The Slaight Family Foundation donates $500,000 to North York General for expanded senior care

OCTOBER 1, 2019 – To mark the UN International Day of Older Persons, The Slaight Family Foundation announced a $500,000 gift to North York General Hospital to advance a home-based care model for seniors suffering life-limiting diseases. The announcement is part of the foundation’s $30M Seniors Initiative, supporting 13 GTA hospitals, four national health care organizations and the United Way Greater Toronto.

The gift to North York General will establish an interprofessional care team to provide seniors suffering life-limiting diseases with palliative care earlier in their disease progression, without having to leave their homes or communities. Named the Supportive Geriatric Outreach Team, this new model fills a large unmet need within the North York community to help those with dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, Parkinson’s and other non-cancerous life-limiting diseases. These conditions can progress at prolonged or unpredictable rates, making hospital-based palliative care less practical for patients and their families.

The Supportive Geriatric Outreach Team will be led in partnership with Better Living Health and Community Services, Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto and LOFT Community Services. Part of the new care model is the role of a specialized nurse practitioner who acts as a health care navigator, working closely with patients, families and caregivers to extend palliative care across primary care, hospital and home. This is key for reducing hospital admissions and emergency room visits. The new model is aligned with the Ontario Health Team approach to community-based care currently being rolled out in the North York community.

“We’re inspired by the compassion, generosity and community focus of the Slaight family,” says Terry Pursell, President & CEO, North York General Foundation. “The Seniors Initiative represents a landmark step towards improved care for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Our hospital is profoundly grateful for this generous gift and active partnership.”

North York General has a history of creating and delivering innovative senior care by working with family physicians and community care providers to extend services beyond the hospital walls. The hospital’s Freeman Centre for the Advancement of Palliative Care is an award-winning program designed to meet the needs of patients and their loved ones with dignity and compassion. The centre is unique, offering both inpatient and in-home end-of-life care. In addition, the hospital’s Graham & Audrey Rosenberg Cardiac Care Clinic focuses on treatment, education and support so patients can manage cardiac symptoms from home.

“The chronic conditions so often associated with aging can have a huge impact on a patient’s emotional wellbeing and family dynamic,” says Susan Woollard, Vice President, Clinical Programs, North York General Hospital. “This new model of care, made possible by The Slaight Family Foundation, will reinvent how we support our aging population – with comfort, convenience and compassion.”

The Slaight Family Foundation’s Seniors Initiative has three components. The community component, administered through the United Way Greater Toronto, supports new programs and services at the community level for frail and low-income seniors. The hospital component focuses on new models of care between hospitals and community partners for increased support to seniors. The national component is focused on creating new and expanded services from four national organizations allowing for new models of care right across the country.

“The greatest challenges facing our growing senior population are the barriers to care, whether physical, economic, institutional or mobility-related,” says Gary Slaight of The Slaight Family Foundation. “That’s why we’re so proud to work with North York General to bring much needed palliative care into people’s homes. The hospital’s strong focus on seniors and history of breaking down barriers makes them a natural ally in our nationwide campaign to revolutionize senior care.”

The Slaight Family Foundation takes a strategic approach to philanthropy, addressing specific issues facing society in partnership with multiple organizations at the same time. The Slaight Family Seniors Initiative is the fifth major funded initiative supporting several organizations on the same theme in hopes of gaining quicker and improved results in a variety of sectors. Previous initiatives included $50 million in 2013 to five hospitals in Toronto to support the delivery of advanced healthcare, $7 million in 2015 to seven Canadian NGOs to support Canada’s lifesaving efforts in global humanitarianism, $11 million in 2016 to support the healthy development of children and youth across Canada via 11 national organizations, and $12 million in 2017 to 15 charities and national organizations working to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of Canada’s Indigenous population.

About The Slaight Family Foundation
The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight is known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, music leader and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of health care, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture

About North York General Hospital
North York General Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada’s leading community academic hospitals. In a global ranking of hospitals, North York General placed second in Canada and among the top 100 in the world. We offer our culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across multiple sites. Through partnerships, collaboration and academic endeavours, we seek to set new standards for patient- and family-centred care. Working together with our patients and their families, we are making a world of difference.

Media Contact
Jon MacMull
Director, Marketing and Communications
North York General Foundation
jon.macmull@nygh.on.ca
416-756-6576