Young and single, registered nurse Gloria Crotin was looking for a new adventure.

After two years in Iroquois Falls, Ontario the Montreal-born nurse was looking for a role where she could really give back. In 1961, she joined what was then known as York Central Hospital, as director of Nursing.  The hospital was not yet built. Her interview with the hospital board took place in an office at Richmond Heights Plaza.

She was determined and ambitious and although the Board thought she was too young, she was offered the job anyway.

Gloria spent the next 30 years at Mackenzie Health and literally helped build the hospital from the ground up. As one of the few staff hired before the hospital opened, she fondly remembers assembling furniture – chairs, bedside tables and beds – with colleagues from physiotherapy and food services.

“We had to bring wrenches from home,” Gloria recalls. “We had so much fun.”

She chose Richmond Hill’s community hospital over a larger teaching hospital such as Toronto General because she wanted to make a meaningful impact, and work closely with the hospital’s board of directors and medical staff.

“I enjoyed knuckling down with the doctors, it was never a problem for me,” she said. “I worked well with the medical staff but also had the opportunity to make my own decisions, collaboratively, of course.”

Her ability to build solid relationships, in addition to her nursing knowledge, business acumen and assertiveness eventually led her to the CEO’s chair in the 1980s.  Retiring in 1992, she left behind a growing and dynamic community hospital committed to the families and patients it served.

Gloria’s legacy gift in support of Mackenzie Health will support the programs and departments she helped build. When asked why she continues to support the hospital her answer is simple, “I grew up here and loved every minute of it.”

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