Scarborough Muslims give back to hospitals

Scarborough Muslims give back to hospitals

The Muslim community in Scarborough are close to fulfilling a $250,000 pledge to the Scarborough Health Network (SHN).

“The Scarborough Muslim community launched a campaign in January 2018, with the goal of raising $250,000 over 5 years, for the Scarborough Hospitals,” said Muneeb Nasir of the Muslim Friends of the SHN organizing committee in his remarks at an appreciation dinner held on Friday, January 17th. ”In 2 years, the campaign is close to reaching the goal, Al-Hamdulilaah – praise be to God.”

“This extraordinary feat has been achieved through the generosity of our community and through the hard work of the dedicated volunteer committee led by Asad Chowdhury.”

It was announced at the event that the community had successfully raised over $166,000 in funds and $60,000 in confirmed pledges.

The recognition and appreciation event was held at the Centenary site of the Scarborough Health Network and was attended by Imams and leaders of Muslim organizations and mosques in Scarborough, as well as civic leaders, politicians and hospital officials. 

Donors, mosques and organizations that made notable contributions to the campaign were awarded recognition plaques.

Alicia Vandermeer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scarborough Health Network Foundation, told the community leaders of the needs of the hospitals in Scarborough and the importance of the community supporting them.

“A broad spectrum of patient-centred care is delivered from three hospital sites in Scarborough – General, Birchmount and Centenary campuses,” said Alicia Vandermeer. “The need to update our facilities is great. Just at Centenary and Birchmount, emergency departments alone, they are overcapacity by 264% and this number will continue to grow.”

“It is our highest priority to continue to upgrade and replace equipment to support programs and initiatives and to build larger facilities to support our growing and diverse community.”

Alicia Vandermeer was recently appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation as the SHN Foundation looks to raise $100 million to support the It’s Our Time Campaign to revolutionize health care for the Scarborough community. 

She will lead the Foundation in highlighting the important needs for space, equipment and technology to provide the best possible care to the more than 800,000 people who make Scarborough home. 

“Thank you so much to donors like you, and with your assistance and support, we can bring leading technology and specialized care to Scarborough providing our patients with advanced diagnostic testing and treatment that wouldn’t be available without your support,” Vandermeer added. “The Muslim community in Scarborough is engaged, and with over 20 local mosques, supporting the Foundation.”

“We sincerely appreciate your commitment, you have invested in facilities and equipment that will lead to shorter wait times, greater accessibility and a better experience for our patients,” she noted.“Thank you so much for your support and for helping us to transform healthcare here in Scarborough.”

Muneeb Nasir, President of the Olive Tree Foundation, commended the Scarborough mosques and organizations for joining hands to support the hospitals.

“I commend you for joining this campaign and for bringing your congregation along to do good works,” he said. “But over and above the good being done – uniting and pooling our efforts, makes this campaign much more special.”

“When we come together and unite to do good, as we are doing here, there is greater blessing because in the process of supporting our hospitals we are strengthening bonds in our community.”

Earlier, Muneeb Nasir reminded the audience of the affinity of religious communities to support healthcare institutions.

“Within these walls, we are fulfilling the important religious duty of visiting and comforting the sick,” he said. “Outside of the mosque, or other places of worship, hospitals are places where the most sincere prayers are offered. Hospitals are places where many people seek the divine for solace and where many people re-discover God.”

“Religious orders and communities have played an oversized role in healthcare in Canada. The Scarborough General Hospital was started in 1956 through the efforts of the order of Nuns – the Sisters of Misericorde; and the Scarborough Birchmount campus was founded through the efforts of the Salvation Army, the Christian charitable institution,” Muneeb Nasir added. “People of faith live out their faith by responding to the calling to comfort the sick and to lift the sorrows of the sorrowful.” 

Scarborough is the most eastern suburb in Toronto and a popular destination for new immigrants. As a result, it is one of the most diverse and multicultural areas in the Greater Toronto Area, being home to various religious groups and places of worship. It includes some of Toronto’s popular natural landmarks, such as Rouge Park and is greener than any other part of Toronto.