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Critical Dialogue on COVID-19 between William Osler Health System and BAPS Charities Canada

On December 16, 2020, William Osler Health System executives and BAPS Charities leadership held a virtual dialogue on the current state of the COVID-19 situation in Toronto and the surrounding areas.  The dialog’s primary focus was to share vital information in order to serve the well-being of the community and ensure that the general public is accurately informed. The William Osler Health System includes the Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital, and the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness.

Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO of William Osler Health System, emphasized that we are not past the pandemic given the availability and administration of the vaccine.  .  He conveyed the systematic approach to vaccination starting with frontline workers and those most vulnerable and then the public at large.  He emphasized that we are still at the early stages and need to continue to be vigilant in our actions and stressed “We do not want to create a sense of false hope.” Yogesh Patel, President of BAPS Charities, discussed the many humanitarian activities carried out by the organization to support the community during the pandemic. Utilizing new technologies, the youth volunteers of BAPS Charities have organized hundreds of virtual events across Canada, in multiple languages, to support the mental and physical health well-being of local communities. In addition, a number of projects have been undertaken by the senior members of the organization, who continue to be very active in the new online community.

To address the difficulties faced by family members trying to connect with patients in the hospital, Dr. Mohammad spoke of investments made in processes and technologies to allow easier virtual communications at all three hospitals in their group.

Lalit Wadvana, National Medical Coordinator, BAPS Charities Canada spoke of how he had recently witnessed how this technology had allowed an elderly woman to stay in touch with her family upon admission to the Etobicoke General Hospital for cancer treatment.

Mr. Ken Mayhew, President and CEO, William Osler Health System Foundation, noted the positive impacts of the humanitarian efforts of BAPS Charities in supporting not only the William Osler Health System hospitals but many other worthy causes such as the Hospital for Sick Children and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.   Mr. Mayhew said of the work “That is a very big legacy for your organization and we are hoping that others like BAPS Charities become advocates of quality health care in our community.” he said.

Udyan Pandya, a director of BAPS Charities, reminded all that during such times everyone needs to work collectively to support the community. “From charitable organizations to the broader community, all need to follow the advice from medical professionals to overcome this overwhelming situation created by the pandemic.”, he added.

The dialogue was attended by:

William Osler Health System:

  • Dr. Naveed Mohammad, President and CEO
  • Ken Mayhew, President and CEO, WOHS Foundation
  • Shari Lovelock, Director, Major Gifts and Campaigns
  • Sue Vanstone, Senior Manager, Health Policy

BAPS Charities Canada:

  • Yogesh Patel, President
  • Udayan Pandya, Director, BAPS
  • Harsh Brahmbhatt, National Outreach Coordinator
  • Lalit Wadhvana, National Medical Coordinator

BAPS Charities aims to serve local communities through coordination and partnership with local medical organizations throughout Canada and North America.