Raj Thavaratnasingham is extremely passionate about two things – travelling and giving back to his community.

“I came to Canada in 1986 and landed in Scarborough in 1987,” says Raj. “Like many others within the Tamil community, Scarborough was my first real home in Canada, and I’ve been proud to call it home ever since. My wife and I had our two kids at SHN’s Centenary Hospital, and it’s really our community hospital where we know we can depend on great care.”

Raj started working with Edward Jones in 1999, and as his business grew, he knew he wanted to give back to his community.

“It was natural for me to give back to my local community hospitals,” continues Raj. “I wanted to get involved, so I started as part of a planned giving committee. This gave me a chance to share my passion with other community members and encourage them to give where they live, like I did.”

Raj began donating to SHN because of the amazing care he and his family received over the years. When his son was small, he was treated for an infection, and he still remembers the compassionate care provided by the staff.

“Community hospitals are something everyone will rely on at some point in their lives,” says Raj. “Whether that’s today or tomorrow, for you or a loved one, it’s something that each of us has the need for. That’s why giving back is so important for me and my family. Government funding doesn’t cover everything when it comes to hospitals, so our community – the ones whose lives are saved – need to step up to make sure it’s there when we need it.”

SHN serves a highly diverse population in Scarborough, including a large Tamil population. Raj and his family know how vital it is for our hospitals to meet our community’s needs, including specialized programs for diseases that disproportionately affect Tamil communities.

“We have such a large and proud Tamil community here in Scarborough, and it’s encouraging to know that SHN is meeting our unique needs,” says Raj. “I even volunteered to be on the cover of a heart brochure because we are at greater risk of heart attack and heart disease than other groups. South Asians are also 10 times more likely than other ethnic groups to suffer from chronic kidney disease and diabetes – and SHN offers programs to meet this specific need.

Raj also recognizes the importance of planning for the future of Scarborough. When Raj was putting his updated will together nearly ten years ago, he wanted to ensure his community hospitals were cared for after he was gone. So, on top of regularly donating to SHN, he decided to also include SHN Foundation in his life insurance policy.

“I have been to over 60 countries throughout my life, and travel is something I love to do,” says Raj. “Whenever we book a trip, my wife and I think about if something happens to us, is everyone taken care of? We knew we had to have everything looked after – just in case.”

By including SHN Foundation in his will, Raj is not only looking out for the future of healthcare in Scarborough but also leaving a lasting legacy that he and his family can be proud of.

“I’m so proud of what my kids have been able to accomplish. They both excel in their careers and share our philosophy of giving back. They both say, ‘don’t leave us any money, we don’t need it!’ which is so inspiring as a parent. They want to be part of our legacy and invest in the community that’s given us so much.”

All of us at SHN are incredibly grateful to Raj and his family for including us in their legacy plans. To learn more about planned giving, contact Verna Chen at vchen@shn.ca or 416-219-5789.