A night to remember with Colin James and Barenaked Ladies

One of my most exciting moments to date as interim President and CEO took place on November 26, at the Rose Theatre in Brampton. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with people who support the great patient care we deliver at Osler, and this evening was no exception. This was the place to be as Osler Foundation held its annual One Night * Two Stars * Three Hospitals gala benefit concert. Colin James and Barenaked Ladies (BNL) dazzled the crowd with chart-topping favourites that got everyone to their feet!

There were so many memorable moments that night it’s hard to pick a favourite, but for me it was when BNL sang a special song about Brampton. It was funny, touching and really brought home the message that the evening was all about the people in the community we serve.

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In addition to the high-energy entertainment, we also celebrated some of Osler Foundation’s biggest champions:

  • Ken Mayhew, President and CEO of Osler Foundation, honoured Lois Rice, a long-time donor, champion and friend of Osler Foundation, and presented her with the key to Peel Memorial.
  • Bob Peacock, President of ALMAG Aluminum, donor, and Chair of the Peel Campaign Committee, became the third recipient of the Osler Foundation Corporate Philanthropy Award.

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To paraphrase a class BNL tune, Osler Foundation called and the community answered.

Osler Foundation challenged the audience to ‘equip a room’ by making on the spot donations at the gala to support the purchase of much needed equipment for Osler hospitals. Every gift, regardless of size, was acknowledged with a white teddy bear and once the challenge was over the auditorium was awash in white. It was truly a sight to see.

This final flurry of donations made the event a record-breaking night that raised a total of $707,000, the most ever for the gala benefit concert! As in years past, proceeds from the event will fund redevelopment projects and the latest generation of medical technology and diagnostic equipment needs across Osler’s three sites.

If you missed the excitement, check out our photo gallery! And a special thank you to everyone who came out to this event to support Osler in its vision to deliver patient-inspired health care without boundaries.

You have the power to make a difference

What does it take to build a healthy community?

It takes dedicated health care providers, state-of-the-art facilities, and engaged citizens who are passionate about their home. It also takes money.

Over the past five years we’ve focused on ambitious redevelopment projects to expand care in our region. We have the opportunity to open a brand new health care facility to meet the changing needs of the Brampton community – but we can’t do it alone.

The Government of Ontario is contributing 90 per cent of the funding to build the new Peel Memorial but there is a “local share” portion of the project that must be raised by Osler and the community.

Osler is also responsible for funding 100 per cent of the equipment costs of the new facility. That is why Osler Foundation recently launched a new campaign with the goal of raising $100 million to complete and equip Peel Memorial, support the expansion of Etobicoke General and enhance services at Brampton Civic.

Our powerful new You Have the Power campaign tells the stories of real patients who have received care at Osler hospitals who will be able to receive the same services at the new Peel Memorial. Soon, you will begin to see flags flying on lamp posts and banners spanning bridges to create awareness around our goal to raise $30 million to complete the new Peel Memorial.

Check out Osler Foundation’s new campaign website to learn more about how you can do your part to build a healthy community.

Even though it hasn’t felt like spring, we welcomed it with open arms at our annual Holi Gala – the Festival of Colours on April 1. We aren’t fooling anyone when we say the event was a huge success!

Guests celebrated in colourful style, enjoying gourmet foods, as well as an array of entertainment and fun in celebration of the renewal of springtime. Headline performer Harbhajan Mann had the sold out crowd of 800 on their feet and dancing to some of his biggest hits.

The event raised over $277,000, which was matched by Orlando Corporation’s $15 Million Matching Challenge, resulting in a $554,000 contribution to Osler’s redevelopment initiatives at Brampton Civic, Etobicoke General and the new Peel Memorial. If you missed the excitement, check out our photo gallery from the event.

Our new campaign and record-setting signature events show us that when a community rallies around a worthy cause, incredible things can happen.

You have the power to build a healthy community.

Changing the face of Osler, one brick at a time

This week’s guest bloggers are Ann Ford, Joint VP, Facilities and Redevelopment and Ken Mayhew, President & CEO, Osler Foundation

We know that in health care, things are constantly changing – from adopting innovative clinical practices to using new digital technologies for patient care to upgrading the facilities that enable us to provide much needed programs and services to the community. Our ambitious redevelopment program continues to move forward and it’s changing the face of Osler.

Reaching another milestone at Etobicoke General

Excitement is building at Etobicoke General with the closure of the Request for Proposals (RFP) to design, build, finance, and maintain the hospital’s new four-storey wing. Over the next few months we’ll review the proposals before announcing the winning bid. Once a team has been selected, construction on the new facility is expected to begin in summer 2016.

As the winter months settle in, we won’t be slowing down. We’ve started an Early Works project to prepare the existing building for the new addition by replacing mechanical equipment, upgrading power systems and installing connection points that will link building systems between the two structures.

We’re also moving forward with plans to build a new Ancillary Services Building (ASB) that will be home to a number of outpatient programs and services. The ASB will allow us to bring much needed clinical services into the community, such as dialysis, and we plan to start construction in spring 2016.

Peel Memorial takes shape

It’s exciting to watch the progress at the new Peel Memorial. There is plenty going on outside the building as brickworks are nearing completion, the majority of the windows are now in place, and the metal siding that will cover the outside of the penthouses is ready to be installed. Meanwhile, work is proceeding on the building’s water lines, storm and sanitary connections to municipal services.

As the winter months approach, construction workers will finish all the jobs needed to make the structure weather-tight. Then, they will move inside where they’ll focus on the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, wall boarding, priming and painting, as well as the countless other tasks that will make this structure a wonderful health facility for this community.

Construction on the new Peel Memorial is on track to be completed by fall of 2016. Following a period of equipment installation, training and orientation we will be ready to open our doors in early 2017.

A strong show of community support

The community is playing an important role in our redevelopment projects. This past weekend, Canadian country stars Blue Rodeo and fiddling sensation Natalie MacMaster performed for a sold out crowd in support of Osler Foundation. The $610,000 raised, which was matched by Orlando Corporation’s generous $15 Million Matching Challenge, resulted in a $1.2 million contribution to redevelopment projects and the latest generation of medical technology and diagnostic equipment needs across all three sites.

If you missed the excitement on Saturday night, check out our photo gallery!

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!

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!

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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.

We’ve reached new heights at Peel Memorial – literally!

This week we celebrated ‘Topping off’ at the Peel Memorial site, a momentous milestone in any construction project and certainly a significant and exciting one for Osler and its community.

Topping off is recognized when the full height of the building is reached and the ‘ceremony’ is an age-old tradition that dates back to the days of the Vikings from Scandinavia, prominently featuring an evergreen tree. While it may sound strange, this meaningful custom is a goodwill gesture for the safe completion of construction and is said to ‘bring life into the building’. It is seen as a positive omen to all those involved in its construction.

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During Thursday’s event, we also had an opportunity to celebrate a $2.5 million donation – a gift to Osler Foundation from Mr. Sajjad Ebrahim and family. This is the single, largest gift from a family to health care in Brampton to date. The Ebrahim family’s gift will be matched by Orlando Corporation’s $15M Matching Challenge, resulting in $5M for Peel Memorial. We are grateful for this generous gift that will help ensure the community continues to have access to great health care, close to home.

We’re also reaching new milestones at Etobicoke General. To prepare the existing building for expansion, we’re set to begin a series of Early Works projects to upgrade many of our mechanical systems later this summer. In the meantime, we’re wrapping up the parking upgrades to the east of the building as we continue the design consultation process with the three teams selected to bid on constructing the new four-storey wing.

There is so much to look forward to as we work to change the face of Osler and positively impact the delivery of health care in the communities we serve. We will keep you up to date with each new milestone!

Inspired care leads to inspired giving

How do you say ‘thank you’ to someone who has provided you with exceptional care during your most vulnerable moments? Sometimes words and gestures just aren’t enough. That is why Osler Foundation provides many opportunities for patients and families to show their gratitude.

One example is the new Grateful Patient program, which offers patients a special way to say thank you, through their donation, to someone who has made a difference in their care. Each honouree is presented with a special heart-shaped pin and receives a personalized message of thanks telling them of the donation.

One of the best parts of my job as CEO is getting to share the stories of the incredible care our patients receive at Osler. Two such experiences inspired patients to acknowledge their care providers with a Grateful Patient pin:

  • Warren Topey came to Etobicoke General for urgent surgery. Thanks to the “understanding, compassion and skill” shown by Dr. John Morrell, he is once again able to live a full life. Warren was able to say a personal ‘thank you’ through a Grateful Patient gift in honour Dr. Morrell.
  • Surinder Gill came to Brampton Civic for a routine test when she learned she needed immediate surgery to remove her enlarged appendix, which had a cancerous tumour that was previously undiscovered. The expertise of Dr. Kashif Irshad saved her life and making a Grateful Patient gift in his honour was her way of saying ‘thanks.’

There are other ways to show your support for Osler, like participating in our signature events. Mark your calendars as this summer promises to be one of the most exciting ever for Osler Foundation!

Osler Open: Etobicoke Invitational
The Summit Golf & Country Club – September 14, 2015

One of our most popular events, the Osler Open: Etobicoke Invitational helps drive home support for the redevelopment of Etobicoke General.

Walk ‘n’ Roll for Healthy Kids
Etobicoke General – September 19, 2015

New this year, our inaugural Walk ‘n Roll for Healthy Kids is a 5km walk along the Humber River that will raise funds for children’s services Etobicoke General.

All funds raised at these events will be generously matched as part of our $15M Matching Challenge. It’s an extra incentive to get out and get involved – we hope to see you there!