By Mitze Mourinho
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the historic rededication of our hospital as “Michael Garron Hospital”. It’s been an extraordinary and inspiring year for all of us. The interest and support garnered by the landmark donation has been truly remarkable. I am privileged to hear from so many about how they have been moved by the Garrons’ poignant tribute to Michael; and their incredible investment in our hospital and our community.
This high-profile partnership is opening important doors, allowing us to bring the hospital’s narrative to decision-makers and philanthropic leaders across the city. In particular, the Garrons’ matching gift is already inspiring significant contributions from others, as they learn that the impact of their gifts will be doubled.
While we are exceedingly proud of our history of serving this community, we are working diligently at advancing our place as a leading community hospital that creates health and builds community among Toronto’s most vulnerable.
Advancements in ways to diagnose, treat and care for patients require ongoing investments in medical equipment and technology to keep us at the forefront. We are already seeing the impact of the Garrons’ investments in us, with the fulfillment the first phase of priority equipment needs – including the 11 new ICU ventilators, which arrived in November, a refurbished spinal table, and our Holmium Laser that has already treated over 180 patients. We are awaiting 20 new patient beds scheduled for arrival in February, including a bariatric bed and in the summer, a top-of-the-line, low-dose CT scanner.
In early January, we will be launching the new logo for Michael Garron Hospital. Hundreds of physicians, staff and volunteers have had input into the creative process. We have developed an accessible, modern look and feel that conveys our focus as a hospital for our diverse community. It is bold and unique in the health care industry, and we will soon have all our collateral materials in place to further promote this new look.
It’s incredible to think about all our hospital community has accomplished over this past year, and I look forward to continuing our work together over the next 12 months and all the amazing achievements to come.
By Mitze Mourinho, President, TEGH Foundation
As you’re all aware by now, the incredible events of yesterday’s $50M donation from the Garron family will forever be remembered as a watershed moment in the history of this hospital.
The Garron’s gift – the largest ever given to a Canadian community hospital – is not only unprecedented, but transformative. Read more about the announcement here.
But the road to yesterday’s announcement began many years ago.
It started with a young boy named Michael.
Michael was born in our hospital in 1962. Like most kids, he was a curious, healthy little boy who loved life.
Then, every parent’s nightmare: at age six, Michael was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer. To stop the spread of the disease, his middle finger and later his right arm, below the elbow, was amputated. He spent much of his youth in and out of hospitals.
Eventually, an inoperable tumour was found behind his heart.
His experience living with cancer and on the brink of death many times over, made him wise beyond his tender years. And he took a philosophical view of life and death. In fact, he was once quoted as saying:
“I’m talking about my living. I’m never going to talk to you about dying. I’m just going to live as long as I can and do as much as I can. It’s stupid to think about dying because then you can’t do anything while you’re living.”
In the end, cancer took him at age 13 – another young life of promise snuffed out too soon.
Before he died, he worried about his legacy. He told his mom, Berna. He worried about being forgotten.
Berna made her son a promise: You will not be forgotten.
Over the years, the Garrons have given generously across the country in Michael Garron’s name. In fact, they’ve donated to our hospital in the past including funds to support the purchase of the Da Vinci Surgical Systems Robot.
The Garrons chose to give to us because they believe in the exemplary work we do and how we do things. And they’ve given us Michael’s name as our new name. For the Garron’s, Toronto East General Hospital is a continued source of pride for them. For us, we can use Michael’s name as both a symbol of hope and pride.
Moving forward, we can dream big – dream about how we can continue to bring innovation to the bedside and continue our track record of providing high-quality care.
Now, these dreams can become a reality.
Yesterday’s $50M gift is a promise kept from a mother to her son. And it is a turning point in our history.
Today, our hospital’s future is secure. We can dream even bigger than we have before. And it’s hoped that the Garron gift will encourage even larger donors to invest in us too.
Our time has come.
If you missed the announcement, please watch!
By Mitze Mourinho, President, Toronto East General Hospital Foundation
It’s Election Day.
This is your chance to make history by simply taking 20 minutes and casting your ballot.
In this city, there are eight ridings where your vote can make a difference. I’m betting that some of you live in these ridings:
- Don Valley West
- Don Valley East
- Scarborough Southwest
- Scarborough Centre
I also know what some of you may be thinking: why should I bother to vote when it doesn’t seem to make a difference?
Let me tell you a story.
It’s the 2011 General Election. Out of a population of 34 million Canadians, three quarters of us were registered to vote. The other quarter of the population was under 18 years old or wasn’t able to vote for legal reasons.
The breakdown of the 2011 Election looked like this:
- 2% chose the Green Party
- 4% chose the Bloc Quebecois
- 12% chose the Liberals
- 18% chose the NDP
- 24% chose the Conservatives
Can you guess who the remaining 39% chose?
And when you look even closer, only 61% of eligible voters voted. So only 24% of eligible voters voted for our current government.
It was sadly, one of the lowest voter turnouts in Canadian History. If you’ve got a minute, this video explains this story.
So you see, your vote does make a difference. If you’re happy with the current government, let them know. If you’re not, well, let them know too.
Let them know through the ballot box. Today.
As many of you are aware, a few weeks ago, we hosted the major political parties for a discussion on health care. In Canada, the delivery of health care may be a provincial responsibility, but the federal government also plays a significant role in funding health care and shaping policies.
Canada’s 42nd federal election promises to be an interesting race.
Like so many of you, I’ll be tuned in, watching the results and history unfold tonight.
If you need more information about how to cast your ballot, the Elections Canada website has useful resources. Visit http://www.elections.ca/ for information related to:
- Guidance for first time voters and students;
- Information about voter registration;
- Details of where and when to vote.
If you prefer to speak to someone in person, we encourage you to call Elections Canada at 1-800-463-6868.
Voting hours run from 9:30am to 9:30pm today.
As Rick Mercer, one of our great Canadian comedians said, “…do what young people around the world are dying to do. Vote.”
Your fellow Canadians are counting on you.