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Patrick Dovigi Donates $5M To Fund New Dovigi Family Sports Medicine Clinic

Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Patrick Dovigi dreamt of becoming a professional hockey player. A gifted goalie, he played for several years in the minor leagues and was even drafted by the Edmonton Oilers.

Patrick Dovigi
Image used with permission from Patrick Dovigi

But his path took a different turn—one that has now allowed Dovigi to donate $5 million to help fund a new integrated, one-stop shop to revolutionize sports medicine research and care in Canada.

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The Dovigi Family Sports Medicine Clinic, part of Toronto’s Sinai Health System, will provide a single point of access for medical, rehabilitation, imaging and surgical care for the approximately 1.5 million Canadians who suffer sports-related injuries every year.

According to Dr. John Theodoropoulos, orthopedic surgeon at Sinai Health System and director of the new center: “The Dovigi Family Sports Medicine Clinic will provide a multidisciplinary team to take care of athletes and their injuries, similar to a team that would take care of a professional athlete.”

Patients will see shorter waiting times thanks to an acute soft tissue injury central intake and assessment center, which will help lighten pressure on emergency departments and make it possible to diagnose accurately and treat quickly after a sports-related injury.

“Not only will we treat patients with regenerative biological treatments,” Theodoropoulos says, “but Patrick’s contribution to a new research chair will support scientists to better diagnose, prevent and treat injuries.”

According to Patrick Dovigi, it was the years he spent playing professional sports that fueled his passion to help others. “In life, you get so many opportunities to do something special and actually make a difference. This is a unique opportunity to touch a lot of lives,” Dovigi explains.

That bedrock value—making a difference—drives Dovigi to get out of bed every morning and has propelled his fast-growing career.

Even while playing in the minor hockey leagues, Dovigi had entrepreneurial aspirations. Eventually, after his pro hockey dreams shifted toward business leadership and after gaining experience in the waste management industry, he founded GFL Environmental Inc. (GFL).

As one the fastest-growing waste management firms in the industry, GFL operates in nearly all of Canada and in 20 U.S. states. The company provides services in solid waste management, liquid waste management and infrastructure management.

Just shy of 40, Dovigi has been recognized as one of Ernst & Young’s notable Canadian entrepreneurs. He has spearheaded the more than 60 strategic corporate acquisitions that have contributed to GFL’s growth to more than $1 billion in annual revenue since the company’s inception.

Dovigi’s philanthropic contributions also contributed to the decision by EY to name him 2017 Ontario Power, Utilities & Environment Entrepreneur of the Year. He has hosted the Camp Oochigeas Gala in Toronto and raised over $1.2 million with GFL as a primary sponsor. In 2016, GFL matched employee donations to assist Fort McMurray fire relief efforts.

Dovigi and his wife, Fernanda, are committed to their community, to the environment, and to providing access to excellent treatment for both recreational and elite athletes:

“It was important for my family and I to ensure all Canadians have access to the best care and research in the country