FeatureSports & Health

Run supports women’s mental wellness and advocacy

Over 2,000 community supporters participated in the annual Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women Markham in support of Oak Valley Health’s Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH). The longstanding partnership between Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health and MSH Foundation has raised $430,000 to date. These funds will continue to enable Women’s Wellness programs for the Gulshan & Pyarali G. Nanji Mental Health Services at the hospital.

The run is the largest event series in Canada dedicated to women’s mental health. Women continue to disproportionately experience impacts to their mental health compared to men, and MSH Foundation and Shoppers Drug Mart aim to help by bringing communities together to support local women’s programs.

“Tremendous community partnerships and generous support are essential for Markham Stouffville Hospital to be able to remain on the cutting edge of patient care,” says Suzette Strong, CEO of MSH Foundation. “Every dollar raised helps our expert team deliver and expand programs that provide women with the unique support they need. We are so grateful for the partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart for making this possible.”

The support provided to MSH from the Run for Women Markham over the past nine years has helped shape the hospital’s Women’s Wellness services, which include Art Therapy Group, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Group, Interpersonal Psychotherapy Group and a support group for women who have been identified with or are at risk of postpartum depression. These programs are open to all existing patients of Oak Valley Health through referral.

“Every year the need for mental health services is growing,” says Teresa Givelas, Patient Care Manager, Outpatient Mental Health, Oak Valley Health. “The Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women and all who make this event possible are helping us change the landscape of mental health care for the women in our community throughout every stage of their lives. Our teams rely on donor support to continue to provide exceptional mental health care and access to programs dedicated to women’s wellness.”

Allan Bell, Suzette Strong and Nimi Nanji Simard.

As the government can’t fund all of the hospital’s top priority needs, dynamic partnerships coupled with community investment will enable the hospital to meet the needs of our growing, aging, and diverse community.

There is still time to support women’s mental health in the community. Until July 1, 2024, donations made towards the Markham run will make double the impact (up to $50,000) thanks to generous long-time MSH supporters, The Nanji Family Foundation. Donate online at www.runforwomen.ca/Markham


Main photo: Shoppers Drug Mart presents a cheque of $430,000 to Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation from the proceeds of the 2024 Run for Women Markham.



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