Ontario. We're fortunate to have
such a resource in our region.

    Our people make the difference
    Our Cancer Centre may be overcrowded and aging but the care cancer
patients receive is second-to-none. The reason is our staff. They bring their
dedication and compassion to patients and their families. That's what makes
the difference. Now it's time to give our people the tools they need to do
even more.OUR VISION

    A new Cancer Centre
    We're doubling the size of the Cancer Centre. It will be a patient-focused
facility providing improved care, comfort, treatment, education and clinical
research in new and renovated space. And it will give the Cancer Centre the
ability to manage increasing patient numbers.

    -  The Burr Wing will be renovated and new floors will be added. That
       will give the Cancer Centre three floors of space - radiation
       treatment in the basement, clinic space and chemotherapy treatment on
       the first floor and administration on the second floor.

    -  The building will be reoriented with the addition of an entranceway
       and a circular driveway. Inside, renovations will transform the
       existing space, providing greater comfort and privacy, safer
       experiences for patients and staff, meeting rooms for support groups
       and dedicated areas for palliative and supportive care.

    -  Children's services will be located on the first floor and include
       pediatric exam rooms, treatment space and a large, well-equipped,
       child-friendly playroom dedicated for patients and their siblings.

    -  The new space will include better education and research facilities
       for health care professionals, including more space for clinical

    -  The Chemotherapy treatment suite will move from the crowded,
       windowless basement to spacious, bright surroundings with large
       windows facing Lake Ontario. The treatment area will double in size
       and consultation rooms will be larger to better accommodate patients
       and their companions, as well as the needs of the mobility-challenged.
       The rooms will feature computer screens where doctors can review the
       most recent radiology images. Some rooms will be set up for
       video-conferencing so physicians can consult with colleagues and
       patients at other sites. And new features will be added to provide the
       latest infection control.

    -  Two new radiation treatment bunkers will be added. One will house a
       fifth radiation machine and the other, referred to as a swing bunker,
       will remain empty to be used to house a replacement machine when one
       of the other machines is being replaced. This will help smooth the
       treatment capacity flow of the Centre.

    -  A new high-dose brachytherapy suite will also be added. Brachytherapy
       involves inserting radiation seeds temporarily into patients so that a
       higher dose of radiation treatment can be delivered more directly to
       the area of the tumour. This treatment delivers better, more
       comfortable care for some patients with gynecological, lung and breast
       cancers, many of whom currently have to travel elsewhere for this
For further information:
For further information: Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications
and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-7458,; or John
Suart, Marketing & Communications, University Hospitals Kingston Foundation,
Tel: (613) 549-5452 Ext. 5908,