March 5, 2021
Michael Garron Hospital Foundation is welcoming a generous investment of $1 million from Moez and Marissa Kassam, a Toronto couple who is deeply motivated to support quality healthcare for diverse and vulnerable populations.
Michael Garron Hospital serves more than 400,000 people living in East Toronto – one of the most diverse communities in Canada – including individuals and families with significant healthcare needs. East Toronto spans 22 neighbourhoods, with five of those designated as priority neighbourhoods. Forty-percent of East Toronto residents are newcomers. Poverty and isolation – two of the most critical social determinants of health – affect people in East Toronto disproportionately.
The $1 million donation from the Moez & Marissa Kassam Foundation is timely. As Michael Garron Hospital continues to lead the fight against COVID-19, for which it has received national recognition, it is also moving closer to the completion of its capital redevelopment project. This is a $560 million effort wherein the hospital’s share is $125 million.
“My parents are immigrants so I know firsthand the challenges of establishing oneself in a strange land, and it can be daunting,” said Moez Kassam, Hedge Fund Manager and CoFounder of Anson Funds in Toronto. “Our hope is that by shining a light on these crucial needs, it will inspire others to contribute in any way they can. Supporting our most vulnerable communities is paramount to strengthening our societal fabric, and we firmly believe this investment in our great city’s future will pay great dividends to all its residents.”
The Michael Garron Hospital redevelopment project will introduce the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre to East Toronto next Fall with critical enhancements and features, including:
- Replacing 215 of the existing hospital beds. Eighty percent of the new patient rooms will be single occupancy so patients can heal in privacy and with dignity;
- A new chronic disease unit will bring together the hospital’s current chest, kidney and cardiac centres into one purpose-built space so that patients with multiple diseases will receive coordinated care; and
- New mental health facilities, including a 44-bed adult mental health inpatient unit and a sixbed inpatient unit for children and youth experiencing acute mental health crises.
The Kassams’ gift of $1 million will support both the redevelopment and the creation of a grassroots initiatives fund to expand the hospital’s capacity for community programming and inclusive and accessible healthcare.
Moez and Marissa are dedicated advocates for strengthening the health and vibrancy of vulnerable communities, supporting several organizations including the Toronto Public Library, the Canadian Olympic Foundation, Ryerson University and food-related causes and initiatives. Their gift, in line with their culinary passions, will be aptly commemorated in the hospital’s new Moez & Marissa Kassam Food Court which will seat up to 200 patients, visitors, and staff and will be prominently located alongside the hospital’s main lobby.
“Moez and Marissa have tremendous compassion and we are deeply grateful for their commitment to expert and quality healthcare in East Toronto,” said Mitze Mourinho, President of Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. “We are thrilled that they’ve chosen to invest so generously in a brighter and healthier future for this community.”