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CIBC donates $100,000 to the new Breast Health Centre at Stratford General Hospital

Patients will receive improved breast-related care in a single location

STRATFORD, ON, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX;NYSE) is pleased to donate $100,000 for a Breast Health Centre in the new north wing of the hospital that will bring breast-related disciplines together in a single location. For patients, this means better coordination of care during a very stressful time. For referring physicians, it will mean access to all services and technology needed to investigate, diagnose and treat a breast problem for a patient. CIBC's commitment names the Breast Health Centre's reception and waiting room areas-the first point of contact by patients.

CIBC's donation is to the "Heart & Soul Campaign" launched by the Stratford General Hospital Foundation with a goal to raise $20 million for a new and revitalized hospital, including equipment and furnishings. CIBC's gift brings the total amount raised to date to $18.5 million.

"At CIBC, we are passionate about helping to create a future without breast cancer by actively supporting breast cancer research, education and treatment," said Sonia Baxendale, CIBC's Senior Executive Vice-President and President of CIBC Retail Markets. "We are proud that our donation will help to enhance breast cancer care for patients from Huron, Perth and surrounding counties who use the Stratford General Hospital."

The Breast Health Centre will include two new ultrasound machines for the detection of breast cancer and other abnormalities. On entering the CIBC Reception and Waiting Room, patients will have access to exam rooms, a biopsy room, education space, ultrasound rooms, counseling/assessment space, change areas, and a mammography room with digital technology.

"CIBC's generous donation is bringing us closer to our goal of making every woman's breast health care experience as smooth and convenient as possible in a calm, private, comfortable setting, staffed with skilled professionals using state-of-the-art equipment," said Andrea Page, Executive Director of the Stratford General Hospital Foundation. "At the CIBC Reception and Waiting Room there will be a warm and welcoming environment to ensure decreased stress levels for both the patient and their family. Timely results and a caring knowledgeable staff to help guide the patient through the entire process are the cornerstone of the patient-centred Breast Health Centre."

CIBC's history of supporting the breast cancer cause dates back to 1992 with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. Since then, CIBC employees have raised more than $20 million for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, which has invested $170 million in breast cancer research, education and awareness programs. In the last five years, CIBC has also committed $22 million to hospitals and research centres across Canada, including $5 million towards breast cancer treatment and research.

The Breast Health Centre is part of a $65 million project undertaken by the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance that will completely revitalize the core areas of the Stratford General Hospital. The project will result in a new, expanded hospital with state-of-the-art equipment that will mean improved patient care, reduced wait times, and more care closer to home. Plans include a new wing to house the Emergency Department, medical imaging, and a comprehensive surgical service, while the East building will house a new Intensive Care Unit, a new mental health unit and an expanded maternal/child program.

The construction project will enable the hospital to cope with more patients, an aging population and retention/recruitment pressures. Stratford General Hospital is a regional referral centre and each year about 50,000 patients use the services which are part of this redevelopment. The hospital catchment area has a population of 120,000 and is largely rural; it includes Huron, Perth, Oxford and parts of Middlesex and Bruce-Wellington counties.

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, the CIBC Children's Foundation and United Way, we are investing in the social and economic development of communities across the country. In 2008, CIBC group of companies contributed more than $36 million worldwide to charitable and non-profit initiatives. Of this, more than $27 million was invested in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. To learn more, visit

For further information: Andrea Page, Executive Director, Stratford General Hospital Foundation, Tel: (519) 272-8210 ext 2627 or; or Doug Maybee, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, CIBC, Tel: (416) 980-7458,