(Photography by Kevin Van Paassen)
A Toronto developer sets an example with a $10-million gift to establish the Peter Cipriano Centre for Seniors Health
Property developer Peter Cipriano has thought a lot about care for the elderly and how to keep seniors healthy and at home longer.
Already a strong supporter of the geriatric medicine division at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a generous donor, he is now donating $10 million to create the Peter Cipriano Centre for Seniors Health. This centre will pioneer a new model of coordinated care, so seniors can stay healthy for as long as possible.
“My parents lived into their 90s and, like many, they were patients at Sunnybrook. This is a way to show my support,” says the founder and chief executive officer of the Vaughan, Ontario-based Goldpark Group.
One of the things Peter likes about supporting geriatric medicine is that he can see how his gifts have made a difference. His support over the years has helped Sunnybrook expand a unique fellowship program for hospitalists – the doctors who care for patients while they are in hospital.
All hospitalists accepted to Sunnybrook’s fellowship program now train in geriatric medicine. They return to work in hospitals across Canada and around the globe with an understanding of the complex health problems and specific needs of the elderly population.
Other educational initiatives Peter’s donations support include a residency position for physicians specializing in geriatric medicine to support tomorrow’s experts, and a geriatric medicine fellowship for an oncology resident at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre to better understand the challenges older patients face during cancer treatment.
Peter’s generosity has also made it possible to renovate and refurbish two examination rooms in the Geriatric Medicine Clinic, which now offers quiet, comfortable environments for patients and their families.
Why does he care so much? In addition to being grateful for the care his parents received at Sunnybrook, “I’ve always felt the need to give back,” he says.
“I believe we as a community need to support our hospitals. Fundraising is a great way to do this.”
In September, Peter hosted the Circle of Friends Gala to encourage others to give.
“I wanted to extend an invitation to my peers and friends to join me in raising funds for Sunnybrook,” he says, “I had a matching challenge for my friends as I wanted everyone to be even more generous with their donations.”
Peter says that in thinking about where to focus his philanthropy, he chose Sunnybrook and seniors care. “Sunnybrook has always been special to me because they have helped and cared for many people in my family. They provided the best care possible.
“Geriatric care is important. Everyone ages, and as people age, daily tasks can become much more difficult to accomplish, and there can be many more health problems. Seniors need the right resources and sufficient support.”
He says his family found this support at Sunnybrook.
“The care my parents received is a motivator. It made me think about how many seniors and their caregivers would benefit from this new centre,” Peter says.