When I was a child, I would often visit the General Hospital with my dad who was the Chief of Paediatrics. I remember visiting the hospital – locked paediatric wards when parents could only visit for an hour or two every day and well before the Tower was built. As I got older, I started off working and volunteering in various positions within the hospital.  

Now, I’m proud to be the Chief of Paediatrics at SHN–my office at SHN was actually my father’s old office that I would often visit in the mid 90s! I have spent 31 of my 34 clinical years as a physician leader in our department at SHN to make sure the care we deliver to all our youngest patients is better than any other hospital in Canada.  

To me, the paediatrics department at SHN highlights that Scarborough Grit. It has that can-do attitude, while also being a little bit of an underdog. If a need is there, we find a way to do it. Every day we work hard to make sure we cover as many gaps as possible for the care needs that we face in Scarborough. We may not have all the bells and whistles like some of the other fancier, well-funded programs, but we still provide exceptional care to families. It’s important to be able to say that we can do paediatric care in any part of Toronto, but especially in Scarborough, we do it well. 

Our department has won many teaching awards for guiding new generations of medical students, ensuring excellent paediatric care in the future. We now have an incredible multi-site program committed to meeting the health needs of our paediatric patients and families in Scarborough. No other community hospital in Canada offers more sub-specialty services for paediatrics than those found at SHN.  

It’s important to support SHN because Scarborough has always gone unrecognized in terms of what we bring to the table. My hope for the future of healthcare in Scarborough is for families to choose Scarborough hospitals as a first stop destination when their children are feeling unwell. Community hospitals like SHN need your support and we shouldn’t forget them.  

Dr. Azzopardi is one of our 11 new faces of the Scarborough Sans Family. To learn more about our campaign please visit LoveScarborough.ca