International Women’s Day
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we are shining a spotlight on some of the inspiring women of North York General Hospital (NYGH). These women are blazing trails and charting new courses for generations of women to come while transforming healthcare that will benefit thousands of patients in our community and beyond. We’re proud to count them among our hospital family and grateful for all they do to champion exceptional care. Learn more about them below. #NorthYorkGeneralStrong.
When it comes to youth mental health, Nicole German is well known as one of the most passionate advocates. When her daughter lost her life to depression at the age of 14, Nicole channeled her grief into action and spearheaded the creation of The Maddie Project in her daughter’s honour, an initiative that encourages conversations, raises awareness and creates access to care for youth struggling with mental health challenges. Through The Maddie Project she has helped raise millions of dollars for youth mental health at North York General Hospital and beyond, and also supports the hospital as Chair of the North York General Foundation Board. All of this is in addition to her role as an executive leader at Scotiabank, where she leads the company’s global digital marketing, acquisition and growth strategy, and operations across all lines of business and geographies. Nicole’s strength, resilience and passion are truly inspiring, and her tireless efforts have provided hope and healing to many youth in our community.
Dr. Donna McRitchie
To say that Dr. Donna McRitchie is a powerhouse is an understatement. Not only is she Vice President of Medical & Academic Affairs, overseeing the hospital’s 904 physicians and responsible for the research and innovation mandate, but she is also renowned as both a general surgeon and a critical care intensivist. She has a busy practice in diseases of the breast and has participated in the Breast Cancer Guideline Review as well as being a keen supporter of the North York General Breast Cancer Integrated Care Collaborative. To understand the life-changing difference and compassionate care she provides to her patients, simply look at her lab coat; it’s filled with pins of gratitude from her grateful patients.
Karyn Popovich, RN
Karyn is a 40-year veteran of North York General Hospital, having worked many years in the Emergency Department as a clinical nurse and progressing to her newly appointed role as President & CEO. Karyn’s leadership has been instrumental in the hospital’s response to COVID-19 and was also critical when NYGH was the epicentre of the SARS outbreak seventeen years prior. Her senior executive roles as EVP, VP and Director have spanned multiple programs and services including Emergency, Critical Care, Medicine, Quality, and serving as the organization’s Chief Nursing Executive. Throughout her career, Karyn has distinguished herself as a passionate champion of patient and family-centred care and the pursuit of excellence in quality and operational performance. Karyn’s hard work and ambition also extend to her life outside of the hospital. She is a running enthusiast and a triathlete who has completed several high-profile marathons and 70.3 Ironman races in Canada and the US.
Dr. Fahima Osman
Dr. Fahima Osman’s inspiring story is one of breaking barriers and following dreams. As a young child in Somalia, Dr. Osman knew she wanted to help others by becoming a doctor. She immigrated to Canada as a refugee at age 11, pushed past any challenges that came her way, and worked hard to pursue her life-long goal of practicing medicine. She would eventually become the first Canadian-trained Somali physician and one of only a handful of Canadian surgeons trained in oncoplastic surgery, a hybrid of cancer and plastic surgeries that helps to reduce scarring and disfigurement after cancer procedures. She brought this expertise to NYGH, making it one of the first hospitals in the GTA to offer oncoplastic surgery as a standard of care.
Dr. Randi Rose
Cardiotoxicity is now recognized as a leading cause of illness and death in cancer patients. Recognizing this challenge, Dr. Randi Rose’s practice at NYGH specializes in Cardio-Oncology; the care of cancer patients with cardiovascular disease that was already established or acquired during cancer treatment. It also involves the prevention, early recognition, and mitigation of the effects of cancer therapy on the cardiovascular system. This new discipline has developed in response to the need for optimal strategies to manage this at-risk population. Dr. Rose is a 15-year veteran of NYGH and one of only a handful of female cardiologists in the GTA, and she began her focus on Cardio-Oncology only three years ago, becoming the only physician at the hospital dedicated to this specific area of care. Through her work, Dr. Rose is changing the game for cancer patients by improving health outcomes before, during, and after cancer treatment, and finding solutions to prevent devastating heart failure before it starts.
Dr. Gladys Chan
When Dr. Gladys Chan was doing her residency in orthopaedics, only 20% of the graduates each year were women. She sees this changing as more women become teachers, and it was her own instructors who encouraged and motivated her to enter the field of orthopaedics during medical school. Today she is still one of the few female orthopaedic surgeons in the city and provides expert care to patients requiring hip and knee replacements, foot and ankle procedures, and trauma surgeries. She also volunteers with the Northern Medical Clinics Program, where she travels to see patients in rural areas with limited access to medical specialists, arranges to perform surgery at NYGH for those requiring treatment, and follows-up post-surgery in their home city.
Karen Fleming, RN
As a Clinical Nurse Educator within NYGH’s paediatric unit, Karen Fleming has a strong drive to support others and see them thrive. She has the important job of ensuring nursing staff have the skills and training they need to provide exceptional patient care that is equitable and accessible, and she wears many hats in her role. From creating and updating policies, developing educational tools, leading and managing quality improvement projects, implementing new equipment, onboarding new staff, and educating learners, Karen is a resourceful leader and a true advocate for the health and well-being of others. At the same time, she volunteers as a way of sharing her knowledge with others and is pursuing her second master’s degree to continue her own professional development. At her core is excellence in safe patient and family-centred care which has her always seeking ways to help make a difference. She also lends her voice and expertise on multiple hospital committees, including being one of the catalysts in the formation of the Anti-Black Racism Committee.
In honour of International Women’s Day, donate today to help us continue to provide exceptional care for generations of families in our community.