Every November, the people at Sinai Health band together to raise funds for United Way. We do this because as health care providers, we all sleep a little bit better knowing that the United Way is there to offer a safe, healthy place to land for some of our most vulnerable patients.
When we give to United Way, we are collectively standing up for those patients and community members at large who need it most.
We recently spoke to our campaign co-chairs, Arsalan Hamidi, Dr. Julia Kfouri and Theresa Shiel, and asked them to share why giving to the United Way is so important to them, and what motivated them to serve on this committee.
As a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist, I care for pregnant patients at a vulnerable time, when they are experiencing both a mix of excitement for the changes to come, and anxiety about providing for their growing families. For many patients, these stressors include providing safe shelter, food and health care to their children, basics many of us take for granted. With the support of United Way agencies, our team of nurses, doctors, social workers and other allied healthcare professionals are able to meaningfully connect patients with community resources that are truly invested in making their lives better. With the United Way, I feel confident that our patients can access the same standards of excellent and respectful care outside the walls of Sinai Health that they do within the walls of the hospital, and it is an honour to serve as one of the co-chairs for the 2019 United Way Campaign. Dr. Julia Kfouri, MD, Division of MFM, Department of Obstetrics/Gynaecology
I moved to Canada from Pakistan as a teenager. Being a member of a minority group here has really opened my eyes to social justice, which has become something very important to me. No one can control the situation or environment they are born into or grew up in, but having community resources, especially those that support kids, can help level the playing field and make a huge difference in a person’s future.
Programs that provide support, training, and education to allow people to overcome past struggles are so incredibly important. Whether helping people deal with situations like the trauma of fleeing war and moving to Canada as a refugee, addiction or mental health problems, abusive relationships and violence or homelessness, the United Way helps people be their very best. Everyone’s circumstances and past are different, but that shouldn’t mean that their opportunities to thrive and be successful are limited. This support and community action is something I am incredibly passionate about, and I encourage all of my colleagues to give to this vital organization. Arsalan Hamidi, Senior Manager, Transformation & Organizational Enablement
As the manager of volunteer resources at Sinai Health, I work with incredibly giving people from all walks of life. Our volunteers range in age from high school students to seniors, and include those with precarious housing situations, and those with well-to-do lifestyles. Seeing this incredible diversity amongst our volunteers has only increased my appreciation for organizations like the United Way. I know that many people on our volunteer team – either directly or indirectly – have benefited from the hundreds of agencies that the United Way supports, like the Christie Refugee Welcome Centre, or Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs or the Sunshine Centres for Seniors. Offering points of connection and resources across the lifespan improves health and reduces poverty. And that is why I am proud to give to the United Way, and be one of the co-chairs for this year’s employee giving campaign, alongside Arsalan and Julia. It’s also an honour to work with the many dedicated ambassadors and generous donors across Sinai Health to support United Way. Theresa Shiel, Manager of Volunteer Resources
Employees and physicians who wish to donate or learn more about our campaign can visit our United Way page on the Mount Sinai Intranet or the Bridgepoint Portal to learn more about great prizes, events, and ways you can contribute to our 2019 Campaign. This year’s campaign runs until November 29.