Why giving isn’t just for the holiday season anymore

We’re getting closer to the holiday season and for me, the act of giving becomes top-of-mind. But over the last few months I’ve seen that for many donors, giving is a year-round trend.

Osler is always improving. Whether it’s updating our patient care spaces through our ambitious redevelopment program or upgrading our equipment to help us provide more innovative patient care, it means that at Osler – anytime is the perfect time to give.

This summer was a perfect example of year-round giving as generous supporters raised more than $1.1 million for Osler Foundation through a number of exciting events. Thanks to the $15 Million Matching Challenge every dollar raised has been matched, doubling the impact of each gift:

  • Rain didn’t stop the fun at the Osler Open: Brampton Invitational as golfers hit the links to raise a record-breaking $672,000 for the new Peel Memorial.
  • Our sold-out Osler Open: Etobicoke Invitational scored a ‘hole in one’ by raising an outstanding $234,000 for redevelopment efforts while our newest event, Walk ‘n’ Roll for Healthy Kids, raised $68,000 for Etobicoke General’s women’s and children’s program.
  • Car enthusiasts revved their engines at the famous Canadian Tire Mosport Park in the Unforgettable Drive event to raise $190,000 for redevelopment projects at Etobicoke General.
  • Long-time Osler Foundation supporter Woodbine Entertainment Group announced a five-year $100,000 pledge to help build and equip the new emergency department at Etobicoke General.

Amid the excitement we learned of the passing of Ralf Jarchow, a true champion for Peel Memorial, who was killed in a traffic accident while completing an 11-day cycling quest to raise funds for the hospital. We send our deepest condolences to his family and are extremely touched by the continued support of his family, friends and colleagues as they rallied to exceed his fundraising goal.

Generosity comes in many forms. I recently blogged about the generous $1 million pledge from our Employee Giving Committee to support redevelopment at Osler’s three hospital sites over the next five years. We made significant progress by raising 80 per cent of our $200,000 target during our annual Employee Giving Campaign.

We’ve also had a year of unprecedented physician support that included a new $100,000 pledge from the EGH Professional Staff Association. The tremendous commitment that staff and physicians have for Osler is truly a wonderful thing to see!

And thanks to the $15 Million Matching Challenge, we’re looking to smash all previous records for our annual benefit concert One Night. Two Shows. Three Hospitals. This year’s star-studded lineup features Blue Rodeo and Natalie MacMaster. It’s one of the events I look forward to the most each year – I hope you will join us for a memorable night!

With all of these amazing events, Osler Foundation is getting closer to completing its $100 million capital campaign but we still have a long way to go until we reach our final goal. We’re looking forward to the many events that are still to come!

Seven reasons why you need a flu vaccine

This week’s guest blog is from Joanne Flewwelling, Executive Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive

We can’t deny it any longer. The summer is over and fall is here. Even though I’m breaking out my cold weather wardrobe, I’m keeping one short sleeved shirt in the back of my closet for a specific purpose: getting vaccinated against the flu.

Vaccination is a personal choice. There are many reasons why I choose to get vaccinated and just as many reasons why others may not, but it’s difficult to argue with statistics. Receiving the flu vaccine helps to eliminate 30,000 visits to the emergency department, avoid 1,000 hospitalizations and prevent 300 deaths in Ontario. I encourage you to do your part in supporting a healthy community at work, at home and beyond.

Here are seven more reasons why it’s important for you to get vaccinated against the flu:


There are many ways for you to get vaccinated against the flu. Visit a public health clinic in your community (Peel Region or City of Toronto), see your pharmacist at participating a pharmacy (like Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall), or make an appointment to see your family doctor.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care also offers plenty of online resources to help you decide to get the flu vaccine.

We all have friends or family members are more at risk of complications from the flu, especially children and seniors. Let’s do our part in keeping our community healthy during flu season by getting vaccinated!

What Osler’s Mission, Vision and Values Means to Me

Every month, I have the opportunity to meet with frontline staff for an informal chat and a light meal as part of my Lunch with the President series. This gives me a chance to hear what’s on the minds of staff first-hand while they get to ask me about whatever they want – carte blanche.

And no question is off the table. I’ve been asked about everything from my age to my favourite colour and everything in between. I often get a question that really makes me stop and think. At a recent session, one of the attendees asked what was most important to me – Osler’s Mission, Vision or Values.

Choosing which one resonates more than another is like choosing a favourite child – it’s impossible! But it did get me thinking about what each of these core statements means to me.

Mission: Innovative health care delivered with compassion

Osler’s Mission is a constant reminder that while health care is fluid and dynamic, compassionate patient care remains at the heart of everything we do. A key element of our Strategic Plan is to ensure that patients receive the right care, in the right place, from the right provider and, that care is delivered with compassion and empathy. We need to think beyond the traditional models of health care delivery toward innovation, which will play a critical role in changing health care for the better.

We’ve already begun to bring innovation into our programs and services. Our successful Telehomecare Program is helping patients with COPD and Heart Failure take charge of their health using technology while our hybrid endovascular surgery is providing world-class care closer to home. Along with these technological advances, we’re delivering compassionate care through initiatives like our palliative outpatient clinics that support patients as they manage their symptoms and we’re helping new comers to Canada gain access to and an understanding of health care services with settlement counsellors at each site.

And through innovative administrative partnerships with the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters), we’ve taken a collaborative approach to planning to better support the delivery of quality, timely health care services across the regional health care system.

Vision: Patient-inspired health care without boundaries

These six words influence everything we do at Osler. Our Vision puts the patient experience front and centre of every care episode and I’m so pleased to see Osler staff, physicians and volunteers take this to heart every day.

As we continue to move toward a system where we see fewer unplanned hospital visits and more scheduled care, our partnerships with the Central West CCAC and Headwaters – as well as health care providers in the community – will become even more important. More seamless access to scheduled health care services throughout the region will help make sure patients receive the right care, in the right place, from the right provider.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the experience of an orthopaedic patient who attended her daughter’s Caribbean wedding by Skype from her hospital bed at Etobicoke General. The teams involved in orchestrating this experience took our promise of “going beyond” to a whole new level in a compassionate and meaningful way for this patient and her family.

Our Global Health team visited India earlier this year to see how we could share knowledge

Our Vision also means looking outside our local health care system. We’ve already begun to seek out new opportunities through our Global Health Program, which is exploring ways we can improve health care abroad as well as in our local community. Our Research Program will also help us to innovate as we uncover new patient-centred models of care that we can establish at Osler.

Values: Respect, Excellence, Accountability, Diversity, Innovation

Osler’s Values are woven into the fabric of our organization and I see the affect they have every single day. Our commitment to providing excellent patient care, respecting the dignity of everyone who touches our organization and being accountable to ourselves, our patients and our community create a positive environment that allows us to thrive. And by embracing diversity, we are able to bring new perspectives to the delivery of health care that help to drive innovation at all levels.

I believe that the combined strength of our Mission, Vision and Values – and the way that they are lived by everyone at Osler – is critical to our success now and in the future. It makes me proud to be part of such an amazing organization

A standing “O” for Osler’s Professional Practice teams!

Osler’s health care team is made up of many different health care professionals who work together to provide patient-inspired health care to the communities we serve.

Working alongside doctors and nurses, Osler’s talented professional practice staff play an important role in providing patient-inspired care. From making sure patients are meeting their nutrition goals to providing essential physical therapies to conducting diagnostic tests to supporting families in times of crisis, our professional practice teams are an incredible force who contribute so much.

professional practice

Osler’s vast professional practice community is made up of 22 different health disciplines. If you’ve ever been in one of Osler’s hospitals for care, you will have come into contact with a member of our professional practice staff, such as:

• Diagnostic Imaging Technologists
• Recreational Therapists
• Occupational Therapists
• Physiotherapists
• Registered Dietitians
• Speech Language Pathologists
• Pharmacists
• Occupational Therapy Assistants
• Registered Respiratory Therapists
• Physiotherapy Assistants
• Crisis Workers
• Medical Laboratory Technologists
• Social Workers
• Respiratory Therapy Assistants
• Communication Disorders Assistants
• Psychologists
• Medical Laboratory Assistants
• Pharmacy Technicians
• Pathology Assistants
• Kinesiologists
• Behavioural Consultants
• Research Analysts

From September 21 to 25, we celebrated Professional Practice Week and saluted the amazing work these teams do to help patients achieve their health goals so they can return home. The planning committee arranged some excellent activities to educate and engage everyone at Osler as we celebrated the work of these teams.

I am extremely proud of all the professional practice teams at Osler and their tremendous dedication to providing the best possible care to those we serve. On behalf of everyone at Osler, THANK YOU for all that you do!

Marking a “grand slam” summer at Osler

We’ve had quite a summer. Not only did our region host the Pan Am Games, the biggest international multi-sport event in Canadian history (yes, it was even bigger than the Winter Olympics in Vancouver), our Toronto Blue Jays are first in the American League Eastern Division. Osler also got into the spirit with our annual staff baseball tournament – a favourite event that really gets people excited. This was the summer made for sports fans – like me!

Many of us took in these events while Osler staff, physicians and volunteers continued to provide care to the community. It was once again a busy summer as we had over 51,000 visits to our emergency department and nearly 14,000 patient admissions across both hospital sites. We also had more than 127,000 outpatient visits over the last three months. Overall, that amounts a slight increase in activity over this same time last year.

Much like the Toronto Blue Jays, we’ve had an epic run at Osler this summer. As we start the regular routines of school and work, I want to highlight a few of our amazing accomplishments of the past few months:

  • Back-office integration milestone. We marked the first anniversary of the non-clinical support services partnership with the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters). Together, we are changing the way service is planned and delivered in our communities.
  • Redevelopment projects soar. We reached new heights at Peel Memorial and celebrated a “topping off” ceremony. We also reconfirmed the government’s commitment to the renewal and expansion of Etobicoke General with a sign unveiling on the grounds of Etobicoke General during our Annual General Meeting.
  • Osler Foundation made history. If the topping off celebration at Peel Memorial wasn’t exciting enough, Osler received a $2.5 million gift from Brampton businessman Sajjad Ebrahim and his family that becomes $5M with the Orlando matching challenge. The Ebrahim family’s donation is the single largest to support the new facility and our commitment to patient-inspired health care in the community!
  • Smoother transitions from hospital to home. To support patients through their discharge and return home, Osler and the CCAC have merged the discharge planner and care coordinator roles at Etobicoke General to an integrated position that acts as a single point of contact.
  • Expanded DI hours support fewer return ED visits. By moving to 24/7 diagnostic imaging services, we’ve significantly reduced return visits to the emergency department by an incredible 71 per cent – well beyond our target!
  • Better patient outcomes with earlier warnings. The Automated Early Warning Information System (AEGIS) now in use in medical and surgical units across Osler means a reduction in admissions to critical care and improvements in Code Blue and mortality rates.

It’s been an amazing summer and we have a lot more to look forward to in the coming months!

Why we <3 our hospitals

Osler hospitals provide incredible care to members of the Brampton, Etobicoke and surrounding communities. Our staff, physicians and volunteers are passionate about providing patient-inspired care and are generous supporters of Osler Foundation.

In June, we learned that the Employee Giving Committee pledged $1 million to Osler Foundation on behalf of Osler staff in support of redevelopment initiatives at our three hospital sites. This pledge will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Orlando Corporation’s $15 Million Matching Challenge, which means that $2 million will be raised to support exceptional patient care at Osler!


If you’ve been following my blog, you know that we have made great progress in renewing and expanding our facilities. As we continue to grow, we will need the support of the entire Osler community.

At the recent “topping off” celebration at Peel Memorial, Osler Foundation received the single largest donation to support the new facility to date. Brampton businessman Sajjad Ebrahim and his family announced a gift of $2.5 million, which will also be matched by Orlando Corporation.

There are hundreds of reasons why we love our hospitals, and there are just as many reasons why you should too. For example:

  • We’re providing access to health care programs and services that are most needed in the community.
  • We’re creating healing spaces for those we serve through our redevelopment efforts at all of our hospital sites.
  • We’re collaborating with our community health care partners in bold, new ways to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time, and from the right provider.

Donations to Osler don’t just support redevelopment projects. They enable us to acquire equipment and technology that help to deliver exceptional patient care, like our new humanoid robot named MEDiTM that will soon be used to comfort young patients at Osler hospitals.

There are many ways to get involved and show your support for Osler hospitals. In addition to the exciting summer events happening in the community, we announced the star-studded lineup that includes Blue Rodeo and Natalie MacMaster for our One Night. Two Shows. Three Hospitals. Benefit Concert on November 21. It’s my pleasure to attend this event each year and it is definitely one event that you won’t want to miss!

Do you support Osler Foundation? Tell us why you <3 Osler hospitals in the comments.

Celebrating a Year of Innovation and Partnership

Do you remember what you were doing this time last year? At Osler, we were embarking on a journey with the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Headwaters Health Care Centre (Headwaters) that would change the way health care is delivered in our region.

Together, we announced an innovative cross-sector partnership that joined our non-clinical (administrative or ‘back-office’) functions to improve our collective ability to meet the health care needs of our communities. So far, we’ve worked hard to build solid foundations that will impact the way health care is delivered in our region.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve done this year:

Planning for the Future, Together

For the first time, we joined forces to develop our Annual Business Plans (ABP) and Quality Improvement Plans (QIP). By aligning our goals and monitoring them with a set of common metrics this will enable us to collectively improve health care quality and safety while having a positive, far-reaching impact on the patient experience across the Central West region.

We also worked together to showcase our individual and collective achievements from the past year in our Annual Reports in a fresh, dynamic way.

Leading the Way Forward

The old adage “two heads are better than one” certainly applies to the partnership. But for us, five heads are better than two. By creating a Joint Non-Clinical Executive Team, we pooled the collective resources and experience of all three organizations. This innovative approach to leadership has energized our senior teams and has created an environment that fosters collaboration and cooperation.

Weathering the Seasonal Surge

There’s nothing that tests the strength of a relationship better than a challenge. We put our partnership to the test as we collectively planned for and responded to a large patient surge during an exceptionally busy holiday season that was complicated by an early spike in flu activity. In a two week period, Osler saw a more than 8,800 patients visit our emergency departments (ED), admitted more than 1,000 patients for acute care and confirmed 350 flu cases.

Needless to say, this was a challenge but by working together we were able to effectively manage the flow of patients by providing excellent care in our hospitals as well as in the community.

Over the past year we saw first hand how working together can yield incredible results and spark new ideas about how we can improve the patient experience. We will share more achievements as our relationship matures over the months and years ahead. It is an exciting time for health care in the Central West region and I’m confident that the best is yet to come!