Recently Peel Memorial celebrated its $1-million contribution from Magna International, the donation is part of the Osler Foundation’s larger $100M You Have the Power Campaign, it also includes important redevelopment and renewal projects at each of Osler’s three sites.
Peel Memorial will be a new kind of health care facility – one that treats illness and injuries but also helps people stay well, manage their illness or disease, and learn about healthy living.
Can-India reached out to Ken Mahaw CEO Osler Foundation to learn more about the “You Have the Power” capital (fundraising) campaign and soon-to-be completed Peel Memorial.
As CEO of Osler Foundation what are some of the fund-raising challenges?
People mostly donate to worthy causes they care about, so it is difficult to say one cause is more worthy than another, but at some point everyone will need a community hospital, and that is a fact. Many are fortunate to enjoy good health, but treatments for some chronic care will require a facility, someone in my own family needed such a facility. It was available because someone paid it forward. The equipment and facilities are there when you need it. But raising donations is a challenge for any cause.
In the case of Peel Memorial, we are excited because this is a facility the community asked for, and now we are very close to having it, but we need help to finish the job.
Tell me something about the Osler Foundations’ You Have The Power’ capital (fundraising) campaign.
It is a known fact that although all of us will need health care only a minority donate to hospitals. People think the government provides funding for all hospitals, but the government funds 90 percent and the ten percent is what we have to raise for things like medical equipment and furnishings. Most people don’t know that and think that it is fully funded with the taxes they pay. The ‘You Got the Power’ campaign features some very brave families who share their stories. The people who benefited talk about it in a real and personal way. We are trying to tell that story.
Has this level of engagement been tried in Brampton?
It is certainly unique to Brampton and Peel. In Toronto you have the Sick Kids Hospital that does it in a big way. We intend to get the word out there and build awareness that even a small donation can make a difference. We want to make the connection between donations and the way it helps the community.
How do you envision Peel Memorial changing the lives of people within the Brampton community?
The need for a second hospital in Brampton has been growing. Brampton Civic deals with high volumes. Peel Memorial strives to avoid an acute hospital setting, we call it a wellness centre on purpose. There will be a sample kitchen where students can learn nutritional cooking.
We concentrate on chronic disease management. The longer we can keep you out of hospital, the better health you will enjoy. This ensures that we can focus on wellness and education.
Peel Memorial will serve both functions- healthy lifestyle management, dealing with diabetes and heart disease as well as educate the young public. Part of lifestyle management is to avoid intrusive medication, teach people how to make nutritional meals, inexpensively and quickly as well as inspire, people coming to clinics to live better lives. It is not always easy to provide nutritional meals if one or both parents work long hours, it is not always possible to spend time cooking. Our challenge is to get through South Asians residents and new immigrants.
Tell our readers a little more about the William Osler Health System?
The way hospitals are clustered is to ensure no duplication services and to coordinate care. Peel Memorial is intentionally different from Brampton Civic, so if you need very intense and serious intervention you go there, for problems that are less serious and require clinical expertise and general treatment, Peel Memorial is the place or Etobicoke General.
William Osler is a three hospital system.
Tell us a bit about Osler Foundation’s fund-raising events?
Osler Foundation has had many great events over the years.
A few years ago, we created a new event- The Holi Gala, festival of colors. We also had a small Baisaki event, led by busy physicians.
Last year $275,000 was raised and a matching amount came from a donor. People are exposed to how important health care is, and it is very motivating and inspiring. Not everyone knows the role they have to play support the hospital. People can have fun and raise funds. We’ve been fortunate and the community has been extremely kind to us.
How can the community further help the fund-raising initiative?
People who donate get tax receipts for their charitable contributions, many donors come together as groups and we also have naming opportunities.
Those interested in donating can go to the website, http://www.oslerfoundation.org/ anyone can contact the Foundation, in some cases they want to talk to us, that is possible too.
In 2017 we will be fully functional. I would hope to say it is about an individual or family making a difference that is simple and profound. Peel Memorial came about only because the community wanted one. We are active fundraising to ensure we have everything needed to make Peel Memorial the best it can be. -CINEWS