It was somewhat accidental that Lloyd Barbara became associated with St. Michael’s through the hospital’s foundation.
“A colleague asked me to fill in for him at a breakfast meeting, introducing the Hospital to a number of business people,” he says. “I was impressed by the financial turnaround St. Michael’s had made and by its vision and plans for the future.” (The colleague was Tony Arrell who is former Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors.)
It’s truly a place where ethics, integrity and charity are a big part of the organization. To help in what little way I have has been a great honour.
– Lloyd Barbara
It was St. Michael’s great work with the inner city that inspired him to volunteer: “It was evolving as a great medical institution and at the same time had community spirit and looked after the marginalized people of the city.”
“It’s truly a place where ethics, integrity and charity are a big part of the organization. To help in what little way I have has been a great honour.”
He volunteered with the Hospital’s first capital campaign. “St. Michael’s wanted to create a transition centre for the homeless who are treated in Emergency. I took the idea to the Toronto Rotary Club, as something they should support.” The result is a unique facility that provides respite care, clothing and counseling for street people after they have been in the Hospital’s Emergency. The Toronto Rotary Club had previously partnered on the Health Bus, which originated at the Wellesley but soon came to St. Michael’s, and in the development of a medical facility at Seaton House, Canada’s largest homeless shelter.
Lloyd has now been involved for 11 years and helped raise funds for the Hospital in three capital campaigns: “It has been a marvelous experience ever since. It’s truly a place where ethics, integrity and charity are a big part of the organization. To help in what little way I have has been a great honour.
The atmosphere of caring, the commitment of the staff to the Hospital, the way you’re treated – there’s something very special about the treatment and the kindness and the care. It’s embedded in the personality of the Hospital.
And it’s not just an inner city hospital. The scope of the hospital has broadened, and world-class researchers have come on board. To have someone like Li-Ka Shing support it says a lot.
St. Michael’s surprises me all the time – whether it’s new research or educational initiatives or innovations in care – I’m in awe of what they do.”