Due to COVID-19, St. Michael’s Hospital’s annual Urban Angel Golf Classic, one of the hospital’s highest-grossing fundraisers of the year, was cancelled. This has led the foundation to re-focus its efforts online.
Running August 5th-August 19th, Ontario residents will be able to bid in an online auction at www.urbanangelauction.ca in support St Michael’s Hospital’s highest COVID-19 priorities, such as ensuring their frontline health-care workers have what they need to battle the crisis, making sure no member of society is left behind, and powering cutting-edge research to end the pandemic.
We recently spoke with Dr. Carolyn Snider, Chief of Emergency Medicine, for St. Michael’s Hospital about their efforts.
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto is globally renowned for its research and treatment in some of the world’s toughest health challenges, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, we mobilize individuals, corporations and foundations to support our renowned medical experts and hospital leaders who take on some of the world’s toughest health challenges by pioneering medical discoveries, devising new treatments and building state-of-the-art facilities.
What problem does it aim to solve?
St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation supports our physicians and scientists with health challenges such as multiple sclerosis, brain aneurysms, cystic fibrosis, blindness, infectious diseases and traumatic injury. St. Michael’s Hospital is also recognized for its work with the most marginalized members of our community, particularly those experiencing disadvantage and homelessness, during this COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
For the last 32 years, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation has hosted an annual Urban Angel Golf Classic- its highest-grossing fundraiser of the year. However, since large events are not possible in the age of COVID-19, we re-focused our efforts online and launched our first-ever Urban Angel Golf Classic Auction. From now until August 19th, Ontarians will have the opportunity to bid online www.urbanangelauction.ca for one-of-a-kind prizes and experiences, in support of a great cause. All funds raised will support St Michael’s Hospital’s highest COVID-19 priorities, such as ensuring frontline health-care workers like myself and my colleagues have what we need to battle the crisis, making sure no member of society is left behind, and powering cutting-edge research to end the pandemic.
When did you start/join it?
I started my career at St. Michael’s Hospital in 2008 after doing most of my residency in emergency medicine here. I then spent 8 years in Winnipeg for family reasons but was very excited to return in 2019 to take on the role of chief of emergency medicine.
What made you want to get involved?
St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation focuses on serving marginalized and disadvantaged populations in Toronto. Being part of a hospital and foundation that understands the need to care for disadvantaged and marginalized people and support its frontline workers–notably during a pandemic–is crucial. St. Michael’s Hospital is a very special place. The hospital and foundation’s dedication to excellence in care, teaching and research combined with the mission to improve the care for disadvantaged and marginalized people is very aligned with why I practice medicine.
What was the situation like when you started?
The hospital has always felt like a small and close community in a big city. In the emergency department, we work so closely and collaboratively with all of the areas of the hospital. We see some of the most marginalized patients in the city and there is a true dedication by the hospital and foundation to supporting and advancing their care.
How has it changed since?
The collaboration between everyone in the hospital was incredible during COVID-19. Everyone anticipated the strain COVID-19 was going to have on our emergency department and the rest of the hospital. We also knew that the most vulnerable patients – those experiencing homelessness and marginalization were going to be affected most. And they were – the cracks in our system were amplified. Many of the outpatient programs needed to be closed down or greatly reduced due to COVID. We of course were strained with resources as a hospital. We worked closely and collaboratively with our community colleagues to try address during a very strained time. There was no “can’t” in our vocabulary just a “how.” I am really proud to work at St. Michael’s Hospital.
What more needs to be done? How can our readers help? Do you have any events coming up?
At St. Michael’s Hospital, our top priorities are to remain prepared for anything, and to make sure no member of society is left behind. The funds raised with this auction will directly support our team’s efforts to ensure these things as we battle the pandemic and prepare ourselves for a potential second wave.
That is why we are encouraging Ontarians to check out our Urban Angel Golf Classic Virtual Auction and place their bids now until August 19th on urbanangelauction.ca. All funds raised will support St. Michael’s Hospital’s highest COVID-19 priorities, and you can win some truly incredible prizes and experiences, while doing good in the process.
Some of the prizes that are up for grabs with the foundation’s first-ever Urban Angel Golf Classic Auction include virtual meet and greets with Howie Mandel, Eric McCormack and Petra Nemcova, courtside Raptors tickets, luxury Toronto Staycations at the Four Seasons Toronto and Hazelton Hotel, golf shoes signed by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, and the list goes on!
Where can we follow you?
Place your bids at the Urban Angel Golf Classic Auction, live now until August 19th at urbanangelauction.ca.
Readers can also follow us at @StMichaelsFdn on Twitter and Instagram, and visit stmichaelsfoundation.com for our latest updates.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
We donate to a number of the local shelters and organizations that help those living on the street. I know how essential these services and their frontline workers are to the many Torontonians struggling. This was especially clear during COVID as I worked with many of their frontline workers to problem solve COVID-related issues.