Women's College Hospital - Health Care for Women, Revolutionized

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Happy Birthday Women’s College Hospital

Nov. 28, 2011

Emily Stowe’s Café may have never seen so much pink or such a gorgeous cake. Pink and silver balloons filled our bright cafeteria as Women’s College Hospital (WCH) staff, physicians and volunteers mingled and munched on hors d’oeuvres, anticipating the spectacle that was to come.

No effort was spared in hosting WCH’s 100th Birthday party – an event that paid tribute to Nov. 10, 1911 when our hospital first opened its doors. WCH has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a seven-bed facility on Seaton Street to become the leader in the health of women’s and ambulatory care that it is today. In celebration of this momentous occasion, the past year has served as a comprehensive canvas showcasing all of our hospital’s achievements throughout the century.

Held on Nov. 10, 2011, exactly 100 years after our hospital’s opening, our birthday party served as an opportunity to celebrate a hospital that has not only spearheaded innovations in the health of women and improved health-care options for all, but also defied the odds and changed the face of health care as we know it. Our hospital was the first Toronto facility where women patients could be treated by women physicians, and one of the first facilities to underscore the significant differences between women’s and men’s health.

But, as president and CEO Marilyn Emery acknowledged in her opening speech, it was the dedication and unwavering support of our staff, physicians and volunteers that was really at the heart of this year’s celebration.

“This is a very special time to be a part of Women’s College Hospital,” she began. “A time to reflect on our prestigious past, and look forward to our exciting future. So thank you all for joining us – because today is truly about celebrating you.”

In recognition of the incredible dedication of the staff, physicians and volunteers at WCH, Emery, along with Jane Mosley, chief nursing executive and health disciplines, professional affairs, presented the first-ever Joan Lesmond Quality Excellence Award.  Emery was then joined by Heather McPherson, vice-president, patient care and ambulatory innovation, to hand out the staff-nominated Century Tributes.

To top off the celebration, a magnificent cake donated by Bilfinger Berger Project Investments and Women’s College Partnership was cut and served by the capital redevelopment team. The dessert – a delicious and perfect replica of the revolutionary new building that is to come – was a huge hit with the crowd.

The party ended on a high note – literally – with WCH staff and the senior team taking the stage for Women’s Got Talent.

In addition to the party, all staff, physicians and volunteers were provided with a special 100th memento to commemorate the event, and were encouraged to sign anniversary banners that recognized their participation in WCH’s 100th year. Packaged as a time capsule, the memento consisted of such gifts as a 2012 100th anniversary calendar and a beautiful limited edition WCH pin with classic stone, only available this year.

Mementoes are still available in HR, 5th floor east, for anyone with a WCH ID badge who didn’t receive one.

As for the signed banners, they are currently displayed in the main entrance vestibule.

All in all it was a fun and joyous event, and with extra food left over we were even able to make a donation to Fred Victor Women’s Hostel – a fitting way to celebrate 100 years of revolutionized health care for women.

Here’s to 100 more!

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  • Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO)