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St. Michael’s sets new Angel Ball gala record, raising $3.5 million

Toronto, October 19, 2014

By Geoff Koehler

he Earth Harp Collective
The Earth Harp Collective performs at the Angel Ball. William Close made his Canadian debut playing his Earth Harp, the largest string instrument on the planet.

St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation raised a record $3.5 million at its eighth Angel Ball gala Saturday to help renovate and double the size of the hospital’s Emergency Department.

The Emergency Department –which was built to accommodate 45,000 patients annually– now sees nearly 75,000 a year. The expanded ED will include more patient treatment areas, a CT scanner and ultrasound within the department for diagnostic imaging and a larger rapid assessment zone for efficient triaging of less severe cases. The renovated ED will also help to continue advancing St. Michael’s medical specialties, including trauma and critical care.

“As Toronto’s downtown trauma centre, we see tremendously diverse patients with the broadest spectrum of health care issues imaginable,” said Dr. Glen Bandiera, chief of Emergency Medicine for St. Michael’s. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re going to build a best-in-class ED with advanced technology and modern design that empowers us to treat these complex patients.”

The updated, world-class facility will be known as the Slaight Family Emergency Department.

The ED expansion is part of a larger project to transform St. Michael’s physical plant, which includes construction of the 17-storey Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower for critically ill patients at St. Michael’s. Completion of the project is expected by 2018.

More than 1,600 people from the arts, business and healthcare communities gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The name of the ball honours the fact that St. Michael’s is known as Toronto’s Urban Angel, for its downtown location and quality patient care.

The gala entertainment did not disappoint. William Close made his Canadian debut playing his Earth Harp, the largest string instrument on the planet. Resting the body of the instrument on stage, Close stretched his strings hundreds of feet across the convention centre and above the head of his audience. Playing the Earth Harp, which Close invented, he finished third in season seven of America’s Got Talent.

Other entertainment included performances by Toronto-based electric violinist, Doctor Draw, dancing from TDC Entertainment, Randell Adjei’s spoken-word poetry and music from the Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra.

The Angel Gala Ball is held every three years. The three gala chairs were Tony Gagliano, chief executive officer of St. Joseph Communications, and his wife Lina; Joe Natale, executive vice-president of Telus, and his wife Melissa Martin; and Anatol von Hahn, Group Head, Canadian Banking for Scotiabank, and his wife Alison.

High-resolution photos will be available Monday at: www.stmichaelshospital.com/gala.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media contacts

For more information, contact:

Geoff Koehler
Adviser, Media Relations
416-864-6060 ext. 6537
koehlerg@smh.ca