Sarah Downey and Mitze Mourinho on image with 12 days of gratitude banner

12 Days of Gratitude: Highlighting the many people in our community who inspire us and remind us why we do what we do

To our community members,

December is a special month. It’s a time for us to reflect on the past year and celebrate the many things we have to look forward to in the future.

As we reflect on the past 12 months here at Michael Garron Hospital, one of the words that comes to mind for us both is gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful word – but an even more powerful feeling. There is simply no other way we can describe how we feel about our incredible community of people – our staff, clinicians, patients, volunteers, donors, partners and community members to name a few – who have helped make this year such a remarkable one for MGH.

2019 has been a year of new beginnings – we’ve opened new programs and services to better serve our patients, developed new relationships and built on old bonds to ensure every person in East Toronto has access to the care they need, when they need it most. We’ve also made exceptional progress on the development of our new home, the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre; thank you for your continued support as we transform care in the Heart of the East.

Starting tomorrow, we will share 12 stories from the past year that exemplify our feelings of gratitude. These stories highlight the many people in our community who inspire us and remind us why we do what we do. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do, and we hope that you too are inspired and know how much we appreciate you being a part of our journey to create health and build community in East Toronto.


Sarah Downey, President and CEO, Michael Garron Hospital, Toronto East Health Network
Mitze Mourinho, President, Michael Garron Hospital Foundation

Day 1:  Our patients' unique perspectives

Mac Sulyok, 20

We’re grateful for courageous people like Mac Sulyok, for sharing their personal stories to help inspire and educate others. Earlier this year, Mac achieved another milestone on his transition journey after partaking in a lower Transition Related Surgery in the form of a hysterectomy.

Read the full story:  ‘Finally free’: Mac Sulyok shares his transition journey

 Day 2:  Our people – staff, physicians & volunteers

‘Pay it Forward’ series celebrates flow of gratitude at MGH

We’re grateful for the strong and resilient community of people at MGH. This year, we launched the #MGHPayitForward series to highlight the many moments of thanks within our community. From frontline staff to senior leaders, our community of people paused to reflect and recognize their peers for their contributions to MGH.

Read more:   ‘Pay it Forward’ series celebrates flow of gratitude at MGH

Day 3:  Garron family gift 

New nocturnal dialysis program improves quality of life for individuals living with kidney disease

We are grateful for the Garron family’s transformational gift which continues to ensure that our vision of a healthier, stronger and more prosperous East Toronto can become a reality. This year, thanks to the Garron’s generosity, we launched an overnight dialysis program that is having a transformational effect on the health and quality of life for hundreds of kidney patients, like Daniel. 

Read the full story:  New nocturnal dialysis program improves quality of life for individuals living with kidney disease

Day 4:  Our staff and community members

Our staff and community members

We’re grateful for the support of our community and hospital staff who came together at Kick the Stigma for a second straight year. This year, our community helped us raise $240,000 in support of new state-of-the-art mental health facilities at Michael Garron Hospital - a crucial step towards helping eliminate the stigma around mental health.

Read more: East Toronto rallies in support of Kick the Stigma for a second year

Day 5:  Our volunteers, board and committee members and donors

Our volunteers, board and committee members and donors

 We’re grateful to our exceptional network of over 500 volunteers that support 30 diverse areas of the hospital, as well as our many hospital and foundation board and committee members. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, we will transform healthcare for our East Toronto community.

A special thank you to Huggies Canada for their generous donation of $25,000 in support of MGH’s Volunteer Huggers program. This program is made up of experienced hospital volunteers who spend time in the Special Care Nursery holding premature and/or sick newborns while their families are away from the hospital to ensure that no baby goes un-hugged.

Read more:  Huggies Canada donates $25,000 in support of MGH’s Volunteer Huggers program

Day 6:  The village supporting the build of our redevelopment project

Redevelopment at MGH

This year we achieved many exciting milestones for our Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre project. We are grateful to all those who have helped us build our new facility from the ground up, beginning with Peter and Diana Thomson’s transformational $17.5-million commitment. Thank you to our partners at EllisDon Infrastructure Healthcare for their commitment to collaboration and maintaining quality care throughout construction; to our patients and staff whose shared time, knowledge and experiences have influenced the building’s design; and to our community who continue to show their patience, understanding and support for onsite construction activities.

Read more:  Redevelopment News

Day 7:  Our diverse and inclusive community

Opening of MGH’s first Sweat Lodge

We’re grateful for our diverse and inclusive community. Together, members of the Aboriginal Healing Program constructed “The Bear’s Den All Nations Traditional Medicine Sweat Lodge” on hospital grounds to offer a traditional and sacred space to those seeking healing and spiritual cleansing.

Read more:  Opening of MGH’s first Sweat Lodge

Day 8:  East Toronto community

East Toronto community

We are grateful to the people of East Toronto who have seen the incredible things our hospital achieves every day, who understand our hospital’s urgent need for renewal, and who are willing to get behind our community with an extraordinary act of generosity. With your help, we are building the Heart of the East.

Read more:  Heart of the East campaign

Day 9:  Community families

Community families

We are grateful for families in our community who instill empathy in their children and teach them about the importance of giving back to their community – no matter what age they are.

Read more:  A birthday party that gives back

Day 10:  Our culture of innovation, quality improvement and research

Our culture of innovation, quality improvement and research

We’re grateful for creative and inventive minds at MGH. June 19 marked our annual EPIC Research, Innovation, and Education Scholarship fair. The day allowed staff, volunteers and physicians the chance to share and celebrate over 25 projects across the hospital with one common goal: innovate to improve care at MGH.

Read more:  EPIC research and innovation fair celebrates inventive minds at MGH

Day 11:  Grateful giving – staff and donors 

Grateful giving – staff and donors

We are grateful for exceptional MGH caregivers and donors like the MacCharles family, who express their gratitude with an extraordinary act of generosity. We thank everyone who continues to show their appreciation through the Grateful Giving program. Whether you’re recognizing a physician, a nurse, a porter or a volunteer, your support is helping us provide the same exceptional care to everyone in our community.

Read more:  Tiny patient gets lifesaving care close to home

Day 12:  East Toronto Health Partners named one of 24 Ontario Health Teams

East Toronto Health Partners named one of 24 Ontario Health Teams

We’re grateful to our incredible network of community partners that support us in delivering high-quality and equitable care to our community. In December 2019, East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) was named one of the first of 24 Ontario Health Teams. With the momentum of ETHP and together with our partners, we launched 25 surge initiatives this winter season to increase access to health and community care services in East Toronto.

Read more:  New Toronto East Ontario Health Team to Provide Better Connected Care for Patients

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