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Thornhill hospital volunteer earns Caring Canadian Award

Ferguson has given more than 7,500 hours of service
March 11, 2015
By Lyrel Robinson

Staff and patients at Mackenzie Health are always appreciative of the support offered by all 1,000 volunteers.

But one special volunteer was recently honoured with a Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.

David Thompson Ferguson, age 90 from Thornhill, has been volunteering at the hospital for the last 25 years.

Ferguson arrives at the hospital as early as 6 a.m. twice a week to assist the staff with opening the day surgery unit before the first patients of the day arrive. He is a welcoming presence to patients coming into the ward, as he always greets them and tries to ease their fears about whatever surgery is ahead.

Altaf Stationwala, President and CEO of Mackenzie Health, explained why Ferguson deserved to be nominated for this award.

“Through their commitment and compassion, volunteers play an integral role in providing a world-class health experience for the patients of Mackenzie Health. We are grateful for volunteers like Dave Ferguson, who at 90 years old, continues to inspire and motivate not only staff and physicians, but patients, as they travel the road to recovery.”

Karen Andersen, director of volunteers at Mackenzie Health, noted in her nomination statement that Ferguson has given 7,500 hours of service over the years.

“His warm and calming manner sets the tone for a compassionate and professional patient experience ... his concern is always for the patient and family,” wrote Anderson.

In mid-February, Ferguson was honoured in a presentation held in Toronto by the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, along with 18 other volunteers, recognizing their ongoing efforts through volunteering in their communities.

The Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award is given to Canadians who have made a significant impact volunteering or donating large sums to their local communities.

For more information on the Governor General’s Caring Canadian award or to nominate someone who you feel qualifies, visit