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Canadian couple makes major donation to the Royal University Hospital

For nearly four decades, patients from across Saskatchewan requiring the most complex and specialized physical and mental health care have been supported on their journeys at the Royal University Hospital by Leslie and Irene Dubé. The couple’s enduring commitment to RUH and its patients is nearing $8 million and thanks to their most recent donation of $2 million, the hospital was able to purchase its first dual modality (SPECT-CT) diagnostic imaging scanner.

“We are extremely grateful to Leslie and Irene for their longstanding support, incredible kindness, and selfless giving in nurturing patient care excellence and innovation at RUH,” said Jennifer Molloy, CEO, Royal University Hospital Foundation. “Their generosity is more than a donation, it is an investment in a healthier tomorrow for residents of Saskatchewan, helping ensure patients have access to the most advanced life-saving care at RUH when they most need it.”

SPECT-CT scanners help doctors make earlier and more accurate diagnosis and treatment plans for patients with life-threatening conditions involving the heart, lungs, brain, and various cancers, for example. This leading-edge technology merges two separate scanning functions to produce a single high-quality 3-dimensional picture that simultaneously shows how an organ is functioning and the precise location and size of abnormalities.

Les and Irene’s vision goes further with a history of selfless giving and an ongoing commitment to enhancing the patient and family experience at RUH. The following are a few of the couple’s notable donations that have made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of patients and their families from across the province:

  • 2024 – SPECT-CT Imaging Scanner: $2 million gift to purchase RUH’s first dual modality SPECT-CT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography – Computed Tomography) imaging scanner used in the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of various cancers, neurological tumours; pulmonary embolisms, seizure disorders, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, to name a few examples. In 2023, RUH’s SPECT cameras purchased almost 20 years ago generated more than 7,700 scans performed on nearly 4,500 patients. The new SPECT-CT will shorten scan times, generate higher image quality, and lower radiopharmaceutical and x-ray doses needed during the scans.
  • 2019 – Community Mental Health Endowment: $1 million contribution establishing the Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre Community Mental Health Endowment for clinical, teaching, and research priorities at The Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health at Royal University Hospital.
  • 2017 – Mental Health Assessment/Short Stay Units: $1 million donation to create a temporary seven-bed unit to ensure patients with emergent mental health concerns had a quiet, calmer assessment and treatment environment before the opening of the new Adult Emergency Department in 2019. It was transformed into a short-stay acute mental health unit that opened in 2021 to accommodate patients with, for example, a drug-induced psychosis, a need to adjust medications, or to stabilize symptoms of a significant psychiatric disorder.
  • 2016 – Rural and Remote Tele-Robotic Ultrasound Imaging System: $300,000 gift supporting the purchase of the first MELODY® ultrasound imaging system used to deliver real-time medical assessment, diagnosis and care management to patients living in remote and rural communities, propelling RUH and U of S College of Medicine to the forefront of telerobotic medical imaging in North America.
  • 2011 – ICU Vital Sign Monitors: $500,000 donation completed the $2.5 million Royal Vital Care Campaign by purchasing 17 new vital sign monitors and central monitoring equipment, and renovations to the family waiting rooms in the newly expanded Intensive Care Unit.
  • 2006 – Irene and Leslie Dubé Centre for  Mental Health: $3 million leadership gift launched the Future in Mind Campaign that contributed more than $8 million, 35 percent of the local contribution, for costs associated with building a new adult, youth, and child mental health inpatient unit that opened in 2010 adjacent to RUH. In 2022–23, the 71-bed unit provided care to more than 1,200 patients, with the average length of stay being 17 days.
  • 1987 – Hospital Expansion: $10,000 donation to support funding for two Surgery Unit beds.

Through their entrepreneurial spirit, community service, and philanthropy, Leslie and Irene have set an inspiring example for charitable leadership in Canada. As their business, the Concorde Group of Companies, diversified across western Canada, the couple never lost sight of the need and desire to share their blessings with the most vulnerable in their home, Saskatoon. Polite Canada recognizes and thanks Les and Irene for their dedication to supporting good causes and spreading the gift of health.

Visit the Royal University Hospital Foundation website