Created by the community, for the community
Mount Sinai’s first steps on the path to medical excellence were made possible by philanthropy. We owe our existence to passionate volunteers and donors who saw a need, and dedicated themselves to meeting it.
It was August of 1913 when four women formed the Ezras Noshem Society, literally “Ladies Aid”. The Jewish immigrant population in Toronto was burgeoning; most of the new immigrants didn’t speak English and were afraid of large institutions. And, sadly, Jewish doctors were not allowed to intern or attend patients in the city’s hospitals.
It took them nine years, but by 1922, Mrs. Cohn, Miller, Spiegel and Adler had raised $12,000, much of it in nickels and dimes, enough to buy a building at 100 Yorkville Avenue.
The Toronto Jewish Maternity and Convalescent Hospital opened its doors in 1923.
Much has changed about that hospital since it opened. The name became Mount Sinai Hospital and it changed location several times. It grew from 30 beds to its current 472 and it has become, in very short order, one of North America’s pre-eminent health care, research and academic institutions.
It developed a world-wide reputation for excellence in genetic research, women’s and infants’ health, surgical oncology, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, general psychiatry, critical care and cardiology.
And it is so culturally inclusive that today there are interpreters for Mount Sinai patients in over 45 languages.
Yet much has also remained the same.
The opening of the Toronto Jewish Maternity and Convalescent Hospital was a response to the intolerance of the times; so too was the hospital’s mandate to open its doors to the entire community. Right from the start, Mount Sinai has been culturally inclusive, serving patients and employing staff from all backgrounds.
The vision, determination and selfless concern for the well-being of the community that characterized Mount Sinai’s beginnings still drive the Hospital today. Mount Sinai was and always will be a place where Big Minds and Bright Hearts practice nothing but The Best Medicine.
The University of Toronto Surgical Skills Centre recently opened a major expansion, doubling its size and increasing its ability to train surgical students.