Forty years ago, Berna Garron promised her teenage son Michael on his death bed that he wouldn’t be forgotten.
On Wednesday, Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) changed the name of its main site to Michael Garron Hospital after his family donated $50 million, which is believed to be the largest gift to a health network in Ontario.
The donation will mean new equipment, the creation of the hospital’s first teaching and research chair positions, and new research into better clinical care.
Outside of its main campus at Coxwell and Mortimer Avenues, the hospital will be known as the Toronto East Health Network, reflecting its several partnerships with other healthcare providers in the city, as well as the clinics and outreach programs it runs off-site.
Speaking to the Garron family, the 200 people gathered in the hospital conference room, and all the staff watching from the hospital cafeteria, Sarah Downey, the hospital’s president and CEO, said today marks the anniversary of the day that Michael’s mother promised him he would not be forgotten.
“We will make you proud to have trusted us with your son’s name,” Downey said.