Guest Speaker:  Carolyn Snider
Chief of Emergency Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital 
Friday, April 9, 2021 - Time: 12:00 Noon to 1:15 PM
Rotary Virtual Meeting via Google Meet and YouTube Live
Topic:  How St. Michael's Managed Through Covid and
Used the Rotary Toronto Transition Centre  
Host:  Harold Hetherington          
Views and Opinions Expressed Disclaimer:  The views and opinions are those expressed by the Speaker and
do not necessarily reflect the official views or opinions, policy or position of The Rotary Club of Toronto or its Members.
Dr. Snider is the Chief of Emergency Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital. Unlike other major hospitals in Ontario, St. Michael’s serves many of Toronto’s more disadvantaged citizens who reside in the downtown core of the city. In addition to having medical needs met, this population requires other short-term assistance. People arrive at the hospital with an issue, that on its face, may not be an emergency. They may just need a prescription refilled. Dr. Snider has estimated that 40% of her clinical time is taken-up dealing with issues that are actually social and not medical in nature. It is with this background Carolyn brings a perspective that most people would not have had.
With this understanding, the hospital is able to connect the individual in need with a social worker who can then help find a place to stay or arrange a meal which may very well be the first meal in over one day. This is part of St. Michael’s ambitious long-term plan to make its catchment area, and indeed the City of Toronto, ‘the world’s healthiest city’.
Carolyn has the goal of using the business community in her attempt to close the gap between a standard of care, which she feels is basic, to a level of care that meets both basic needs and health care needs. To do this, Carolyn has had to learn of the unique needs of a significant portion of the population who live in downtown Toronto. It is her experience that much of the help required can be found at this hospital. No person is turned away.
Carolyn states that while she came from the same advantaged background that most Rotarians have enjoyed, it was not until she commenced working in the emergency department and saw what ‘disadvantage’ truly means, that she began to understand and appreciate how there are barriers to being able to obtain the kind of care we assume every Canadian enjoys.
Many members of this club may be aware of the assistance our Club has been able to give to St Michael’s emergency department. One such major gift has been St. Michael’s ‘Rotary Center’. This is the unique place within the hospital where individuals, who have been served in the emergency department and are ready for discharge, may go.  Here they are able to stay for a very short period of time until other arrangements are made.