Toronto, March 11, 2005
William Osler Health Centre (WOHC) is paying tribute to the Canadian
Sikh community by naming the new hospital's emergency department
after the religion's founder.
"Guru Nanak Emergency Services Department is a name that
recognizes the size, scope and contributions to our society by
the Sikh community living and working in our hospital's catchment
area," said Bryan Held, WOHC Board Chair.
"This is a fitting and lasting tribute to the Canadian Sikh
and South Asian community, We look forward to a long and healthy
relationship with them."
At the same time, Navjeet Mangat, a WOHC foundation board member,
said an aggressive grassroots funding campaign has been launched
in the Sikh community this week with the goal of raising $10 million.
So far, $914,000 has been collected in a short amount of time,
said Mangat, adding he wouldn't be surprised if the Sikh community
surpasses their target.
However, the naming of the emergency department is not a direct
result of the fundraising effort.
"It's a two way street. If the hospital recognizes the importance
of the community itself, I think we have to look at that as an
opportunity to show our appreciation," he said.
The idea for the department's name was suggested to the board
last April by one of the hospital's doctors, Bajinder Reen.
Promote community participation
A Sikh sub committee was also created by three of WOHC's hospital
foundation board members, including Mangat, to help promote more
"It was formed as a working group with an open door policy
(that has now) grown to about 10 members," he said.
"As important a role as government plays in funding health
care, being a part of Brampton as citizens (makes) it's necessary
for us to do whatever we can within our own means to ensure our
children, seniors and residents get the service they need and
walk away feeling good about their experience."
So far, the Sikh sub committee has helped generate significant
* $500,000 from Harpreet Sethi, a local contractor who had two
of his children born at WOHC hospitals;
* $250,000 from Guru Nanak Community Services Foundation;
* $160,000 from the Sikh sub committee members.
"Brampton is one of the greatest cities in the world and
we have to do whatever we can to make sure all these institutions
provide excellence at a world class level and that's what it's
really about," said Mangat.
According to 2001 Statistics Canada information, the Sikh religion
is the third largest in Brampton behind Catholic and Protestant.
Mangat hopes the Sikh community's efforts spark more donation
efforts in Brampton.
Under the public private partnership (P3) funding formula being
used to build the new hospital, the community has to raise 30
per cent of the building's total cost of $536 million. (Brampton