Author: Joel Johnson

Falling off a ladder eight years ago changed my life

Jackie Stokoe

“One split second changed everything,” says Jackie Stokoe. “I fell off a ladder and crushed my elbow so bad I couldn’t do anything. Emergency surgery led me to Dr. Amr Elmaraghy at St. Joe’s who helped me fully recover.”

Now Jackie supports St. Joe’s by riding every year alongside Dr. Elmaraghy’s team in St. Joe’s Cycle 4 St. Joe’s event. She rides the longest distance and does what she can to support St. Joe’s. “Cycling is part of my life now and I am so happy to inspire others to get on their bikes to support St. Joe’s. This anniversary year will be very special as we all mark a historic milestone for the west end.”​

We all need care that’s close to home


Anilisa Sainani was a first-time mother and nervous about taking her baby home after delivery. Then her baby son, Jai, needed further medical care to help him grow and eat. He had to be transferred to St. Joe’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“The care at St. Joe’s was fantastic,” says Anilisa. “It was reassuring to have St. Joe’s so close to home because I could spend more time with my son during his stay,” Anilisa was there for all of Jai’s feedings and could go home and shower and care for herself knowing he was in great hands.

Anilisa is now a member of the St. Joseph’s Foundation Board of Directors. Her experience with St. Joe’s is her inspiration to make a difference for others in the west end.

“St. Joe’s is our community hospital and here to look after all of our family’s health needs,” she says. “Fro great paediatric care in the CIBC Just for Kids Clinic, the NICU, to a full Emergency Department with an area dedicated to kids, as well as mental health support for those who are most vulnerable, St. Joe’s has it all.”

Anilisa wants to offer the staff at St. Joe’s the simplest thing she can—her sincerest “thank you” for the care they have given her family , and for what they do every day. “It is my hope that this compassionate care continues on into the next century,” she says. “For the generations that come after us—for son’s children and maybe even their children too!”



Sainani Family

People refer to St. Joe’s as their hospital, and it is their hospital

Kathleen O’Neil

Kathleen O’Neill is the former chair of St. Joseph’s Health Centre and of the foundation. She has been a longtime supporter, generous donor and member of St. Joe’s for more than 25 years. At one point my husband thought I liked the food at the hospital better than home because I was there so often,” she explains. “It’s just a great institution whose mission and dedication to the west-end  community at large was incredible, and remains incredible today.”

Kathleen cares for community and believes in St. Joe’s Promise which makes her a dedicated volunteer. It’s also that same passion that carried into her positions as the first female Chair of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, and the Foundation.  “I’ve seen many examples during my time at St. Joe’s where the organization not only stood out, but stood up during challenging times.”

As an honourary co-chair for Women Promise 100, being part of a group of strong women leaders excited her. as someone who exemplified true leadership throughout her career, awarded as one of Canada’s leading female executives, and success as a business leader, where she was awarder the Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women Award for three consecutive years, we are fortunate to have her support in this endeavour to unite women.

“As we move forward we should all be conscious of the fact that women can do much, can lead and should lead. We should be doing everything we can to support them.” Involvement and loyalty to the community is integral to St. Joe’s Promise as we look onwards to the next 100 years of care and women’s leadership. “The Sisters of St. Joseph’s founded the hospital—that was built through strong women’s leadership,” she continues. “The community may change, but the needs will still be there.”  And so will strong women to lead us.

Giving to St. Joe’s is a family tradition

Jennifer Clarke

Pulling into her driveway, Jennifer Clarke thinks of her grandma. She sees her 10-year-old daughter Charley set up selling hot chocolate to people passing by. “My grandmother was new to Canada and didn’t have much at all, but she always gave $20 each month to charity,” she says. “Now to see my entire family doing what they can to help others is really touching.”

Charley says she is giving back to St. Joe’s because of her two sisters Georgia and Jessica, twins who needed extra care when they were born five years ago. “I remember going to visit them and everyone was really nice, so I wanted to help St. Joe’s with things they need.” Charley’s fundraising, which has included hot chocolate and lemonade stands, as well as asking for donations instead of birthday gifts, has even inspired her two older brothers Blake and Connor – both who emptied their piggy banks to help.

“Our family believes in giving back and St. Joe’s is very special to us. I am very proud to see my children continue this wonderful tradition.”

St. Joe’s has taken very good care of me over the years

Thinnalur Ravishanka

Thinnalur Ravishankar, Ravi to his friends, came to Canada as a young man in 1968, He has received most of his medical care at St. Joe’s because of his connection to Dr. N. Ranganathan, who is now retired from St. Joe’s, a family friend who has become his family.

Ravi has supported St. Joe’s both to honour their 50+ year friendship and in memory of hist parents, Mr. Thinnalur & Mrs. Sivakamu Jayaraman.

“St. Joe’s has always been here for me,” he says. “Helping others, which I try to do, is a value instilled in me by my parents, and in that vein I am proud to support St.Joe’s so it can be here for another 100 years.”

I spent a lot of time at St. Joe’s when I was growing up

Sandy McIntyre

Sandy McIntyre spent a lot of time at St. Joe’s as a child, but not as a patient. His father was Dr. Alexander McIntyre and he was the Chief of General Surgery at St. Joe’s. “I was here a lot with my dad as he was visiting patients on the weekend and I learned so much during that time.”

Dr. McIntyre was instrumental in making St. Joe’s an academic institution affiliated with the University of Toronto and helping bring the  first surgical residents to our Health Centre. “I saw how important it was for physicians like my dad to have the right space to work to help him better care for his patients.” this why I chose to give back—to honour my father at a place that played such an important role in my life, and to help build a better space to care for people with mental illness.

Sandy made a transformative gift to the name the Dr. J Alec McIntyre Adult Mental Health Emergency Services area in our redeveloped unit that is a first point of care for adults, youth and children in crisis due to mental illness. “St. Joe’s 100 year anniversary makes me reflect on the history of St. Joe’s and the piece my father played in making this hospital the place it is today. My wife Jane and I are happy to support such a critical resource for the community.”

St. Joe’s has been here when we’ve needed it

Afrim Pristine

Afrim has been perfecting the practice of making and selling cheese his entire life. “I do what I do for the love of cheese,” he says. “And for the happiness it brings people.”

The Pristine family has been a supplier of happiness since 1970 when their grandfather opened the first Cheese Boutique in Bloor West Village. Today the west-end landmark is on Ripley Avenue, just around the corner from St. Joe’s where Afrim was born. “My grandfather and father taught me everything I know. They were incredible mentors who also showed our family the importance of giving,””” says Afrim. “Like us, St Joe’s is here for our community and we do what we can to give back to help our hospital.”

Afrim and the Cheese Boutique are helping St. Joe’s celebrate 100 years by raising urgent funds to support people with mental illness. “St Joe’s has always been here we we needed it—good times and bad—so we are happy to help mark this milestone for an important cause.”


St. Joe’s has seen my loved ones through the most joyous and difficult times

Mike Talmage

Mike Talmage is a father of four kids. He has made the west end is family’s home and gives back to the community by supporting St. Joe’s—a place where he has experienced joy and pain.

“A hospital is part of everyone’s story, whether it’s the birth of your children or death of a loved one,’ he says. “I’ve experienced both and is the first-hand care that I’ve experienced at St. Joe’s that inspires me to do what I can to support St. Joe’s.

Mike serves on the St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Annual Fall Classic Golf Tournament. This year he is getting set once again to the hit the greens on September 13th to raise critical fund for a new Emergency Department at St. Joe’s to honour the 100th anniversary of the Health Centre.

“St. Joe’s has a long history of taking care of this community.” he says. “We need it here now more than ever for the next generation of westenders.”

I am proud to have grown up a westender and support St. Joe’s

Brendan Shanahan

Brendan Shanahan says he is proud to come from a place where people really support each other, where hard work  is valued, and where a promise really means something. “For a century, St. Joe’s has helped make Toronto’s west end a a great place to live and grow. It’s always been there for my family and whole community by providing compassionate care above and beyond the ordinary.”

Brendan was the Co-Chair of the Promise Campaign that raised more than $100 million for St. Joe’s. “I wanted to play a small role in helping a place that improves the lives of people I grew up with. I was very glad to help St. Joe’s be the very best it can be for this community”