Advancing urological oncology research at St. Joe’s

HAMILTON, ON – Yesterday, a grateful St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton patient and local business owner, Mr. John Ribson, announced a $1 million commitment to research at St. Joseph’s.  Mr. Ribson, who is President and CEO of 29 Wendy’s Restaurants in Hamilton, Burlington, Toronto and the surrounding area, has been a St. Joe’s patient for over 20 years after being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1998. To express gratitude for the care he’s received over the years, Mr. Ribson made the gift to help establish the Urological Oncology Research Centre (UORC) which will be the home of innovative research into bladder, kidney and prostate cancers at St. Joe’s.

“I am thankful to be able to give back to the Hospital, the physicians and the researchers that helped save my life and to hopefully help them save even more lives through new research,” shared Mr. Ribson. “I believe it is important to support causes that are close to our hearts and ones that can have an impact in our community. I hope to inspire others, including the researchers and staff at St. Joe’s, to continue to push the boundaries and find new treatments through innovative research.”

St. Joe’s urological oncology program supports over 2 million people living in South Central Ontario. The UORC will be part of the McMaster Institute of Urology at St. Joe’s, a leader in urological care, with high patient volumes, leading-edge clinicians and surgeons and renowned basic scientists. A coordinated centre will bring together diagnostic testing to better identify and track disease progression, advance treatment and management, prevent disease progression and bring new discoveries to patients as quickly as possible.  The UORC will be one of Ontario’s leading urological oncology research sites.

“Not only do we want to stop urological cancers from spreading, we want to learn how to prevent them from occurring in the first place,” said Dr. Anil Kapoor, Director of Research in the Division of Urology, and lead of the UORC. “Twenty years ago we didn’t have many treatment options for urological cancers but with research we have increased cure rates and discovered better disease management. While many breakthroughs have taken place, funding for additional research in this area will help us to uncover so much more.”

In recognition of Mr. Ribson’s generosity, St. Joe’s named the Minor Procedures Suite in the Surgical Centre, the “John Ribson Minor Procedures Suite”.  A celebration of Mr. Ribson’s generous donation and the unveiling of the named space took place at a private event Tuesday evening.  There, Ms. Sera Filice-Armenio, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, shared: “We are grateful for and inspired by Mr. Ribson’s commitment to St. Joseph’s and to the future of urological oncology treatments, patient care and research.  This gift will make a difference in the lives of countless patients in our community and beyond our borders.”

To-date, just over $2 million, of the $5 million fundraising goal, has been raised for the UORC.


About St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and its Foundation

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is an acute care, teaching and research hospital with three sites and is affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and Mohawk College. The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton was established in 2014 and, recognized as a research hub, has been named one Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals for seven years in a row. For more information, visit:  St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation raises and stewards funds to support exemplary patient care, research, equipment and education at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and in the communities we are honoured to serve. Since 1970, the Foundation has reached out to the community for donations, big and small, to help our Hospital acquire new equipment, fund patient care programs, build new facilities, and conduct vital research programs.  To learn more, visit:

For media inquiries, contact:

Maria Hayes
Senior Communications Specialist
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
905-522-1155 ext. 33506

Ashley Lewis
Communications Officer
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation
905-522-1155 ext. 35949