Terry Pursell, President and CEO, North York General Foundation

COVID-19 Updates: Message from the President – June 19, 2020

Dear Friends,

It has been 96 days since the Foundation staff decamped from the heart of North York General to reduce the community footprint within the hospital. Like many of you, I have adapted to working remotely but do have my ups and downs and try not to be too cranky with family underfoot and the daily “what’s for dinner?”, also substitute “lunch” or “to eat” – the joys of children returning to the nest. What I do embrace about having young people around is the lively sharing of views across generations, listening to each other’s perspectives on social movements, discussing the necessary evolution of long-standing institutions, understanding the meaning of privilege, and navigating the conflicting norms of behaviour during COVID, to name a few. In fact, my daughter just said, “I wonder when libraries are going to open again?” and whilst our views are divergent on some things, the importance and love of literature is shared.

I thought you might appreciate an update on resumption of services at North York General. As our province continues to experience a downward decline in COVID-19 cases, the hospital has turned its attention to the recovery of operations and services. Many procedures were postponed due to COVID-19, and we have been working to ensure a seamless and equitable increase of service. Our plan is rooted in safety and ensuring there is adequate access to PPE, while also providing us flexibility so we can quickly respond to any potential surges in COVID-19 cases. Using a gradual and phased approach, teams across the hospital have been reaching out to patients to schedule procedures and care based on urgency. We know this has been challenging for everyone, and we are grateful for your understanding and support. We are fortunate to have Canadian leaders in disease prevention and infection control on staff at North York General to guide our recovery plan and gradual re-entry of staff like the Foundation.

Earlier this week, the Foundation had another milestone as we hosted our first virtual Annual General Meeting, where we welcomed Nicole German, Global Head & Vice President, Digital Marketing, Sales & Growth at Scotiabank, as our new Chair of the Board of Governors. Nicole has been a force in addressing children’s mental health care, founding The Maddie Project and working with North York General to realize the dream of Phillips House and Maddie’s Healing Garden for children and youth mental health care. She is also an incredibly respected thought leader in the digital marketing space, and I encourage you to read more about her here.

Here are some fantastic financial highlights from our past fiscal year – we are at $175M of our $180M campaign goal, achieved $12.6M in fundraising revenue and granted almost $14M to the Hospital. Below is a brief breakdown of some of the areas we were able to support because of donors like you:

Capital Projects – $9.5M

Phillips House 
Baruch/Weisz Cancer Centre
Steinberg Family Paediatric Centre
Karen, Heather & Lynn Steinberg Breast Centre
West Lobby and Specialty Care Clinic
Fran & Ed Clark Waiting Room
Critical Care Unit

Research and Education – $1.4M

Funding for 5 Research Chairs
113 nursing and allied health award recipients
Simulation and teaching equipment

Equipment – $2.6M

ECG gating machine
Immunehematology analyzer
Birthing beds
CT scanner
X-ray machines
Portable Ultrasounds
Nurse call systems

And get ready for a second round of House Calls: a virtual conversation with our community. We have switched to the more familiar and visually appealing Zoom as the platform, which is easier for all of us I think. House Calls will be on Wednesday, June 24th from 7-8PM with our own hospital CEO, Dr. Joshua Tepper; Andrew Iu, Foundation Board Vice Chair; and moderated by our new Board Chair, Nicole German. Let’s get talking about the next stage of managing our health and understanding the economic consequences of COVID.

House Calls - a virtual conversation with our community

On a practical note, if you are still looking for a last-minute gift for Father’s Day, you can always make a donation North York General to honour a great dad here.

I hope we take the time to appreciate others’ views and lived experiences. Compassion is what makes our community strong and special.

With my best to you and yours, and #staysafe,

Terry Pursell
Terry Pursell
President & CEO

P.S. As always, if you are interested in learning more about COVID-19-related issues, please go to the hospital’s website at nygh.on.ca/covid-19-updates and remember to access our self-assessment tool at covid19toronto.ca to help guide you if you or a family member are feeling unwell. If you would like to be tested for COVID-19, even if you don’t have any symptoms, we have two assessment/testing centres for you to access and a dedicated portal where you can receive your results.

Branson Assessment Centre
555 Finch Ave. (North Entrance immediately after Finch)
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last registration at 7:45 p.m.)

North York General Hospital
4001 Leslie St. (Enter through Emergency Department)
Hours: 24 hours