Michael Garron Hospital is $1 million closer to completing its transformation and expanding its community health initiatives, thanks to a timely gift from a Toronto couple.
The hospital foundation announced today it has received a donation of that amount from Moez and Marissa Kassam, who it says are deeply motivated to support quality healthcare for diverse and vulnerable populations.
“My parents are immigrants so I know firsthand the challenges of establishing oneself in a strange land, and it can be daunting,” said Moez Kassam, a hedge fund manager, in a press release from the hospital. “Supporting our most vulnerable communities is paramount to strengthening our societal fabric, and we firmly believe this investment in our great city’s future will pay great dividends to all its residents.”
The donation from the Moez and Marissa Kassam Foundation comes when it is most needed, the hospital says.
“As Michael Garron Hospital continues to lead the fight against COVID-19, for which it has received national recognition, it is also moving closer to the completion of its capital redevelopment project,” according to the release. “This is a $500-million effort wherein the hospital’s share is $125 million.”
The redevelopment project will open the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre next fall with enhancements, including:
- replacing 215 of the existing hospital beds, 80-per cent of which will be single occupancy;
- creating a new chronic disease unit to bring together the hospital’s current chest, kidney and cardiac centres into one purpose-built space so that patients with multiple diseases will receive coordinated care; and
- new mental health facilities, including a 44-bed adult mental health inpatient unit and a six-bed inpatient unit for children and youth experiencing acute mental health crises.
The gift will also support the creation of a grassroots initiatives fund to expand the hospital’s capacity for community programming, and inclusive and accessible healthcare.
The donation will be commemorated in the hospital’s new Moez and Marissa Kassam Food Court which will seat up to 200 patients, visitors, and staff near the hospital’s main lobby.
Shining a light
The Kassams are also known as also known as strong supporters of other organizations, including the Toronto Public Library, the Canadian Olympic Foundation, Ryerson University and food-related causes.
“Moez and Marissa have tremendous compassion and we are deeply grateful for their commitment to expert and quality healthcare in East Toronto,” hospital foundation president Mitze Mourinho said.
“Our hope is that by shining a light on these crucial needs, it will inspire others to contribute in any way they can,” Kassam said.