2015 Outstanding Individual Philanthropist for Sam and Uttra Bhargava

From the time they met, Sam and Uttra have been generous philanthropists.

Sam, a mechanical engineer, has been a dedicated member of Kiwanis for over 24 years, acting in a number of capacities. Uttra has been an active volunteer and leader at the Kiwanianne Club of Ottawa. He and Uttra were instrumental in the Parliamentary declaration of National Child Day in Canada. For the last 30 years, she has been the president of two large day care centres in Ottawa. Sam is also a member of The Ottawa Hospital Foundation Board.
 
Heartache led them to support research at The Ottawa Hospital. They cared for and watched as Sam's parents, both of whom were brilliant scientists, authors, and successful industrialists, wasted away, suffering for years from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Then they suffered further tragedy when their eldest daughter, Suruchi, was hit by a drunk driver in New York, which left their vivacious, young daughter a quadriplegic. 
 
In coming to terms with this tragedy, they learned about the intricacies of the health system as they worked to improve the quality of their Suruchi's life. These experiences also provided Sam and Uttra with the empathy, desire, and knowledge necessary to make a meaningful impact in the lives of people who are enduring long term medical conditions. 
 
Sam and Uttra consider themselves fortunate to be in a position to contribute financially to the worthy cause of furthering brain and spinal cord research in Ottawa - two causes very close to their hearts. In 2012, they donated $1 million to establish the Bhargava Chair in Movement Disorders at The Ottawa Hospital, with Dr. Michael Schlossmacher as the Chair holder. Their most recent gift, established the Suruchi Bhargava Chair in Spinal Cord Research, which supports neurosurgeon Dr. Eve Tsai's research.
 
Sam and Uttra Bhargava's generosity is advancing research, which will make an enormous difference in improving the lives of patients suffering from brain and spinal cord damage. Their hope is that the research they are supporting will one day lead to cures.