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Minister Hoskins' remarks at Mount Sinai Hanukkah Celebration

December 17, 2014 - Remarks by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health & Long-Term Care

Thank you, Joe for that warm welcome.

And thank you for inviting me to take part in lighting the second candle of Hanukkah. 

I had the privilege of doing the same yesterday on the first night of Hanukkah with the Premier.

I am honoured to be here with you to help celebrate the holiday, and of course to thank all of you for your ongoing commitment to this hospital, to our city and to our province.

Today’s ceremony is special for two reasons.

First, I am following in the footsteps of my esteemed colleague, Deb Matthews, who joined you last year to celebrate Hanukkah. I feel privileged to be a part of what is now “a tradition since 2013.”

And secondly, today is special because of where we are – here at Mount Sinai Hospital, one of the province’s premier acute care academic health sciences centres.

You have built something truly special – a hospital that is not only at the heart of the community, but that continues to innovate and open up new frontiers of scientific and medical progress.

I was here just last week to help celebrate the extraordinary achievements of Dr. Andras Nagy and his team in stem cell research, but that’s just one example of the outstanding work that all the dedicated health care professionals, researchers, administrators and support staff do every day.

As I was thinking about what celebrating Hanukkah means in a health care setting, I kept coming back to the idea of light and dark.

As health care workers, we encounter far too much darkness.

We see the struggles of our patients, often the pain they and their families go through.  We sometimes see the conditions in which they live – conditions that often have negative impacts on their health.

But on a good day – and there are many good days – we get to help them take on that darkness, struggle through it, and with excellent care, we can help them overcome it.

I like to think that the reason we all chose this vocation – or chose to lend our support to keeping this hospital thriving – is so that we could do our own small part to bring light.

That’s what you do every day – you bring light. 

It’s entirely appropriate that here, at Mount Sinai hospital, by lighting these candles tonight, we observe and celebrate the central metaphor of Hanukkah. Triumph over adversity.  In a world with too much darkness, light perseveres.

In a few weeks, we’ll celebrate the arrival of 2015 and look ahead to what’s next.  We’ll raise a glass to the lessons we’ve learned and the work still ahead.  In Hebrew, that toast is L’Chaim – to life. More life. 

And so tonight, on the second night of Hanukkah, I raise my glass to everyone in the Mount Sinai community.

L’Chaim – more life, and more light.