Record $10 Million Gift for Health Sciences North’s Expansion, Cancer Centre Renamed “Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre”

Posted 4 October 2022 at 9:18am
left to right: Gerry Perdue, Cameron Perdue, Angela Perdue, Jason Perdue, Craig Fielding, Kartiina Ruotsalo

Record $10 Million Gift for Health Sciences North’s Expansion, Cancer Centre Renamed “Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre”

In what is the largest single donation in the history of Northern Ontario hospitals, the Fielding and Perdue family is donating $10 million to the Northern Cancer Foundation for the proposed capital redevelopment at Health Sciences North (HSN).

The announcement was made on behalf of Craig Fielding and his wife Katriina Ruotsalo, Murray Fielding, Gerry Perdue and his children Jason, Cameron and Angela.

To honour this historic gift, the cancer centre is renamed as the Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre.

Born, raised and always a proud Sudburian, son of Lily and Cliff Fielding, Jim Fielding held the position of Chairman of the Board of Alexander Centre Industries Ltd. (ACIL), Waters and associate companies which were established by his father in 1935. Jim was elected as a Director of Canadian Pacific in 1986 and served in that capacity through his 2000 re-election. He was highly respected in the business community, a caring and considerate employer who was always interested in others and gave them his time. Shirley Fielding (née Holler) passed away in 2016 at age 77. She was known for her giving nature and strong will. Loving mother of Norinne, Murray and Craig, she was the proud grandmother of Mr. Perdue’s three children, Jason, Cameron and Angela.

“Jim and Shirley had a profound impact on my life”, explained Gerry Perdue. “I know this is what my wife Norinne, who died of cancer in 2014 at age 54, would have wanted us to do. Jim died of prostate cancer in 2000 at HSN at age 62. Both received exceptional care here, as I did myself in orthopedic surgery a few years ago after an unfortunate accident. And our son Jason did part of his medical education at HSN.”

“Northerners know that HSN was built too small, and that’s a big problem. We are all getting older and that will put more pressure on HSN. When we heard about HSN’s plans to increase the number of beds and expand services for kids and mental health and addictions patients, we knew we had to help. We hope this will inspire others to support Northeastern Ontario’s academic health sciences centre. We also wanted to acknowledge Dominic Giroux’s leadership,” added Perdue.

“We are so grateful to the Fielding and Perdue family for this transformative gift,” said Dominic Giroux, President and CEO of HSN. “HSN supports cancer patients throughout the cancer journey from screening, through diagnosis and treatment and on to survivorship, palliation and end of life care. Phase 1 of our capital redevelopment includes an increase in inpatient beds which will be critical to support our cancer patients over the next 10-20 years and beyond. The expansion of NEO Kids will also provide a friendly environment for chemotherapy treatment for children.”

The previous record gift to Northern Ontario hospitals was a $5 million donation from Marcel and Frances Labelle of Cochrane to HSN in 2019. It led to the 28,000 sq ft Labelle Innovation and Learning Centre that officially opened in March.



“I want to send my sincere thanks to the Fielding and Perdue family for their incredibly generous gift to Health Sciences North. The gift will go towards their capital redevelopment project and is a historic investment in Northern Ontario hospitals that will be life changing for so many. The impact on the improved quality of care of patients being served in these communities thanks to this gift is significant. I’d also like to extend my sincere thanks to the exceptional employees and physicians at Health Sciences North who continue to go above and beyond for those who need it.” – Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario.

“With the generous donation from the Fielding and Perdue family, the redevelopment of Health Sciences North is one step closer to reality. Our government will continue to work with Health Sciences North on this exciting project to improve access to high-quality care that better meets the growing needs of patients and their families in Northeastern Ontario.” – Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier of Ontario and Minister of Health.

“When patients in Northern Ontario need care, they know that the world-class team at Health Sciences North will be there for them. This historic gift will help HSN continue to provide high-quality care to patients and their families. Congratulations HSN and thank you to the Fielding and Perdue family for your dedication to our regional academic health sciences centre.” – Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Chair of Cabinet and MPP for Nipissing.

I would personally like to thank the Fielding and Perdue family for their generous and historic donation to the Northern Cancer Foundation for the proposed capital redevelopment at Health Sciences North. We know that patients and their families from across the North will benefit greatly from this generous donation, and from the cutting edge facilities that will be available in the near future.”– Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River

“More than 1,300 patients from Timmins and the Cochrane District are admitted annually to HSN for critical care, cardiology, oncology and surgeries. Hospitals in our district value the exceptional support from clinicians and the leadership at HSN. Every year, more than 1,500 kids from the Cochrane District have to leave the North for specialized care. Patients in our area need timely admission to HSN, and should not have to travel to Southern Ontario for specialized care. For this to occur, HSN needs more capacity. Thank you to the Fielding and Perdue family for their exceptional generosity. I look forward to working with HSN and with the Chair of its Board’s Long Range Planning Committee, Tom Laughren, to make the capital redevelopment a reality.” – George Pirie, Minister of Mines, MPP for Timmins.

“HSN needs to grow so that families and their children can get high quality care close to home. Thank you to the Fielding and Perdue family for leading the way!” – Dr. Ronnie Cohn, President and Chief Executive Officer, SickKids.

“We are thrilled to see HSN is expanding much needed and highly specialized clinical capacity, especially in cardiology, oncology and paediatrics. Operating as a system with our partners in care, including strong support from HSN, enables a vibrant health care system in Northeastern Ontario. Today’s historic gift from the Fielding and Perdue family is exceptional news for the region as a whole.” – Paul Heinrich, President and Chief Executive Officer, North Bay Regional Health Centre.

“The team at West Parry Sound Health Centre works very closely with our colleagues at HSN. Over the years, the capacity issues and challenges that we have faced together initially were infrequent, maybe every three or four months. Increasingly, it’s almost an everyday occurrence. HSN, as our tertiary referral partner, requires capacity in order to not only move forward in the future, but even to get caught up with our partners in the South. It’s really important that we pay attention to health equity. But it’s more than a word. It requires action. Thank you to the Fielding and Perdue family for championing health equity for our region.” – Donald Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer, West Parry Sound Health Centre.

“As a Medical Oncologist and former Medical Director and Chief of the Algoma District Cancer Program, I am so proud to see such a generous gift from the Fielding and Perdue family. The Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeastern Cancer Centre at HSN is a key partner of the Sault Area Hospital in providing quality care to our residents. “- Dr. Silvana Spadafora, Chief of Staff, Sault Area Hospital.

“HSN offers mental health and addictions services across Sudbury, Manitoulin and Northeastern Ontario. It is challenged to fulfill its tertiary care mandate due to the lack of space. In Sudbury, mental health and addictions care is offered across five sites. This is a fragmented approach for our most vulnerable patients. The distance between sites and the age of buildings make it difficult to provide safe care for patients. HSN provides mental health care to more than 10,400 adults annually from outside the city of Greater Sudbury. HSN’s capital redevelopment will have a huge positive impact for our patients. Congratulations to the Fielding and Perdue family for helping make this possible.” – Jane Battistelli, Chief Executive Officer, Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre.

“Our Board was honored to approve the new name for the cancer centre, to recognize such an impactful and community-minded gesture.” – Daniel Giroux, Board Chair, HSN.

“Cancer impacts the lives of so many Northern families. Patients at the Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre need a right-sized hospital to continue to receive timely and quality care.” – Dr. Kristy Côté, Board Chair, Northern Cancer Foundation.

“The HSN Foundation, the NEO Kids Foundation and the Northern Cancer Foundation had already set aside $9 million for our capital redevelopment, and we have not yet staffed up and launched a multi-year fundraising campaign. Today’s announcement brings the amount already secured in the region to $19 million. This is crucial because the Ministry of Health requires approximately 25% of capital redevelopment costs to be raised locally through fundraising and municipal government contributions. This puts us firmly on that path.” – Anthony Keating, President and Chief Development Officer, Foundations and Volunteer Groups at HSN.


Additional Background

  • HSN was originally approved in 1996 as a one-site hospital. In 2004, the Ministry of Health ordered a scaled-back version of the hospital construction, reducing the approved capacity by 31%. HSN now has 14 sites in Greater Sudbury (including Memorial Hospital ordered for closure in 1996) and staff in 17 other locations across Northeastern Ontario.
  • The population aged 70 and older in Northeastern Ontario will increase by 35% by 2030, and by another 20% between 2030 and 2038.
  • 30% of HSN patients come from outside Greater Sudbury, 50% at the Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre and 60% among HSN’s cardiac patients.
  • Hospital capital projects in Ontario go through a five-stage planning and approval process. Successful capital projects can generally take up to 10 years from conception to opening. The estimated value of total costs and Ministry contributions are disclosed only after the completion of procurement processes.
  • HSN received a $500,000 Stage 1 planning grant in 2018. Following engagement with 30 user groups and 300 health professionals and Patient and Family Advisors, a 20-year Capital Master Plan was approved by the HSN Board and endorsed by Ontario Health in 2019. HSN is seeking since then a $5 million Stage 2 planning grant for Phase 1 of its capital redevelopment focused on additional beds and more space for mental health and addictions and NEO Kids. This is consistent with desired outcome #1 of the HSN/HSNRI 2019-2024 Strategic Plan.
  • The proposed capital redevelopment would enable HSN to sustain reasonable wait times for oncology surgeries in Northeastern Ontario and meet the growing inpatient treatment needs of cancer patients, ensuring a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and management of patients admitted for systemic treatment, radiation treatment, supportive care and complex malignant hematology.
  • Ontario’s 2022 Budget “Ontario’s Plan to Build” has earmarked more than $40 billion over the next 10 years in hospital infrastructure. This is $10 billion more than the commitment in the 2021 Budget.
  • Since 2017-2018, the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health have supported interim capacity measures in Greater Sudbury including funding additional hospital beds at HSN’s Ramsey Lake Health Centre and Daffodil Lodge, at Amberwood Suites and at the Clarion Hotel. Residential services at Daffodil Lodge for cancer patients who travel up to 8 hours for treatment were suspended in 2021 to make room for a new 20-bed Addictions Medicine Unit and a 20-bed Reactivation Care Unit. The Province provided $13.4 million to relocate the Children’s Treatment Centre to Southridge Mall (work completed in November 2021) and renovate the former Children’s Treatment Centre to make 52 hospital beds available by fall 2023.
  • HSN’s performance is at or above the average of Canadian teaching hospitals on 13 of 18 indicators tracked by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
  • The Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre ranks #1 among Ontario’s 14 regional cancer programs on quality improvement indicators.
  • HSN’s net assets and cash position are at their highest point since 1999. HSN’s long-term obligations are at $25 million, well below the median of Ontario’s 35 largest hospitals which last year was $132 million. HSN incurred surpluses from hospital operations since 2018-2019, eliminating an $11 million deficit.
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