Nearly $17,000 raised for St. Joe’s at Bloor West Cares

The 113 guests at Bloor West Cares had to make a tough decision. Which vital need at St. Joseph’s Health Centre would get their vote?

This fun Dragon’s Den style event pitted Dr. Andrea Miller from the Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation Centre of Excellence in Breast Cancer Screening & Treatment against Dr. Steven Rhee from St. Joe’s Emergency Department. The two physicians tried to convince guests at the Cheese Boutique to vote for their cause.

Both causes came out winners! The event raised nearly $17,000 for St. Joseph’s Health Centre with $6,476  going towards the Breast Centre and $10,203 going towards the Emergency Department.

The event was generously hosted by Afrim Pristine, co-owner of the Cheese Boutique. Afrim gathered four celebrity chefs to provide guests with an excellent sampling of their creations:  Jason Bangerter, Executive Chef, Langdon Hall; Rob Gentile, Chef Director, Buca; Carl Heinrich, Chef, Richmond Station; Cory Vitiello, Chef, Flock Rotisserie + Greens.

Supporting a new model of breast cancer care

Dr. Andrea Miller, Director of Breast Imaging at St Joseph’s Health Centre, said that women currently wait 6 – 9 weeks from the time of their mammogram to seeing a surgeon. “My patients tell me time and time again…it’s the waiting that is hardest,” said Dr. Miller.

The Breast Centre’s new model of care will reduce the process to just a few days. This approach to breast cancer diagnosis and treatment will be a model for cancer care in Ontario.

Expanding and revitalizing one of Toronto’s busiest emergency departments

Dr. Steven Rhee, Emergency Department Medical Director, Interim Chief talked about the urgent need for an improved Emergency Department at St. Joe’s. St. Joe’s has one of the busiest emergency departments in Toronto, with 100,000 visits annually. The current space doesn’t have enough beds and lacks privacy. A new Emergency will provide improved patient comfort, privacy, and safety from infection.

“We urgently need to expand and revitalize our ED, so I was very happy to participate in this event to raise awareness of our inadequate physical infrastructure that’s causing a real emergency in our emergency department,” said Dr. Rhee.

You can check out all the evening’s highlights on Facebook. Thank you to all the Bloor West neighbours who attended the fundraiser. Special thanks to Bloor West Cares organizers Lachlan MacQuarrie, Dyann Sheppard, Karen Allmen-Chow, and Andrea Leven-Marcon. Special thanks to host Afrim Pristine, the Cheese Boutique staff and the chefs who prepared all the delicious food.

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