A Burnaby Resident’s Inspiring Journey to Empower Community Health
January 01, 2024
Steven Tsangaris has lived in Burnaby for sixteen years and this community that he calls home holds a special place in his heart. Steven has a special interest in healthcare services and serves as a volunteer on Burnaby Hospital Foundation’s Finance & Audit Committee, where his decades of financial experience support the Foundation’s success.
“I have become very passionate about initiatives relating to healthcare after meeting my partner of over 10 years, who works as a Fraser Health physician specializing in Addiction Medicine,” says Steven. “I have heard all about the challenges, new discoveries, successes and learnings involved in the critical work done by these specialists.”
Steven is fascinated by the rapid growth and diversity of his community, recalling how small Burnaby felt when he first moved here. Understanding, and now working in this community, he was inspired to take action to support Burnaby Hospital Foundation and he began his journey by asking simple questions.
“I learned a lot in the past year and a big factor was driven by curiosity,” he shares. “To me, getting involved means being curious and I found that my conversations with Burnaby Hospital Foundation were very open and informative. I have learned so much about the needs and stresses that affect our hospital staff and the patients who rely on this necessary resource.”
He was especially surprised to learn of the challenges of operating an aging hospital that was designed to serve only a fraction of the region’s current population of 500,000.
These revelations encouraged him to take action to support Burnaby Hospital Foundation, which serves a hospital that is remarkably underdeveloped given the size of the region. Having recently welcomed a baby to his family, Steven also shared his newfound appreciation for having a dependable healthcare facility close to home and he looks forward to the Bright Future hospital redevelopment.
“Now that we have a young child, it’s natural to worry,” he reflects. “Accessibility is critical when we think of our young ones. When I was busy with work, I would occasionally need to stop by a hospital, and whichever one was closest was [always] able to address my needs. However, when our family expanded, I started to think more about the [importance of] medical services available close to home.”
Steven’s support of healthcare is not limited to his personal interest; it flows into his professional life as well. As District VP for TD Bank Group in Burnaby and East Vancouver, he’s fortunate to work alongside a group of dedicated professionals who have a distinctive donation history with Burnaby Hospital Foundation. Most recently, TD has contributed a generous $100,000 gift towards Burnaby’s beloved hospital to name the TD Multi-sensory Room in the new Mental Health and Substance Use Unit, part of the first phase of the hospital’s redevelopment.
The new TD Multi-sensory Room is a specially-designed room that helps patients control sensory stimulation, allowing a therapeutic and educative approach to treatment. Benefits of this room includes immediate effects on stress, mood and energy. This room also provides a way for staff and patients to work together and use new tools and strategies to manage these important factors of mental health in their daily lives. Hospital staff already have expressed excitement to have access to a Multi-sensory Room to help patients practice mindfulness and being in the moment, as well as supplementing the medication-based treatment overseen by doctors and nurses.
“Mental health is not spoken about enough. The fire that decimated the Mental Health Unit in 2020 was a huge blow for this community,” Steven says. “I believe strongly that, as a community, we need to do more to support mental health services. This gift from TD does something meaningful for our community, which will benefit everybody at some point in the future.”