MGH Wrapped: 12 days of highlighting how our teams came together to support community in 2021
To our dear community,
With 2021 drawing to a close, we want to take a moment to celebrate our achievements of the past year, give thanks to our community and look to the road ahead.
All year, the unwavering spirit of community was clear to all of us at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), cheering us on during the toughest days when we felt tired both physically and mentally. Not only is the community within our hospital walls strong and supportive, but the caring community that surrounds us in East Toronto is always there to give us that extra push when we need it most.
We hope you are enjoying MGH Wrapped: 12 Days of Community, which highlights stories of how our exceptional teams came together to support our community over the past year. It is thrilling to relive our record-breaking COVID-19 vaccine clinics at Scotiabank Arena and Thorncliffe Park Community Hub. We also take great pride in being a supportive workplace and are honoured to be recognized as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for six years running. Please continue to check this page and our social media channels each day for more 2021 community highlights as we continue MGH Wrapped until December 23.
In today’s highlight, you can enjoy special video messages of thanks from Mayor John Tory, our East Toronto community partners and elected officials to our amazing MGH healthcare workers. The past 20 months have been an incredibly challenging time and we could not agree more with their messages of gratitude. Thank you to all of our healthcare workers and teams for your hard work and resilience.
While we continue to celebrate our achievements and successes this year, we also look onward to 2022, which has lots in store. Our hospital will continue to provide high-quality healthcare as we continue to navigate this ever-changing pandemic. Recruitment and retention remains a top priority amid Ontario staffing shortages and our teams will continue to work with our partners to encourage all eligible individuals to get their first, second and third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect each other, our loved ones and our communities; especially as we prepare for the emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
In late 2022, we look forward to celebrating the opening of our Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre, the first stage of MGH’s transformation into a bigger, better Heart of the East. With the strength of community behind us, we are ready for what next year brings.
Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season. May you take time to rest and recharge,
Welcome to MGH Wrapped: 12 Days of Community. Each day we will update this page and share stories of how our exceptional teams at Michael Garron Hospital came together to support our community over the past year.
Day 1: Breaking records in the community
We are breaking records! A great testament to the power of community is record-breaking COVID-19 vaccines administered by MGH and East Toronto Health Partners in 2021.
First, we broke a Canadian record vaccinating over 10,000 people at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub. Next, we broke a world record vaccinating over 25,000 people at Scotiabank Arena! Plus, we kicked off the year by administering vaccinations to 22 long-term care and retirement homes in only four days.
Day 2: amplifying mgh voices in the community
We are amplifying MGH voices in the community. Our #IamMGH tells the stories of our people. This year, we created the #IamMGH Black Voices series centering on the lived experiences of our Black staff and physicians. Together, these stories offer a look into what it’s like to work at MGH and carry our voices and experiences into the community.
Featured image: #IamMGH Black Voices - Meet Cheryl Nelson
Day 3: welcoming new faces to the MGH staff community
We welcomed 965 new faces to the MGH staff community and hosted six career fairs with our partners! We take great pride in being named one of Greater Toronto’s top employers for six years running.
Our #WelcomeToMGH campaign highlights the many development opportunities which are available to our staff. At MGH, we invite you to do more than find a job, we invite you to join our community. See our available job postings and apply today.
Featured image: Learn about Ahmed's career journey at MGH.
Day 4: Keeping our community safe from the comfort of home
We kept our community safe from the comfort of their homes with the launch of our Virtual Emergency Department (ED). We helped physicians and specialists seamlessly connect their patients to healthcare services using OCEAN eReferral. We issued over 200 smartphones in the ED to help individuals connect to health and social services for follow-up care.
Day 5: COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the community with East Toronto Health Partners
We collaborated with East Toronto Health Partners, our Ontario Health Team, to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to our communities in a low-barrier and equitable manner. This included opening a mass immunization clinic at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub; operating clinics that cater to the needs of specific populations; meeting local residents where they are, whether that’s at work, on the street or elsewhere; and mobilizing community ambassadors to help build vaccine confidence by sharing reliable, accurate information.
Day 6: Thank you from our community
The past 20 months have been an incredibly challenging time and we could not agree more with their messages of gratitude. Thank you to all of our healthcare workers and teams for your hard work and resilience.
Day 7: Our commitment to providing high-quality, family- and patient-centered paediatric care to the East Toronto community
We continued our commitment to providing high-quality, family- and patient-centered paediatric care to the East Toronto community through the launch of our family-friendly Child and Youth Emergency Zone in the ED and Smilezone in the Family Birthing Centre (FBC). We also continued to protect local children and youth from COVID-19 through the efforts of our school outreach team, which included take-home test kits and an IPAC champion program; and the development of an equity-driven strategy to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5 to 11, which included the opening of a dedicated children’s clinic at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub and mobile school clinics.
Featured image: A paediatric patient in the Child and Youth Emergency Zone.
Day 8: Our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation
On Sept. 30, we commemorated Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a sacred fire at The Bear’s Den All Nations Traditional Medicine Sweat Lodge.
On Oct. 20, we honoured community members of all nations living with the impacts of COVID-19 by sharing personal and heartfelt messages on the hand-painted intention board.
This year, under the guidance of Elder Little Brown Bear and members of the Aboriginal Healing Program, we opened dedicated First Nations, Inuit and Métis clinics and offered traditional medicines for those who wished to smudge before or after their vaccination. We were also pleased to introduce Three Sisters Soup, made according to an Indigenous recipe, to MGH patients this fall as part of an initiative to offer fresher and more local food items to our menu.
Day 9: Making progress on the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre
We made significant progress on the construction of the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre, which is scheduled to open in late 2022. The new building will have bright, open spaces and two outdoor terraces, including one public terrace and one terrace dedicated to mental health programming. In addition to the new building, we are renovating many of our existing spaces.
While construction is underway, we are also in the planning stages of Project Imagine, which is building a vision for the future of our clinical care and physical spaces over the next 10-30 years.
Day 10: How community shows its support for the Heart of the East
This year our community of supporters rallied around MGH in a variety of ways: making donations, participating in fundraising events, sharing thoughtful messages of thanks and more.
We also launched our ‘Neighbourgood’ campaign, which celebrates the impact that all the good neighbours of East Toronto are having on MGH and our community.
Featured image: Ruby Quiambao, a Registered Nurse at Michael Garron Hospital, reads notes in our Gratitude Gallery.
Day 11: Patient-centred research in the community
Our Department of Research and Innovation has been hard at work over the past year! Highlights include bringing on our new Michael Garron Chair in Patient Oriented Research, Dr. Kelly Smith, PhD and having many of our researchers and clinicians take part in vital COVID-19 research thanks to a generous grant from TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment. Want to learn more about our researchers? Check out our #IamMGHresearch series features on Dr. Roseann Andreou, Dr. Raymond Fung and Angel Wang.
Featured image: New MGH Chair in Patient Oriented Research, Dr. Kelly Smith, PhD.
Day 12: How our teams are giving back to the community
Our teams love to give back to the community. Here are a few initiatives we’ve taken part in this year.
We combat poverty in our local community through a holiday campaign with the United Way Greater Toronto. Staff participate in a number of fun and festive activities to generate donations. This year, we raised over $3,000 via staff donations, a silent auction, candy cane grams and a TikTok-style dance competition!
We care about seniors in our community. This holiday season, our inpatient surgery team held their Second Annual Santa Shoebox Project and raised over $2,600! The team packed and donated 100 shoeboxes to residents of a local long-term care home. The shoeboxes were filled with toiletries, personal care items and puzzles for each resident.
The maternal newborn and child team organizes Love Boxes for paediatric inpatients who are newborn up to 18 years of age at MGH. Each Love Box is unique and filled with items to help make a child’s stay more comfortable. Common items in a Love Box include blankets, socks, colouring books, pencil crayons and toys. This holiday season, 500 boxes have been donated by the community and 100 have been put together by staff across the hospital.
Featured image: Some of the inpatient surgery team with Santa Shoeboxes