Toronto (Oct. 1, 2019) - The Silver Tsunami will see an unprecedented number of seniors in Canada, which is also true throughout North America. Thanks to a $3-million investment from The Slaight Family Foundation, University Health Network (UHN) is one step closer to being able to design programs and supports to enable seniors to live and thrive in their communities.

As part of a larger $30-million gift through The Slaight Family Foundation Seniors Initiative, UHN will leverage community partnerships, technology, and our influence as Canada's largest academic hospital, to deliver new and enhanced care for seniors outside of the hospital that promotes quality of life among seniors and reduces emergency room visits.

"Our goal is to put the needs first of those we are privileged to serve," says Dr. Kevin Smith, President and CEO of UHN. "With this gift, we will be able to design a care journey for seniors that is fortified by transitions that are seamless, high-quality, and safe – and ensure that research and education are included as integral parts of this work."

The gifts to UHN's three foundations – Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and Toronto Rehab Foundation – will direct funds to specialized programs that will expand the impact on seniors' health by:

  • Launching a Geriatric Community Integration Hub (GERI Hub) to be designed and run by Toronto Rehab in partnership with Sinai Health System and Circle of Care. The GERI Hub will become a single point of access to services for patients, as they navigate their post-hospital journey to their community; introduce innovative, tele-rehab models to allow seniors to rehabilitate in the comfort of their own homes; and offer a Geriatric Fellowship that will empower emerging leaders to inspire, invent, and deliver tomorrow's care.
  • Transforming Toronto's high-rise apartment buildings with high concentrations of seniors into Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs). Through UHN's OpenLab initiative, select buildings will serve as living laboratories to develop, pilot and test ways to provide health services and other support for seniors – right in their own buildings. (Community partners: Toronto Public Library, SPRINT Senior Care, SE Health, Toronto Paramedic Services, National Institute on Aging, Toronto Council on Aging and the City of Toronto)
  • Expanding programming at the one-of-a kind Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, to serve more seniors with dementia through the power of art, education and movement. (Community partners: Mosaic Home Care Services, York University School of Nursing, Toronto Council on Aging and University of Toronto)
  • Filling gaps in care for older adults with cancer. The Geriatric Oncology Program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre will create education and training opportunities for patients, families, and care teams, in the complexities of older adult cancer care; conduct research to improve patient outcomes and experience; and expand the clinic to accommodate more patients. (Community partners: Kensington Health)

The responsibility to provide innovative solutions for seniors is one that UHN takes seriously, as we look inside the hospital and beyond, to inspire, invent, and deliver tomorrow's care. But we recognize that we can't do it alone.

"We're grateful to The Slaight Family for demonstrating the important role that philanthropy plays in advancing our healthcare system," says Dr. Smith. "Together with our partners, we share a commitment to finding solutions to support seniors, build capacity in the community, and accelerate our vision of A Healthier World."

About Toronto Rehab Foundation

Toronto Rehab Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds for Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, a member of University Health Network. With the generosity of its donors and volunteers, Toronto Rehab Foundation is helping support research, education and patient care to help people overcome the challenges of disabling injury, illness or age-related health conditions.

About Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation

Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, as well as The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Together with its donors, the Foundation is helping world-leading health experts pursue the knowledge that makes all our lives better.

About The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (The PMCF) is one of the world's leading cancer charities, with a vision to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime. The PMCF raises funds for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world. Our mission is to enable future care now by raising funds that accelerate cancer research, education, and clinical care benefitting patients at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, across Canada and around the world.

About University Health Network

University Health Network includes Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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