Mourning the Passing of a Great Friend and MUHC Builder

Dear colleagues and members of the MUHC-McGill community,

Yesterday morning, H. Arnold Steinberg, — a family man, businessman and philanthropist who not only believed in the importance of higher education, research and health care, but also shared his wisdom, wealth and personal time generously to steward advancements in these areas, — died suddenly at the age of 82.

I, like all who knew Arnold, feel this loss deeply. Arnold Steinberg was a listener, a partner, an advocate, a visionary, and a real gentleman.

“This is a very sad day for the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), for Montrealers, Quebecers and Canadians,” added Claudio Bussandri, Chairman of the MUHC Board of Directors. “Arnold Steinberg distinguished himself on many levels, not least of which his longstanding volunteerism and contributions to the MUHC-McGill community. His intelligence and enthusiasm will be missed.”

Arnold’s relationship with our hospitals, research institute and McGill University was forged many years ago. His collaboration began in earnest with the Montreal Children’s Hospital, first on a project to add vitamin D to milk and then on a capital campaign. Thereafter, for almost two decades, he chaired the Board of Governors of the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute before agreeing to serve as Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee that oversaw the merger of our hospitals. In 1997, he became the first Chairman of the Board of the MUHC.

More recently, he served our community as a Member of the Board of the MUHC Foundation, a Member of the Board of the Research Institute of the MUHC, a Member of the Neuro Advisory Board, an Honorary Chair of The Best Care for Life Campaign, a Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill, as well as the 18th Chancellor of McGill University, a Member of the International Advisory Board of the Rossy Cancer Network and a Member of the Advisory Committee for the MUHC’s RBC Art and Heritage Centre.

Among the other organizations that benefited from his leadership, let us remember that he was Chairman of Canada Health Infoway and a Member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. These roles reflect his commitment to leveraging the power of research and technology. The Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning is a tangible example of this leadership.

A Member of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec, Arnold Steinberg believed that a leader should be selfless, not selfish. In other words, the larger picture should always come before a leader’s personal goals. Arnold was the epitome of selfless. Our hearts go out to Arnold’s wife, Professor Emerita Blema Steinberg; to their children, Margot, Donna and Adam; and to their families.

Together, we mourn the passing of a great friend, a MUHC builder and a truly exceptional man.

Normand Rinfret, CRIA President and Executive Director of the McGill University Health Centre