2021 40 Under 40 Winners

2019 40 Under 40 Logo

Miguel Burnier

McGill University Health Centre Foundation
Montreal, Québec

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  • In the past five years, Miguel has raised $27,463,384 to support patient care, research and innovation, equipment, and infrastructure at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). 
  • In 2019, Miguel played a leading role in securing a record-breaking gift of $18 million to create the Courtois Cardiovascular Signature Program. He currently sits on the program’s board of directors. 
  • He oversees the foundation’s Fix Broken Hearts campaign, which is raising $50 million to advance cardiology research and care. 

Q & A

1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?

I have always been interested in healthcare. I have a degree in social work, and in 2008, I started working with cancer patients. My role was to run support groups, help patients individually, manage a humanitarian fund, train volunteers, and other duties related to helping patients undergoing cancer treatments. This was very rewarding work, but I could only help one patient at a time. When I changed careers and got into healthcare philanthropy, it allowed me to make an even bigger impact; one that affects many people at once. When funds raised by our foundation launch a research project, clinical trials, or bring state-of-the-art equipment to our hospital, thousands of patients benefit and our community’s health improves.

2. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

When I started in healthcare, I met some incredible patients, most of whom were not well and needed the support of our medical system. After spending time with them and seeing the impact the MUHC and, more importantly, the incredible medical staff had, I wanted to find a way to support their work. Through fundraising, I am able to better the lives of many people in my community. This ability to help others brings me tremendous joy.

3. What piece of advice would you give aspiring 40 Under 40 recipients?

When I started at the MUHC Foundation, I spent time learning what everyone else’s job was to understand how their work functioned within the foundation. Everyone has an impact within the foundation, and I think that the more you can learn about your coworker’s roles, the more you’ll understand your organization. It leads to better teamwork and helps you understand the "why" behind everything.

Fun Fact:

As a father to two young children, I don’t have much free time that is not filled with children’s activities. I really enjoy creating crafts in wood. I have built many toys and furniture for my kids and have recently started to teach them to help with the process

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