John and Myrna Daniels (Photo by Geneviève Caron) (CNW Group/UHN Foundation)

TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2022 /CNW/ – John and Myrna Daniels Foundation has donated a lead gift of $52 million to establish the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre at University Health Network (UHN). The largest single donation to emergency medicine in Canada will elevate the standard of urgent care for older adults across the country.

The extraordinary gift will build Canada’s first purpose-built seniors emergency medicine centre, with full Level 1 Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation as approved by the American College of Emergency Physicians. Every element, from the lighting to the non-slip floors, will be designed to address the unique, most complex needs of older adults. A comprehensive research and education program, combined with the dedicated space, all specialized in geriatric emergency medicine, will make this the first centre of its kind globally.

“John and Myrna Daniels Foundation is honoured to be a part of this historic moment in global health care. The development of the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre will solidify UHN as a national leader in caring for older adults,” says Ron Daniels, Executive Director of John and Myrna Daniels Foundation and President of John Hopkins University. “It’s important we take a proactive approach to the emergency medical care of our aging population, and the Centre will become a revolutionary model of emergency geriatric care that will become the gold standard both nationally and globally, transform the patient experience, enhance patient safety and improve patient-oriented outcomes.”

Scheduled to open in 2025, the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre will be housed at UHN’s Toronto Western Hospital and built at a critical moment in history. Across the globe, countries are experiencing a “longevity revolution,” according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. By the year 2050, an estimated 1 in 6 people will be age 65 or older, many of whom have chronic conditions and comorbidities.

“The immense generosity of John and Myrna Daniels Foundation has been inspiring,” says Dr. Sam Sabbah, Medical Director of Emergency Medicine at UHN. “Older adults have contributed so much throughout their lives and deserve the best. Our hardworking team, especially under the guidance of Dr. Tessa Ringer, Medical Director of our Geriatric Emergency Medicine Program, is ready to make that possible in the new Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre, the only centre of its kind in Canada.”

The Centre will be staffed by UHN’s world-class Emergency Medicine team, with multidisciplinary teams skilled and experienced at identifying and addressing the medical and social needs of older patients, as well as decreasing the likelihood that these patients are unnecessarily admitted to hospital.

“Health care is at a crossroads. Our population is aging rapidly, and building the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre is signalling to the world that we will take the path that offers the best care for older adults,” says Tennys Hanson, CEO of UHN Foundation. “John and Myrna Daniels Foundation has made this ambitious and vital project possible. For that, we are profoundly grateful.”

Based on leading best practices in geriatric emergency medicine, the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre will focus on identifying and caring for three groups of older adults who will benefit most from the Centre’s unique resources:

  • People with mobility, functional or social support challenges
  • Individuals at high risk for falls, delirium and other health care-related harm
  • Patients who are in the emergency department waiting for an inpatient bed and are expected to have a long stay in hospital due to mobility, functional or social support issues

About John and Myrna Daniels Foundation

The John and Myrna Daniels Foundation is a registered charity established in 2015 through a generous donation from philanthropists and business leaders John and Myrna Daniels. Based in Toronto, Canada, the Foundation’s broad philanthropic objectives focus on health care, education, food security and the relief of poverty. Most recently, the Foundation sponsored the creation of The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto as well as The John and Myrna Daniels Hollywood Theatre at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). In 2017, the Foundation made a $20-million-dollar gift to University Health Network (UHN) in support of three world leading programs focused on facility upgrades and research. The Foundation’s current major initiative is the creation of the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre in partnership with UHN, which will establish new and lasting standards for emergency geriatric medical care for Canadians.

About University Health Network

University Health Network (UHN) consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehab, 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 arthritis, cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. UHN is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About UHN Foundation

Part of University Health Network (UHN), UHN Foundation raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals, Toronto Rehab and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. With donor support, UHN Foundation is helping UHN pursue new knowledge to build a healthier world.

SOURCE UHN Foundation

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