TORONTO, Ontario – MAY 13, 2021 – As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to ramp up across the country, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) in Toronto received a welcome surprise when a local Toyota dealership offered three minivans – complete with volunteer drivers - to support the hospital’s mobile vaccination and testing program over the next six months.
Women’s College Hospital is supporting Toronto communities by administering vaccines at several sites across Toronto, and by conducting COVID-19 testing in schools, shelters, and congregate living sites throughout the city.
Recently, the Downtown AutoGroup (DAG) and Downtown Toyota coordinated the donation with Toyota Canada’s Cars for Good program which supports local charities across the country with free short-term vehicle loans and related delivery or shuttle services.
“When we heard that Women’s College Hospital’s vaccination teams were relying on taxis and car-sharing services to move around the city to administer health care for our communities, friends and peers, we realized we could help them,” said Shahin Alizadeh, President, Downtown AutoGroup and Downtown Toyota.
Downtown Toyota will provide WCH with the three Toyota Sienna hybrid minivans for six months.
But the vehicles themselves are only half the story. Downtown Toyota is also supplying drivers – retired employees who have already been vaccinated – to chauffeur the mobile vaccination teams and will completely sanitize the vehicles between shifts.
“Responding to COVID-19 must be a community effort,”said Dr. Danielle Martin, Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Executive, Women's College Hospital.“Our corporate neighbours at Downtown AutoGroup, Downtown Toyota and Toyota Canada have stepped up, providing our mobile vaccination units with full-service support, including drivers, so our teams can immunize those most at risk.”
The minivans will be used to help vaccinate community members in Toronto who may have trouble travelling to large vaccination centres due to mobility or transportation issues. Women’s College Hospital is also looking at extending the service as part of a larger effort with several other downtown Toronto hospitals.
“These three Sienna Hybrids have been dedicated to their use. They can be the ‘home away from home’ for our frontline health care workers,” said Shahin Alizadeh, President, Downtown AutoGroup and Downtown Toyota. “In addition to making their work more efficient and saving costs, we hope that having direct access to a designated vehicle with space to accommodate their supplies will help reduce stress for the teams providing crucial service for our community.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Toyota Canada has taken action to support communities across the country. In the past year alone, Toyota Canada and its dealers have contributed over $1 million to food banks and other food security initiatives through a program which matched local dealer donations dollar-for-dollar. Toyota Canada also expanded its existing partnership with Canadian Blood Services by donating more than $1 million worth of in-kind advertising time to communicate the ongoing need for donations of blood and blood products during the COVID-19 pandemic.Now, the Cars for Good program further extends Toyota’s local support with free short-term vehicle loans and related services.