The St. Boniface Hospital Foundation announced today that it has received the largest donation to date; $10 million from one local philanthropist. 

Miriam Bergen, a Winnipeg business leader, passed away in 2022. Upon her wishes, the $10 million bequest in her estate was left to the hospital. 

The biggest donation the foundation has received will be split in half. Five million will go towards completing the emergency department that has been under construction for some time. The other $5 million will go towards St. Boniface's Cardiac Sciences Program.

"Miriam would say, 'I was raised in a family where it was important to give back to the community. I am happy to continue what my parents demonstrated to me all my life,'" said Doris Gietz, Bergen’s younger cousin on her maternal side and one of three executors of the estate. "She would say, 'This is just what we Bergens do.'"

The foundation's President and CEO, Karen Fowler, was filled with gratitude when she heard about the large donation. 

"I will never forget the moment we learned about Miriam’s incredible gift. It was November 15 – National Philanthropy Day in Canada – when the estate executors called us with the news," says Fowler. "I was left in awe and wonder that Miriam thought so highly of St. B and her relationship with the Hospital that she would leave a gift of that magnitude. Miriam bestowed her trust in our Foundation to steward not only this remarkable donation but also her family legacy. We are honoured to be given the responsibility for seeing her vision through."

Nicole Aminot, St. Boniface Hospital's President and CEO ensures the donation will be put to good use. 

"Words are not adequate to express what this gift means to our patients and our front-line heroes," says Aminot. "St. Boniface Hospital is so very thankful to Miriam. We will make Miriam and her family proud."

This donation is a continuing legacy for the Bergen family. Miriam's parents, Martin and Ruth Bergen, made a $3 million donation twenty years ago that created the Bergen Cardiac Care Centre at St. Boniface Hospital in 2006.

"Miriam was known as a quiet philanthropist," says Dr. Anita Soni, Cardiac Sciences Medical Specialty Lead at St. Boniface Hospital. "I hope she knew her support would be used directly for the improvement of front-line patient care. Miriam and her family’s dedication to the Cardiac Sciences Program continues to have a profound impact on the lives of Manitobans who require specialized cardiac services."