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Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix commits $1.5 million in support of Motherisk

Posted On September 24, 2010

Gift enables SickKids program to expand local helpline nationally.

TORONTO, ON, Friday, September 24, 2010 – At an event on Thursday, September 23rd at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Motherisk celebrated its 25th birthday and received a $1.5 million gift from Shoppers Drug Mart.

This generous gift will enable Motherisk to expand its helpline for pregnant and breastfeeding women from a local line to a national, bilingual, toll-free line at 1-877-439-2744. A portion of the gift will also go toward Motherisk research. Currently, Motherisk professionals answer approximately 200 calls daily about pregnancy and breastfeeding. Calls are answered all day, every day by trained pharmacology professionals at SickKids.

Research and counselling at Motherisk help ensure safe medical treatment for pregnant and breastfeeding women and a healthy start for every baby.

“We’re proud of our achievements over the last 25 years, many of which were made possible by our generous donors including Duchesnay, Brewers Association of Canada and now Shoppers Drug Mart,” said Dr. Gideon Koren, founder of Motherisk. “Our helpline is one of our most successful initiatives to date and having the funds to provide the service toll-free, nationally in our two official languages means many, many more pregnant and nursing mothers can benefit from our counselling and services.”

Motherisk, established in 1985 at SickKids, provides counselling services, clinical research and education surrounding risks to a fetus or infant from exposure to drugs, chemicals, diseases, radiation and environmental agents to expectant and breast-feeding mothers and physicians. Recognized as the pre-eminent international centre for the study of the safety or risk of medications used during pregnancy and breastfeeding, Motherisk has counselled more than half a million women, families and physicians since its inception.

“Shoppers Drug Mart is committed to bringing awareness to and strengthening the health and wellness of Canadian women,” said Mary-Alice Vuicic, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development. “Supporting Motherisk allows us to help women across Canada by providing critical information services during one of the most important times of their lives: motherhood.”

Motherisk’s new toll-free helpline is now available to all Canadians. Women seeking information can call 1-877-439-2744 or visit www.motherisk.org. In addition, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix locations will distribute Wallet Guides containing valuable information for customers about medication safety during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant are encouraged to pick one up at their local Shoppers Drug Mart or Pharmaprix store.

“Research, education and care are inextricably linked and the Motherisk program is a great example of how each is linked to the other,” said Ted Garrard, president and CEO of SickKids Foundation. “SickKids Foundation is grateful to have so many incredible donors, like Shoppers Drug Mart, to support these pillars and help continue to make SickKids one of the best paediatric hospitals in the world.”

Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With more than 1,180 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The Company also licenses or owns more than 59 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and eight luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company also owns and operates 63 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities in Ontario and Alberta.

SickKids Foundation

Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation is the fundraising organization for The Hospital for Sick Children - one of Canada's most research-intensive hospitals and the largest centre dedicated to improving children's health in the country.

The Foundation's fundraising is driven by the belief that improving the health and wellbeing of children is one of the most powerful ways to improve society.

Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for The Hospital for Sick Children. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010, SickKids Foundation made an investment of $52.5 million in children's health research, education and care. A direct result of community support, this is one of the largest investments in paediatric health care and one of the largest contributions to a hospital anywhere in Canada.

In addition to its support of The Hospital for Sick Children, the Foundation has a mandate to support children’s health on a national basis. Through its National Grants Program, SickKids Foundation has directed more than $75 million to paediatric researchers across Canada over the past 38 years.