Unity Health Toronto receives $1.5M gift from the Slaight Family Foundation

By Jennifer Stranges

Oct. 1, 2019 – Unity Health Toronto is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a combined $1.5 million gift from The Slaight Family Foundation. St. Michael’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre are two of the 13 Toronto hospitals and four national organizations who have received a combined $15 million to support seniors. The gift is the final component in The Slaight Family Foundation Seniors Initiative.

As a result of the gift, St. Joseph’s Health Centre will work with community partners and acute care hospitals to reduce the number of hospital revisits in the city’s west-end from senior patients by providing a social work navigator. The navigator will meet with senior patients in hospital and follows their journey back home to ensure the patients receive the supports they need when they return home.

Working in partnership with acute care hospitals, primary care facilities, community agencies and rehabilitation services, St. Michael’s Hospital will create and test a model of care that includes a geriatrician led outreach team to assess and case manage clinically frail seniors in supportive housing and shelters – the first such outreach initiative in Canada. The goal is to improve their quality of life and prolong their independence via an integrated model of health care delivery.

“We are so grateful to The Slaight Family Foundation for its investment and commitment to seniors’ health in Toronto,” said Dr. Tim Rutledge, president and CEO of Unity Health Toronto. “This generous donation will allow St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s to continue to improve our specialty care for seniors, and to create innovative models of health care focused on supporting seniors in their homes.”

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight is known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, music leader and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of health care, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture

“Seniors are Canada’s fastest growing demographic, yet a very under-supported and vulnerable population. Finding new ways of assisting seniors, particularly those who have trouble accessing our health and social services due to poverty or other barriers, is essential to helping keep people healthier longer and in their own communities,” said Gary Slaight of The Slaight Family Foundation. “This gift is only possible due to our father Allan Slaight’s foresight, business acumen and philanthropic leadership. We hope these new models and programs will serve as change agents in moving support and care for our seniors forward for years to come.”