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George A Savoy, Visionary Benefactor of Canadians with Epilepsy, and the History of the Savoy Foundation for Epilepsy

     CM Rémillard, BG Zifkin, A Sherwin and W Feindel

Abstract:   George A. Savoy was born in Cohoes, New York, in 1873. He left the U.S.A. in 1921 to manage the Canadian branch of a large manufacturer of ledgers and looseleaf registers. This company was asked to supply Professor Jasper's laboratory with rolls of plain unlined paper and it was George Savoy who later developed fanfolded and lined EEG paper, which was first used at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He also had personal contacts with Wilder Penfield concerning their mutual interest in the needs of patients with epilepsy. He was a successful industrialist involved with several charitable organizations funding programmes for people with epilepsy. He was opposed to the sectarianism then prevalent in Quebec, which was unfamiliar to him, and in reaction built his own institution, Dieppe House, a home for people with epilepsy, later renamed «Foyer Savoy» as to operate without regard to race, language or religion. In 1971, his son Harold and other generous donors decided to create a foundation to support research in epilepsy. The Foyer Savoy was sold in 1988 and the proceeds used to increase the endowment of the foundation. His grandson George M. Savoy is the current president. The fourth generation is also represented by Caroline Savoy, daughter of the president, who joined the board of directors in 1992. The foundation will distribute from $300,000 to $400,000 yearly to researchers from many different countries working in the field of epilepsy in universities and hospitals throughout Canada.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1996; 23: 80-82


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