By RON FANFAIR
Registering 25 years of distinguished service a few weeks ago as a paediatrician and neonatologist at the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) is quite an accomplishment for Dr. Rosemary Moodie.
Beginning a new chapter as president of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Toronto is a challenge that the Jamaican-born health care practitioner hopes to complete with the same kind of energy and commitment that she has applied to every endeavour she has embraced.
Dr. Moodie has been a board member since 2008.
“I was particularly interested in this organization’s mandate which is women helping women and girls,” said Moodie who is a passionate advocate for the rights of women and children. “As a physician who works with the female gender, I was attracted to the YWCA because what it does falls in line with my professional life.
“It’s all about empowering girls and women by providing them with sustainable and affording housing, employment skills and generally empowering them…I am thrilled to be leading this organization. The YWCA is a vital organization in Toronto, helping thousands of women and girls build stronger and healthier lives. It’s also a leader in our collective efforts to build a more just and inclusive city.”
Moodie assumes the presidency at an exciting time for the YWCA which is about to open its new state-of-the-art Elm Centre.
Owned and operated by the service organization, the centre has three residential towers that will provide permanent affordable housing to a diverse community, including low-income women with mental health and addiction issues and those avoiding abuse.
Moodie said the $80 million facility will start taking in its first residents in August and a grand opening ceremony will be held in the Fall.
“The complex is almost ready,” she said. “It’s a beautiful facility with good standard housing and we will have a mixture of women and families who need residential support.”
The majority of the 300 apartments will be one-bedroom units, but there will be two and three-bedroom family suites. Included in the complex are a 200-seat auditorium, a computer room and a yoga studio.
A graduate of St. Hugh’s High School in Kingston and the University of the West Indies, Moodie came to Canada nearly three decades ago to complete her paediatrics training at the HSC.
She successfully pursued an Executive Masters in Business Administration at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School and is currently completing her Master’s in Public Policy and Administration at Queen’s University.
Moodie, who has provided medical care for critically ill newborn infants and children while working to improve medical service delivery needs in the field of obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatrics, sits on the Food for the Poor advisory board and is a director of the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE).