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Chisholm Uses IWK 250 for Surprise $1,000,000 Donation

News Release/Photo by McCarthy Photographic

Antigonish, NS – A very generous, surprise donation helped kick-off the IWK 250 on Saturday night at Riverside International Speedway. John Nova Chisholm, a well-known philanthropist, owner of the speedway and co-founder of the IWK 250, announced the family is contributing $1 million to support the development of a new state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the IWK Health Centre.

Premature infants account for a large number of patients at the IWK – more than 900 babies out of the 5000 infants delivered at the IWK each year. This is a statistic that hits close to home for the Chisholm family – his granddaughter, Emily, was born 14 weeks prematurely at the IWK and spent more than two months in the NICU. Now 7-years-old, Emily is doing extremely well and was on hand to help her grandfather make this incredible announcement.

The motivation to make this gift was driven by our family’s experience with Emily at the IWK and we are so pleased to make this donation in her honour,” says John Chisholm.

A new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, with private rooms, will help the IWK provide care that best supports newborn development through skin-to-skin contact, infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding, leading to improved patient and family experiences. Better space will also contribute to improved patient safety for these tiny patients, whose immune systems have not fully developed.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of John Chisholm and his family, and their commitment to helping our region’s most critically ill children,” says Jennifer Gillivan, President & CEO, IWK Health Centre Foundation. “The needs of a highly-specialized health centre like the IWK are always growing and the standards of care are always improving. As a Foundation, we are committed to ensuring the IWK not only keeps up, but exceeds expectations and continues to provide Maritime women, children and families with the world-class care they deserve. This donation makes that possible.

About the IWK Health Centre Foundation
Through the support of its loyal donors, the IWK Health Centre Foundation helps sustain excellence in specialized care at the IWK for all Maritime families.  Last year donors contributed more than $10 million to the areas of greatest need at the IWK, including priorities within neonatal and pediatric intensive care, women’s health and mental health services for children and youth. Funds raised also support world-renowned researchers and the purchase of modernized technology and equipment. Visit for more information.

About the IWK Health Centre
The IWK Health Centre is the region’s leading health centre providing specialized, quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritimes and beyond. In addition to providing highly specialized (tertiary) care, the IWK also provides primary care services. The IWK is also engaged in leading-edge research; works to promote healthy lifestyles for families; and as an academic health centre provides education opportunities for health professionals and other learners.

About the IWK 250
Co-founded by John Chisholm and Steve Lewis, the IWK 250 has raised awareness and more than $130,000 for the IWK Health Centre since its inception in 2007. This year marks the seventh edition of the event, which is widely known as the best stock car race in Canada.

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