June 8th, 2021

// St. Joseph’s Health Centre turns 100: Builds first post COVID Emergency Department in country

St. Joseph’s Health Centre turns 100: Builds first post COVID Emergency Department in country

Promise 100 campaign to ensure health care needs of west-end for next 100 years

TORONTO, June 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- St. Joseph’s Health Centre turns 100 this year and its Foundation is honouring a century of care by launching Promise 100, a campaign to ensure the hospital meets the health care needs of the west-end for the next century.

The campaign will support St. Joe’s community and health care providers through the following activities:

  • Building the first post COVID Emergency Department in the country and equipping it with critical equipment and technology.
  • Updating dedicated spaces for our physicians and staff to thank them for 100 years of care.

A century of care: From pandemic to pandemic
100 years ago, a group of caring and determined women saw a need in Toronto’s west-end community and stepped up to fill it. The Sisters of St. Joseph – an order of nuns who came to the city to help with a diphtheria epidemic in 1851 – founded St. Joseph’s Health Centre in 1921. They made a Promise to look after the health needs of Toronto’s west-end community and 100 years later that Promise is stronger than ever.

“We’ve seen that emergency care has been at the centre of the pandemic,” said Maria Dyck, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation. “People living in the west-end of the city visit the Emergency Department at St. Joe’s more than 100,000 times each year, making it a vital community resource and one of the busiest emergency departments in the GTA. And while we offer excellent care, we do so in a space built for almost half the number of people who need us.”

Safe spaces for frontline personnel to fight pandemic
The Promise 100 campaign will focus on ensuring the hospital and its dedicated health care teams can continue to fight the pandemic. Funds raised will expand the emergency department and update dedicated spaces for physicians and staff to have quiet time away from clinical areas, recognizing the emotional stress and burnout the pandemic is causing.

From humble beginnings
St. Joe’s had 25 beds when it was founded by the Sisters in 1921. Today, it remains at the heart of Toronto’s west-end community. There are now more than 500,000 people living in this catchment area and St. Joe’s is one of Canada’s largest community teaching hospitals with almost 450 beds and over 400,000 visits annually.

Dr. Tim Rutledge, President and CEO of Unity Health Toronto (St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare) says there has never been a time when community has mattered more. “It has been a challenging year, but we look to 2021 with hope and gratitude. Our teams have worked tirelessly to care for this community,” he says. “It’s inspiring to see donors and neighbours come together to help. Now we ask our neighbours to join us again in honouring 100 years of care by supporting emergency care and those on the frontlines.”

Simon Nyilassy, Chair of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation Board of Directors, says he has seen the impact of donations on patient care at St. Joe’s. “Many Donors give because they’ve experienced care at St. Joseph's. West enders’ children and grandchildren were born here at St. Joe’s. They have had emergency or other care here, brought their children to us when they were ill or have had loved ones pass away at the end of their lives,” Nyilassy said. “This lifetime of care has prompted an outpouring of support in these challenging times and we hope it will continue so we can be here for 100 years more.”

The power of our community hospital 
As much as 80 per cent of people’s healthcare needs are supported by their community hospital. Many of the major points in people’s lives will happen right here: being born, giving birth, minor accidents and sicknesses growing up, major sickness and end of life. 

How to help
Westenders and all Canadians can learn more about the Promise 100 campaign and how to make a secure online donation to help St. Joe’s keep the Promise at www.supportstjoes.ca.

About St. Joseph’s Health Centre
St. Joseph’s Health Centre, a strong partner within Unity Health Toronto, is a Catholic community teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto that has served the communities of west Toronto and beyond since its founding by the Sisters of St. Joseph nearly a century ago. Empowered by the dedication of our staff, physicians, students and volunteers, and emboldened through strong partnerships and the input of local residents, St. Joseph’s is committed to achieving its vision of advancing the health of our community by being Canada’s best community teaching health centre. For more information on St. Joseph’s Health Centre, visit www.stjoestoronto.ca and for details on the Promise 100 campaign, go to www.supportstjoes.ca.


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