Hundreds gathered at Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) in the City of Markham, north of Toronto, on October 30th to celebrate a substantial seven-figure-gift made by Shakir Rehmatullah, President and Founder of Flato Developments Inc.
In recognition of this monumental donation, the hospital proudly named and officially unveiled — The Shakir Rehmatullah Cancer Clinic.
“A hospital is fundamental to any community, and in times of a medical crisis, there’s nothing more reassuring than knowing your hospital has the right equipment, facilities and doctors,” said Rehmatullah. “Anybody who cares for the community should look after the hospital, because we’re all going to need it someday.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford along with many national, provincial and municipal dignitaries including Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti were present to honour Rehmatullah’s tremendous gift.
Hospital staff, physicians and patients were also on-hand to celebrate the extraordinary gift and witness the unveiling of the newly named cancer clinic.
The donation was made in honour of Rehmatullah’s father, also a philanthropist, who passed away from cancer shortly after the family arrived in Canada.
“All of a sudden, he got sick, was rushed to hospital and a couple of days later we found out he had cancer, within 30 days he passed away…. Since that day, I’ve felt I should do something for cancer if I could,” said Rehmatullah.
“Today we celebrate his legacy, your family and the amazing kindness that you’re showing to Markham Stouffville Hospital,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “After all, great medicine cannot exist without kindness.”
Suzette Strong, CEO, MSH Foundation added, “There are simply no words strong enough to express our sincere gratitude to Shakir for sharing our vision to make Markham Stouffville Hospital a provincial leader in healthcare.”
While the money supports the hospital as a whole—including the purchase of life-saving medical equipment and innovative technology—it will also fund the oncology department’s patient care initiatives.
With a chemotherapy clinic, breast health centre, pain and symptom management clinic, colon health services and radiation consultation services, MSH’s oncology department focuses on providing patients with world class care, close to home.
“Shakir, the inspirational gift we are celebrating today speaks loudly to the trust you have bestowed on us to deliver the highest quality care to our patients, their families and the community,” said Jo-anne Marr, President & CEO, MSH. “We will strive to proactively think, act and innovate every day to provide our patients with care that is connected to the community in which they live.”
Shakir Rehmatullah often gives anonymously and has asked MSH to hold the amount of his gift in confidence.
Meanwhile, Rehmatullah has been awarded the Anthony Roman award as Markham’s business person of the year. He will receive the award at a gala dinner on Nov. 6th.
The award recognizes a “business person who combines professional success with community support ensuring Markham is a better place to live through civic leadership and philanthropy.”
“Shakir is making a real difference in Markham and I am delighted that he is our 2018 recipient,” said MBT president and CEO Richard Cunningham. “His actions speak to the philosophy that building community is much more than building homes.”