“Working with the nurses, medical trainees, care and transition facilitators, allied health professionals and physicians at St. Michael’s Hospital has been the most rewarding career I could ever have hoped for. It has been extremely meaningful to come together as a team to care for the most vulnerable patients in the province. Being provided with the opportunity to work with others to introduce new models of care is just a bonus. And putting together the hospital’s COVID-19 unit was the challenge of a lifetime, something I couldn’t have done without the hard work and support of my colleagues. While I am deeply saddened that I haven’t been able to work on the frontlines with my colleagues since being diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in December 2020, I am honoured that my illness has inspired this fund, which will ensure that GIM can continue to deliver what I consider to be the best care and teaching opportunities in the country well into the future.” — Dr. Rob Sargeant

Honouring an Inspirational Leader

St. Michael’s General Internal Medicine (GIM) department is the largest in the hospital, staffed by an interprofessional team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, clinical assistants and dietitians. GIM also hosts hundreds of trainees in medicine, nursing and other health disciplines. Led by Dr. Rob Sargeant, head of Internal Medicine at St. Michael’s, GIM cares for thousands of patients every year, most referred from the hospital’s Emergency Department.

Dr. Sargeant has been with St. Michael’s for nearly two decades, first as a medical student, then as a resident, fellow, clinician, teacher, leader and mentor to his students and residents, many of whom have become close friends. In fact, under his leadership, the GIM team has developed a remarkably warm and supportive environment that makes its members feel like part of a family.

Dr. Sargeant has worked relentlessly to make GIM more responsive to patients’ needs. One of his most significant accomplishments is the GIM’s Rapid Referral Clinic, which allows urgent cases referred from Emergency or Family Health to be seen within 72 hours.

Managing high patient volumes throughout the hospital in this way has become a critical advantage during the COVID-19 crisis. In 2020, GIM became the designated COVID-19 unit at the hospital, taking care of patients from St. Michael’s catchment area as well as more than 150 referrals from other hospitals under strain during the pandemic. From April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, the unit admitted 3,220 patients, including some of our most vulnerable community members. Led by Dr. Sargeant, the GIM staff have cared for all their patients with the expertise and compassion that St. Michael’s is renowned for.

Now we are looking beyond the pandemic to ensure that our General Internal Medicine team has access to vital funding the moment it’s needed, so the exceptional quality of care they provide can continue uninterrupted through any future health crisis.

The Dr. Rob Sargeant Fund for General Internal Medicine

Rob and Karen would like to establish a flexible fund that will provide immediate support for the GIM department’s highest-priority needs, which could include anything from vital equipment to educational programs for staff and trainees and team wellness initiatives.

A donation to the Dr. Rob Sargeant Fund for General Internal Medicine will help our GIM team navigate the next health challenge and deliver the best care experience to their patients, particularly those experiencing disadvantage.