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Donor Spotlight

Slaight Family Foundation announces historic seniors’ initiative

This $1 million gift will help launch a groundbreaking outreach initiative to help seniors reclaim their independence.

Older people are among the most physically and economically vulnerable members of St. Michael’s downtown community. Some might suffer from declining health because of medical conditions. Others might struggle with poverty, making it difficult to maintain their quality of life as they age. And still others might have trouble accessing health care and medications if they’re housebound or have mobility issues.

St. Michael’s has a long history of caring for the most vulnerable in our community. Now, thanks to a generous $1-million donation from the Slaight Family Foundation’s Seniors Fund, we will create a new model of specialty geriatric care that will provide more support for both patients and their caregivers, reduce emergency room visits for seniors and develop new technologies to help them thrive in their own homes.  The goal is to improve quality of life and prolong seniors’ years of independence.

For the first time in Canada, St. Michael’s will assemble an outreach team led by a geriatrician. The team will visit at-risk seniors in supportive housing and shelters and provide them with personalized clinical assessments and case management plans. But we will not work alone. This integrated model of health care will be a partnership between hospitals and community agencies – like the Inner City Health Associates and Woodgreen Community Services. The management plans will be tailored for each individual and linked to the appropriate community services.  

Announced on October 1, the United Nations Day of Older Persons, this significant investment is part of the Slaight Family Foundation’s $15 million Seniors Initiative, which will support a range of projects for older adults at 13 Toronto hospitals and four national organizations. The gift follows the June 2019 announcement of $15 million to create the Allan Slaight Seniors Fund at the United Way Greater Toronto, bringing the total to a historic $30 million. 

“Seniors are Canada’s fastest-growing demographic, yet a very under-supported and vulnerable population. Finding new ways to assist 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.”

Once again, the Slaight Family has stepped up to help St. Michael’s take on some of the world’s toughest health challenges. The Slaight Family Foundation has supported St. Michael’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions to address health inequities faced by Indigenous populations. And its generous donation to create the Slaight Family Emergency Department has cemented St. Michael’s reputation as Canada’s premier critical care hospital. 

Thank you to the Slaight Family Foundation, whose continual support enables St. Michael’s to stop at nothing. 

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