Henry Tarvainen - The Rekai Centres


Henry Tarvainen - The Rekai Centres

Greetings from Peter Rekai, Chair

I am pleased to have an opportunity

on behalf of the Board of Directors to

address our residents, families, staff,

volunteers and external stakeholders.

Four years ago, we began the process

of assembling a talented and

dynamic volunteer Board of Directors

from the community. Today’s Board

offers the many skill sets required to

effectively direct a large non-profit corporation and, in particular,

to address new long–term care legislation and standards.

The July newsletter will showcase our new Strategic Plan

expected to be approved shortly by our Board. The Plan has

been crafted with extensive input from residents, families, staff

and by partners in our community.

The Board is committed to reaching out to the community at

large, a process that began with our Strategic Plan consultations

and now leads us toward key partnerships with other

health-care providers and community organizations. It will also

build our public profile which will assist us in raising friends and

funds to enhance programmes for our residents.

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care recently released

the new Long Term Care Home Renewal Strategy which

addresses the renovation or rebuilding of homes built in the

1980s such as the Drs Paul and John Rekai Centre.

The Board is carefully reviewing the criteria relating to operational

and compliance history, and financial capacity. It is clear

that should the Board decide to move ahead with renovating

or rebuilding the Rekai Centre, we will need to supplement the

government’s contribution with additional financial resources.

We applaud the Ministry’s goal of seeking to phase out the

“ward” type accommodation prevalent in older homes in favour

of providing more space for residents’ common and living areas.

Discussions relating to any major project we may undertake will

be lengthy and involve considerable discussion. Please be

assured that as the Board continues its deliberations, I will keep

everyone apprised of our direction as it unfolds.

On behalf of the Board I wish to thank you for your work, contribution

and commitment to the future of our homes.





Spring 2009

Greetings from Mary Hoare, CAO

In the over 21 years that I have

worked with the Drs. Paul and

John Rekai Centre, I have seen

tremendous growth and change.

Drs. Paul and John Rekai founded

Central Hospital, Toronto’s first

multicultural hospital in the 1950’s.

As the next step in the continuum

of care, in 1988, they opened the

Rekai Centre, a long term care home located adjacent to

what was then Central Hospital.

In 2005, on the site of the old Wellesley Hospital at

Sherbourne and Wellesley, Peter Rekai ,the son of Dr. Paul

Rekai, cut the ribbon opening a new long term care home,

Wellesley Central Place. Today, between the two long term

care homes, we provide resident-centred care to over 272


Our roots have always been based in the community, and

this is even more true today. We have a close working relationship

with St. Michael’s Hospital, and now together with

St. Michael’s, offer one of the first community-based peritoneal

dialysis services. We also work closely with Ryerson

University and George Brown College.

Through our Resident Programming team, we encourage our

residents to participate fully in the activities taking place in

the downtown core. Our city offers a myriad of activities to

engage everyone throughout the year. We invite you to stay

tuned for more information about our new partnership with

the Ontario College of Art and Design.

In an effort to communicate more frequently with all our communities,

we will be releasing this corporate newsletter each

quarter and welcome your feedback.

Board of Directors


Mr. Peter Rekai

Vice Chair

Mr. Corry Thomas


Ms. Anne Groulx


Mrs. Mary Hoare, CAO


Ms. Laurel Brown

Ms. Jodeme Goldhar

Mr. Hugh Innes

Mr. Robert Iseman

Mr. Anthony Kellner

Mr. Elie Newman

Ms. Leslie Sorensen

Mr. Stephen Squibb

Ms. Karon West

If you wish to submit an

idea for consideration in

the Summer newsletter,



Sue Graham-Nutter,


Communications and

Public Affairs

Drs Paul and John Rekai


160 Wellesley St. E.

Toronto, ON M4Y 1J2



Board Committees

Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre

Much of the detailed boardwork is carried out at the committee level. The committees of the board can

provide the time and expertise to address specific items. The following is a list of board committees:

• Executive Committee

• Governance Committee

• Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee

• Finance Committee

The Purpose of the Corporate Newsletter

This is the first edition of the Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre corporate newsletter. This newsletter

is focused on providing information to our residents, families, employees as well as external stakeholders.

Strategic Plan update

By Jodeme Goldhar, MSW, MHSc

Chair of the Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee of the Board of Directors

The Strategic Planning process began in the

summer of 2008 with initial input gathered from

the Board of Directors. The consultative process

was expanded during the fall to include the

residents, families, staff and external stakeholders.

The feedback was very helpful and has provided

invaluable guidance as the Ad Hoc Strategic

Planning Committee has been meeting to revise

the draft strategic plan. The Ad Hoc Strategic

Planning Committee is comprised of myself as

Chair, Karon West, Robert Iseman (fellow Board

members), assisted by Mary Hoare (CAO) and

Sue Graham-Nutter (Director of Communications

and Public Affairs).

Over the winter, we have met regularly to work

collaboratively on the Strategic Plan. I am now

pleased to advise you that we have developed

revised vision and mission statements, crafted the

values and have prepared a draft of the strategic

• Audit Committee

• Outreach and Partnership Committee

• Residence Care and Service Committee

priorities, goals and enablers. This process has

been a very inclusive one and one which I believe

is enabling us to produce a very robust strategic

plan. The Ad Hoc Strategic Planning committee

will present the draft Strategic Plan to the

Governance Committee in April and then to the

Board of Directors for final ratification in May. After

the Strategic Plan has been formally adopted by

the Board of Directors, we look forward to sharing

it with our many stakeholders.

The Ad Hoc Strategic Planning Committee has

a mandate to oversee the development of the

Strategic Plan and to provide guidance as the

implementation plan is being developed. We

will continue to communicate on the progress

as it unfolds. On behalf of the Ad Hoc Strategic

Planning Committee, I would like to thank the

residents, families, staff, volunteers and external

stakeholders who have contributed their time to

the development of our new Strategic Plan. This

Strategic Plan will provide us with a roadmap for

the next five years. I would personally like to thank

you for the opportunity to be involved in this important



Dana Smith, Lundbeck Canada

and a sculpture by Mary Hecht

Mary Hecht Art Exhibition

sponsored by Lundbeck Canada

Exploring the Link between

Memory and Creativity

Celebrating the Talent of Mary

Hecht, a world renown Artist.

On Thursday November 27 th , Dr.

Luis Fornazzari, a noted behavioural

neurologist with the Memory

Disorders Clinic at St. Michael’s

Hospital and Division of Neurology

in the Dept of Psychiatry at the

University of Toronto, shared

important findings related to creativity, memory and the

functions of the brain. These findings were shared at the

Wellesley Central Place, during an Art Exhibition celebrating

the talent of Mary Hecht.

Mary Hecht, a world renowned artist, resides at the

Wellesley Central Place. Her work has been exhibited

extensively in the US, Europe and Canada. Mary Hecht

now suffers from cognitive impairment. Dr. Luis Fornazzari

has been her behavioural neurologist for many years and

has noted Mary Hecht’s continued passion for her art,

which appears surprisingly unaffected by her illness.

The processing of artistic symbols is an inherent ability

that artists have carried out for thousands of years,” says

Dr. Fornazzari. “These symbols can be musical, pictorial,

or linguistic. These artistic processes develop their own

cerebral pathways, which are different from ones used in

day to day activities. It seems these neuronal networks

are more resistant to the effects of brain disease and can

provide cognitive reserve when needed.”

Anecdotal evidence has supported this hypothesis for many

years and has been seen with studies of artists as varied

as Maurice Ravel in music, Wilhelm de Kooning, Danae

Mary Hecht, Artist, and resident at Wellesley Central Place photo credit: Francine Lemieux

Chambers and Uttermost in painting and Iris Murdock in

literature. All of these great artists demonstrated preservation

of their creativity and talent when brain disease, often

Alzheimer’s Disease, as well advanced clinically. Studies

suggest that the benefit of medications helping cognitive

functions can be greatly increased in the context of the

artistic background.

The evening was a great success thanks to Dana Smith of

Lundbeck Canada who kindly sponsored this Art Exhibition,

which was well attended by approximately 150 residents

and families, and the string quartet from York University

which provided beautiful background music. CTV News

also interviewed both Dr. Fornazzari and Mary Hecht and

ran a 2 minute segment on the health news. A special

thanks to the Mary Hecht Art Exhibition Committee comprised

of Dr. Luis Fornazzari, Lee Ringer of St. Michael’s

Hospital, Margrit Lee, the Artistic Advisor and Sue Graham-

Nutter, Director of Communications and Public Affairs.

The research findings are expected to aid the neurological

community in assisting the over 400,000 Canadians living

with Alzheimer’s Disease.


Dr. Luis Fornazzari of St, Michael’s Hospital photo credit: Francine Lemieux



Putting the spotlight on our Residents!

The Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre are very proud of our “Resident Centred” focus. We recognize that

each and every individual coming into our homes have experienced a rich and interesting life. On this page in

every newsletter, we will put the spotlight on two residents and introduce them to you, our reader. We welcome

the opportunity to introduce the interesting aspects of our residents lives. This is our ‘old fashion’ version of


Henry Tarvainen

Resident of Rekai Home

Henry was born 64 years ago in Canada of Finnish background. His father

was a great actor in Finland and very active in the Canadian Finnish Theatre

in the 1930’s. People would come from far and wide to see his “Hamlet”

and “Romeo and Juliet” in Finnish because in those years it was the only

Shakespeare being performed in Toronto.

No wonder, that growing up in such an artistic family, Henry too was bitten with

the artistic bug. He graduated from the University of Toronto where he studied

English language and literature. Henry worked for many theatres such as the

Tarragon Theatre, the St. Lawrence Centre and Skylight Theatre. He was one

of North America’s foremost teachers of drama as well a director and producer.

Henry produced and directed numerous works for the CBC radio and television.

Henry has one daughter, Taia and an 8 year old granddaughter named Melaine.

Maria Navas Marroquin

109 years of age and one of the oldest women in Ontario

Resident of Wellesley Central Place

Maria is currently one of Ontario’s oldest women. Born on March 17, 1900 in

El Salvador, Maria Marroquin is celebrating her 109th birthday. It is a celebration

to commemorate the life of a truly sweet, selfless soul. Maria is a wonderful

mother, a loving grandmother and a great grandmother, best friend and an

all around fantastic person with a great sense of humour. She loves classical

music, gardening and most of all, cooking. She was still cooking at the age

of 104! Though she was born and raised in El Salvador, she immigrated to

Canada at the age of 92 and moved into Wellesley Central Place in 2005. May

her life be forever filled with joy, peace, satisfaction and laughter.


Written by Julie Seto

(Life Enrichment Student from George Brown College)

Programming Dept gets

ready to step out!

Greetings from Barbara Michalik, the new Director of

Programs along with my staff Emily Best, Beverley

Lawrence, Laurie Guardhouse, Barbara Alleyne, Kayla

Sparling, Joan Boyko, Veda Bent, Margo DeSimone,

Maryia Fabrychnava, Jennifer Mah. Barbara came to us,

from the Norwood Home located in Parkdale.

As the winter slowly winds up, we are busy planning more

activities for the residents in Rekai and Wellesley. The

following are samples of the type of new programs you

can look forward to:

• Outings to the Toronto Marlies Hockey Games---any

hockey fans out there?

• Visits to the High Park Grenadier Restaurant—take in

a famous spot in Toronto and enjoy the beautiful zoo.

• Visits to the National Ballet School—enjoy a ballet

performance at lunchtime.

• Excursions to the Bata Shoe Museum---“these shoes

are made for walking…”

• Outings to the Chinese Market at Markham Place and

Kensington Market---“the next best thing to being in

China or Hong Kong.”

And of course, there will be great programs offered in

our homes:

• Yum, Yum Monthly Baking featuring a resident’s

favourite recipe.

• Music Therapy—Music to Grow on

• 1:1 themed reminiscing

• Laughter Corner

The Price is Right Game

• Sensory Stimulation Games using all or some of your


• And of course, regular visits by our furry friends, Abby,


And Special Events:

• Breakfast Club

• Improved Intergenerational programs

• Mother’s Day

• Father’s Day

• Victoria Day

Please feel free to contact me at

416-929-9385 or 416-964-1599

or email Barbaram@rekaicentre.com with your ideas.


Special Lecture on

Wills, Estate Planning

and Powers of Attorney

by David A.S. Mills, Partner,

Mills & Mills LLP, Barristers & Solicitors

David.mills@millsandmills.ca • 416-863-0125

14 May 2009 28 May 2009

6:30-7:30 pm 6:30-7:30 pm

Wellesley Central Place The Rekai Centre

Mills & Mills LLP is a Toronto law firm established 125 years

ago which provides legal services of the highest quality to

businesses, individuals, as well as charitable and not-forprofit

organizations. David Mills is the fourth generation of

Mills to practice at the firm.

Mr. Mills has graciously offered to present information relating

to estate planning, wills and powers of attorney for the benefit

for our residents and their families. We invite everyone to

drop by and learn from one of Toronto’s top law firms.

For your information, we have attached an article we thought

might be of interest from Mills and Mills, LLP. (insert Multiple

Wills for Estate Planning)

Multiple Wills for Estate Planning

Do you know that it is possible to avoid probate tax on some

of your assets?

Probate tax is payable when the executor of an estate obtains

a Certificate of Estate Trustee with a Will (previously known

as Letters Probate) from the Court. A Certificate (“Probate”)

is required in order for the executor to be able to sell, transfer

or otherwise deal with certain types of assets. If all of your

assets are disposed of in one Will, probate tax will be payable

on the value of all of your assets. Some assets, however,

may be dealt with by an executor without Probate.

The opportunity exists in Ontario for a person to have more

than one Will, each Will dealing with different assets. One

Will deals with assets that do not require Probate and the

other Will deals with assets that do require Probate. If the

Wills are properly drawn, probate tax is payable on the value

of the assets covered by the probated Will.

No probate tax is payable on the value of the assets in the

unprobated Will. The tax is $250 on the first $50,000 of

assets and 1½ % on the excess. Considerable savings can

be achieved through the use of multiple Wills in the appropriate


Mills & Mills LLP can provide experienced advice as to the

situations in which multiple Wills may be an appropriate part

of an estate plan.



The Skin Care Team achieves near perfect success!

A year ago, the Skin Care Team announced that

Wellesley Central Place and the Rekai Centre had been

chosen as part of a 3 year pilot project ( involving 20

LTC Homes in Ontario) to implement a Pressure Ulcer

Awareness Program (PUAP). This was in response to a

study initiated by the Canadian Association of Wound Care

to determine the extent of pressure ulcers in Canada. The

study found that 1:4 persons in a health care setting had a

pressure ulcer. “This translates into untold suffering, care-

giver anguish, extra work for health care providers, and

millions of health care dollars spent on a mostly prevent-

able condition”(CAWC, 2004).

The Skin Care teams in both Homes took on this challenge

with a determination to get the RED out before ulcers could

develop. This has resulted in many positive changes in the

way that skin care is provided.

The team now includes all disciplines who meet on a

regular basis to discuss skin care challenges and continually

improve on the program

• PSWs have an increased awareness that redness can

signal a start of a pressure ulcer, alerting the nurses to

revise the resident’s care plan to prevent further skin


• All residents on admission and on an ongoing basis are

screened for risk of pressure ulcers and care interventions

are put in place.

• Residents/families are being educated about pressure

ulcers and are being encouraged to play a part in the

resident’s skin care plan.

• Staff are more aware of the importance of changing or

assisting the resident’s to change position on a regular

basis to relieve pressure on different parts of the body

The prevalence of acquired ulcers in both Homes is now

less than 1% - a remarkable accomplishment

• Future plans include strengthening partnerships with

acute care hospitals in the area to minimize the risk

of residents experiencing skin breakdown when transferred

for emergency care


One of our PSW sums it up nicely:

“Normally the color Red is associated with happy things

like Christmas, Valentines Day, a good bottle of wine, and

roses to name a few. However in Long Term Care Red

means Stop, Lookout, Danger Ahead!!! Reddened skin

has become the focal point for caregivers, as this has been

identified as the single greatest indicator of something

going wrong in the life of the resident. Recently we have

learned through the Pressure Ulcer Awareness Program,

getting the RED out means more than turning a resident

every 2 hours. As important as that is, we need to look

at the resident holistically. Some of the questions we are

now asking ourselves when we monitor our resident’ skin

includes the following:

• Is the resident dry?

• Is the resident appropriately hydrated and getting

adequate nourishment?

• Is the resident toileted adequately?

• Is the resident wearing appropriate and proper fitting

clothing and shoes?

• Is the resident agitated or in pain

Suddenly we realize that these are the same questions

that we would want asked on our behalf if we were in the

resident’s situation.”

So From Now on We Are Getting the Lead Out To

Get the RED Out

Lester Braithwaite PSW – 4W-WCP

Embarking on the accreditation process

By Martin Griffey, Director of Quality Services

A Focus on Accreditation

As we prepare for our Corporate Accreditation Survey in

November 2009, now is a good time to understand the

accreditation process.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is an internationally recognized evaluation process

used in many countries to assess the quality of health

services provided. It is a means of publicly recognizing

that a healthcare organization has met national standards

of quality. By evaluating the quality of care and service we

provide, we are able to accurately measure our clinical and

operational performance. This gives us a clear picture of our

strengths and areas for improvement.

Which Accreditation Program?

The Rekai Centre is currently accredited by Accreditation

Canada. This program, developed over 50 years, with its

high degree of recognition in the health care community, is

our program of choice for our corporate (joint) accreditation

in 2009.

Why do it - Positive Impacts of Accreditation?

Participation in the accreditation program benefits us by

providing a thorough assessment that leads to an action

plan for improving every aspect of the health care and services

we deliver. The literature notes many positive impacts.

Listed below are some key benefits:

• Demonstrates commitment to quality, accountability,

as well as increased ‘home’ credibility

• Increases effective risk management , including

enhanced resident safety

• Decreases variances in practice between homes

• Improved communication and collaboration both

internally as well as with external stakeholders

• Strengthened interdisciplinary team effectiveness,

contributing to better resident outcomes

• Strengthens organizational learning and capacity


Accreditation Canada has also launched a leading practices

database where health professionals can search for practices

related to specific themes, such as patient safety and

quality improvement.


What to expect and how you can assist?

Employee and Board surveys

The first step in the process is the completion of a detailed

self assessment to establish where we are in relation

to required organizational practices and 8 key Quality

Domains. Central to this is the completion of 2 key on line

surveys that looking at our ‘Resident Safety Culture’ and

our ‘Work Life Pulse”. These surveys must be completed

by employees and Board members. The survey process is

completely confidential. Residents and families will not be

required to complete on line surveys but it is envisaged that

this will be a requirement in future programs.

Resident and Family participation

The surveyors will engage with residents and families during

their survey visit in November to establish if we are

providing resident and family centered care and services.

Remember that you can make a difference by giving your

honest opinion in these important surveys. Once the surveys

are analyzed we will get a detailed roadmap of where

we are and what are our areas for improvement. Based on

feedback from the surveys, work plans will be developed

to ensure that we addressed any weaknesses and service

gaps prior to the survey visit in late November 2009.

The surveyors will spend a week with us during the survey

visit where they will assess our compliance against the

standards as outlined in the quality domains. If we meet

the required organizational practices our homes will be

given accreditation status. This award is issued for a 3 year


Want to know more?

To find out more about the accreditation process go to

Accreditation Canada Website: www.cchsa-ccass.ca

Want to become a champion for this process?

If you would like to become more involved in the accreditation

process, please contact the Accreditation Coordinator:

Martin Griffey Director of Quality Services � 416 929 9385 ext

395, E-mail: martin@rekaicentre.com



The Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre

welcome your support!

A number of our families have asked us to establish a method of making donations to the Drs. Paul and John Rekai

Centre. We welcome the support of private donations which will enable us to provide care and services to our residents

which are beyond the purview of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care funding envelopes.

Please complete and mail in the donation form below.

All donations in excess of $10 will receive a tax receipt.

Title (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) ______________________________________________________________________

First Name: _____________________________________________________________________________

Last Name: ______________________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________________________

City: __________________________Province: _____________________Postal Code: ________________

Email: __________________________________________________________________________________

Phone: ______________________________________

In Tribute

If the donation is to be made in memory or in honour or someone, please provide the person’s name.

____ In memory ____ In honour

Name of Individual: ______________________________________________________________________

Please provide the full name and address of anyone you would like notified of your donation with any

comments you would like to share

Donation amount

Please select the amount you would like to contribute

$1,000 and up _____

$500 and up _____

$250 and up _____

$100 and up _____

$10-$100 _____

Donation amount: _____________Cdn

Credit Card Information

Please type the card holder name as it appears on the credit card. Your credit card should not have any spaces in it.

Cardholder name: __________________________________________________

Credit Card #: ______________________________________________________

Card Type: (VISA)_________________________________________________________

Expiry: _______(month) ________(year)


Please send us a message! We appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

If you are mailing the donation, please mail to

Ms. Bin Zhan, Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre, 160 Wellesley St E. Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1J2

Charitable number 888813474RR0001


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