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On March 3, the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation's (TG&WHF) 2011 on-site radiothon transformed the TWH atrium into a non-stop party. Featuring on-air celebrities from Fairchild Radio Canada alongside volunteers from UHN, the second annual radiothon was an enormous success surpassing its $75,000 goal to raise approximately $110,000 for the Chinese Community Health Fund.
These funds will go towards patient education initiatives, translation services and other programs that serve Toronto's Chinese population. The goal of the broadcast was also to increase awareness within the Chinese community of the services offered by UHN.
"The radiothon was a huge opportunity to reach out to the Chinese community," says Elizabeth Abraham, Manager, UHN Interpretation and Translation Services. "Language issues can be a significant barrier for patients seeking care. The radiothon was a great way to let them know that they can come to the UHN with their health concerns and we can meet their needs in their native language."
DJs from Fairchild Radio Canada interviewed Chinese-speaking patients and UHN staff on air for 12 hours, starting at 6am. The Fairchild team took a very active role in making the event an exciting experience. DJs encouraged walk-in gifts by giving away ballet tickets and music CDs. One DJ even offered to do 10 push-ups for every walk-in donation over $100.
UHN representatives who volunteered to participate in the radiothon included: Po-Lin Cheung, Dr. Wai-Ching Lam, Dr. Charlie Chan, Miu Lin Wong, Dr. Jeffrey Kwong, Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong, DuDu Chan, Dr Kenneth Fung, Jian Yang, Yammie Leung, Jim Skembaris, Dr. Frances Chung, Colina Yim, Dr. David Wong, Dr. Robert Chen, Dr. Louis Liu, Dr. Johnny Lau, Dr. Scott Fung, and Elizabeth Abraham.
More than 1,200 phone, walk-in, text and online gifts were received this year. Last year's event raised $42,000 in support of UHN's Asian Initiative in Mental Health, the Diabetes Education Centre, the Liver Clinic, the Patient Education Network and the Translation and Interpretation Services in Chinese.