Message from the President, Terry Pursell, North York General Foundation

Message from the President – July 9, 2021

The situation with COVID-19 has changed quite significantly over the past few weeks, and like many other places, the hospital’s vaccine rollout is in full swing. As of mid-July, we reached a milestone by hitting over 225,815 vaccinations at North York General Hospital (NYGH) and the North York Toronto Health Partners clinics. NYGH’s dedication to curbing the spread of COVID-19 is unwavering, and the team has implemented innovative ways of reaching members of the community. The ‘Vaccinator on Wheels’ is one such example, a mobile vaccine clinic that can be easily deployed to high risk areas. Check out the video from Global News featuring Dr. David Eisen, Chief of Family and Community Medicine at NYGH, with more on this great initiative.

We are now seeing these efforts pay off, and infection rates in our province are declining. With so much access to both second and first doses, the easing of lockdown restrictions and the warm weather, we will have back missed moments with family and friends.

Celebrating our doctors and nurses

We know that the progress we’re seeing is in large part due to our front line health care team, and in May, we aptly celebrated both National Physician’s Day and Nurses Week.

NYGH is truly fortunate to have an outstanding family of doctors and nurses who put so much heart into caring for patients in the diverse communities we serve, regardless of the issue. This past year has tested our physicians and nurses like never before, and we continue to be profoundly grateful for all they do.

Many of our hospital staff have been dedicated members of the NYGH family for years or even decades, such as Christine (Fergie) Ferguson. Fergie was a member of the NYGH nursing team for 30 years, and now at age 91 continues to be connected to the hospital as a patient in the Geriatric Supportive Care Outreach Program. Read more about her heartwarming story here.

30 years of nursing at NYGH: Fergie’s story

Recognizing diversity and inclusion

June was Pride Month where we take pause to celebrate diversity and advocate for inclusion and acceptance in our communities. It’s also a chance to reaffirm and proudly state our strong commitment to creating welcoming spaces across both the hospital and foundation. The new Progress Flag was raised at the hospital’s General Site and Seniors’ Health Centre in honour of Pride Month.

Pride Flag Raising 2021 - North York General

You help make the difference — a few highlights

The foundation’s fiscal year came to a close at the end of March and what a year it was with over $28M in funds raised and investment income – achieving the highest revenue in our history.   With the pandemic dominating so many aspects of our lives, it’s easy to lose sight of the many accomplishments we realized in the year, all thanks to the support of our valued donors and supporters.

Our response to COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic was swift and focused, and we launched the Emergency Response Fund which raised over $3M to assist the hospital tackle COVID-19 through the purchase of equipment, modifying care environments and support for the front line staff.  Our North York General Strong ❤️ polka dot #MaskUp campaign was the first in the city with more than 11,000 masks in circulation – we sold out twice!

November saw the opening of the Steinberg Family Paediatric Centre. Years in the making and powered by philanthropy, the Centre is a place of warmth, comfort and healing for the children and grandchildren in our community and beyond. Take a look at the inspirational space in this video.

We also launched the Edwin S. H. Leong Geriatric Supportive Care Outreach Program which funds resources dedicated to keeping seniors in their homes rather than the hospital, and providing care for those managing chronic, progressive diseases.

Our donors are our partners in helping to improve care in our communities and saving lives. To all those who contributed to our strong year amid the chaos of COVID-19, our profound thanks.

My best wishes to you and your families for a safe and happy summer. Brighter days are surely ahead.

Terry Pursell

Terry Pursell
President & CEO