Next time you visit the Centenary site of the Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, take a moment to think about Chad Hanna. In 10 years as the head of the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation, he raised more than $25 million to improve Centenary’s facilities, including $5 million for the Birthing and Newborn Centre that began operations in 2008. Hanna has spent his career as a fundraiser for various hospitals, as well as charities such as Muscular Dystrophy Canada. But the Centenary post had special meaning for him.
“It meant I got to come back to Scarborough, where I grew up and where my parents still lived,” he says.
“Scarborough is such a great area. It has gone from my generation of English, Irish and Scottish immigrants – the Mike Meyers generation – to Andre De Grasse winning medals at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and the diversity of all those great doctors and nurses at our hospital facilities. It’s a very cool community.”
Recently Hanna became President and CEO of Career Edge Organization, a not-for-profit founded in 1996 by Toronto icon David Pecaut and other business leaders to help young people get their first job through paid internships. It has a lot of relevance for Scarborough today. “If you’re a new immigrant from Sri Lanka with a PhD in molecular biology, but you’re driving a cab in Canada,” says Hanna, “that internship might be the key to getting a job that is closer to what you’ve been trained in.”