Innovations in Mental Health
Ron Baruch, Chair of the North York General Foundation Board of Governors, addresses the crowd at the 2015 Chairman’s Circle Lecture.
On Thursday, November 26th, over 150 friends of North York General Foundation attended the annual Chairman’s Circle Lecture to ring in the holiday season and learn how North York General is innovating the delivery of mental health care.
Hosted by Ron Baruch, Chair of the North York General Foundation Board of Governors, and Terry Pursell, President & CEO of North York General Foundation, guests were treated to an informative and entertaining behind-the-scenes look at North York General’s culture of research and innovation – a culture that Chairman’s Circle members helped build.
The philanthropy of Chairman’s Circle members was highlighted when Dr. Donna McRitchie, Vice President, Academic and Medical Affairs, announced that long-time donors made a transformative gift to support North York General’s pioneering research endeavours. This gift means that the foundation has now raised $112 million of the historic $150 million Campaign for North York General.
Guests were also introduced to the new framework to raise the final $38 million of the campaign: Going Beyond Care. “We blend compassion with knowledge at North York General and every day our teams go beyond mere care when treating this community,” Terry explained to the group. “This care is matched by you, the families and corporations who invest their philanthropic dollars in our hospital.”
Keynote speaker, Dr. Thomas Ungar, Chief of Psychiatry and Medical Director of Mental Health showcased how North York General is going beyond care by challenging the traditional way we discuss mental health issues. With a healthy dose of humour and a reality TV format in his new YouTube series, “Think You Can Shrink?”, Dr. Ungar is trying to break through social stigma and encourage men to think differently about the communication challenges they face. Chairman’s Circle members were treated to a sneak preview of the entertaining and thought provoking series. The entire web series can be viewed here: http://www.thinkyoucanshrink.com/episodes/
Cliff Harvey, Vice President, Planning, Facilities and Support Services gave guests a behind-the-scenes look at how North York General is re-imagining the delivery of mental health care. Through an engaging video, guests were shown how donor investment will transform Phillips House, a hospital-owned heritage estate, into a one-of-a-kind outpatient mental health care facility for women, children and youth. The patient-centred design is truly innovative and unlike any other facility in Canada. With 1.2 acres of surrounding green space to be developed into Maddie’s Healing Garden, North York General will have the unique opportunity to blend clinical practice with the therapeutic power of nature. When complete, Phillips House will be a house and garden for healing, for thousands of families in our community.
As they experienced the presentation, Chairman’s Circle members were reminded of the key role that they played in making these innovations happen. “The impact of your generosity touches many corners of our great hospital,” Ron remarked. “Your support and leadership allows North York General to provide patients with the best care today, and drives the health innovations of tomorrow.”