Historic $75-million gift from Orlando Corporation to strengthen health care

An unprecedented $75-million donation from Orlando Corporation aims to strengthen the ability of the Eastern GTA to provide world-class care for the community and train future health-care professionals.

With its gift, the company is investing $50 million in Scarborough Health Network’s (SHN) Birchmount Hospital, mental health needs and other urgent priorities, and $25 million in the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH). This gift will advance the health needs of this dynamic region’s nearly 1.3 million residents.

Scarborough and the Eastern GTA is a vibrant, diverse region – but it is also rapidly growing and now faces a critical shortfall of family physicians, nurse practitioners and specialists, as well as aging health-care facilities. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these challenges, with the community seeing the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the province.

“On behalf of the University of Toronto, I would like to express our profound gratitude to Orlando Corporation for this outstanding act of philanthropy,” said Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto. “Your leadership will make a major difference in the lives of people and communities in Scarborough and the Eastern GTA, strengthening health care and improving the quality of life for generations to come.”

“This donation is momentous for Scarborough Health Network, and is the largest gift in our history,” said SHN Foundation President and CEO Alicia Vandermeer. The donation was announced at an event attended by Ontario Premier Doug Ford. This spring, the Ontario government announced that it would fund an expansion of medical education at the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health. “We are incredibly grateful to Orlando Corporation for hearing the message of our Love, Scarborough campaign and investing in equitable health care for our diverse community. Their gift will support the Birchmount Hospital redevelopment, including expanding and innovating the emergency department, mental health care across the Network, and other urgent needs, allowing us to offer more care with fewer barriers.”

“Every resident in Scarborough and the Eastern GTA deserves to live a healthy life and to have access to excellent health care whenever they need it,” said Orlando Corporation President Blair Wolk. “The Scarborough Health Network and the University of Toronto are two institutions that can help make this goal a reality and we’re pleased to be able to support them.”

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