June 06, 2008 08:02 ET

Royal Visitor for Sunnybrook's Veterans

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - June 6, 2008) - His Royal Highness, The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and the Honorable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario helped celebrate Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre's 60th anniversary with a visit to the hospital's veteran residences today.

His Royal Highness and Lieutenant Governor Onley toured the hospital's K and L wings which is home to more than 500 of Canada's war heroes. The Honoured guests were provided with a first-hand look at the care provided to veterans including the many complementary and recreational therapy programs such as music therapy, photography and woodworking.

In addition, information was provided on the tour about the highly specialized Dorothy Macham Home, which is a one-of-a-kind facility in Canada that cares for patients with dementia who exhibit aggressive behaviours.

To mark the occasion, Sunnybrook's veterans presented His Royal Highness with a painting from the art therapy program and named a Pavilion in the therapeutic garden in honour of The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

In total, about 1,000 people attended the festivities, including Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Honourable Gregory Thompson, as well as family members of veterans, hospital staff, board members and volunteers, representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion, the Canadian Armed Forces, and many other supportive members of the community.

"It is an incredible morale boost for our veterans and staff to play host to such distinguished guests," said Dr. Barry McLellan, President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "We began as a veterans' hospital and it makes perfect sense for us to celebrate our 60th anniversary with those who we still proudly serve today."

Sunnybrook officially opened its doors as the largest veterans' hospital in the country on June 12, 1948 and retains this distinction today. Although Sunnybrook has grown to become one of Canada's most dynamic health sciences centres with an emphasis in trauma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, high risk obstetrics and providing intensive care for adults and newborns, the care of war heroes remains a priority.


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