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CALGARY, Oct. 26 /CNW/ - TD Bank Financial Group today announced one of its largest gifts to date in Alberta with a $1 million donation to Reach!, the joint fundraising initiative of the Calgary Health Region and the University of Calgary. TD's partnership with Reach! will provide financial support for undergraduate medical students at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine by way of bursaries and scholarships, and financial support for the ongoing training of health care professionals within the Calgary Health Region. "The TD Grants in Medical Excellence program has made $1 million available to invest in the future vitality of Alberta's healthcare community, which we believe will help ensure the current generation of medical students and practitioners receive the best education and training possible," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group. "We're proud to partner with Reach! in this province to help make a difference together." The Calgary Health Region employs 9,500 nurses and 4,000 allied professionals whose daily business is conducted in a highly technical, constantly changing environment. Each year health care practitioners must contend with understanding and incorporating new medical practices and procedures, new techniques and equipment and ongoing developments in pharmaceuticals. The evolution of medicine is positive and Calgary is on the forefront of these medical advances. "Ongoing education of our medical practitioners helps us retain the best and brightest, ensuring that we can continue to offer the best patient care," states Jack Davis, President & CEO, Calgary Health Region. "History has proven that the provision of ongoing education is a critical tool in maintaining a competitive advantage when hiring. Physicians, nurses, technicians and therapists all recognize the need to upgrade skills, which in the long run, optimizes patient care." The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary provides an outstanding medical education curriculum and is home to numerous innovative programs that educate students, practicing physicians, medical scientists and other health science professionals. Yet as the cost of education rises, a scholarship or bursary opportunity can be a deciding factor in a talented student's choice of school or even their ability to enter into their program of choice. "As society's need for medical professionals grows, so too does the cost of post-secondary education," says Dr. Tom Feasby, Dean, Faculty of Medicine. "The support provided by TD will ensure equal access to our medical programs for all students, regardless of socio-economic background. These scholarships will allow us to continue to attract top talent to our program and to meet the need for capable, caring physicians in the future." "TD Bank is to be commended for this bold, responsible commitment which affects change, not only today, but well into the future," says Bill Sembo, Co-Chair of Reach!. "They have made education a key priority area, and by supporting both students and the established health care professionals their gift will have lasting impact on the full spectrum of care for the community." About Reach! Reach! is a three-year, $300 million joint fundraising partnership between the University of Calgary and the Calgary Health Region designed to raise targeted philanthropic dollars to build on excellence within Calgary's existing health system. Projects included within Reach! span the continuum of the health system, from research and education to patient care and community health. Our vision is to "build a new world standard of health". Over $220 million has been raised to date. TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three primary areas of focus for TD's community giving. The major flagship programs within these areas are: TD Children's Hospital Fund, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, TD Canadian Children's Book Week, TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership, and the TD Summer Reading Club. In addition, through the support of our customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local programs in support of diversity, arts and culture and other causes. In 2006, TD donated $33 million to more than 1,600 charities and not-for-profit organizations across Canada. For further information: Lois Epp, Reach!, Director, Communications, (403) 220-2945, (403) 830-5647,; Jennifer Martin, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-6473,

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