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Zi Jin Zhao

May 13, 2023


Treasure Life: A Story of Gratitude

Gratitude, vitality, and joyfulness are very much embodied in Ms. Zi Jin Zhao! Her gratitude for SCHC is the core reason why she wanted to share her story and present SCHC as a role model to healthcare providers. A loyal ambassador and client of Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities SCHC since 2016, she treasures life while looking after her health and the health of her family and community. 

The Sheppard and Kennedy SCHC location was a much better fit for her and her husband. They were immediately impressed with the highly organized team of SCHC combined with a caring sensitive responsiveness seen in all facets of their care. In her words, “The culture and environment at SCHC is one that values what the patients care about. They value what the patients want to know about, regarding their health”.  The compassion and professionalism shown to her by SCHC is why she in turn promotes the various services to her friends and neighbours.  She knew she had to share her story after witnessing and admiring how SCHC navigated the pandemic in such a respectful, patient, and caring way.  

Zi Jin keeps a journal to display the many examples of respect and care shown to her and her husband over the years. The numerous anecdotes she collected consistently showcase a humanism and compassion that is seen through attentiveness and efficient turnaround time for test results (often within 24hrs). She remembers thorough attention to record-keeping and support during her husband’s navigation of leukemia. They were both incredibly grateful to Kaycee (SCHC medical secretary) for phoning the pharmacy directly for an order of medication and then contacting Zi Jin and her husband directly when their medication was available for pick up. One cold November afternoon, Zi Jin and her husband were bundled up and were leaving SCHC when they heard their names being called. They turned to see Vivien (SCHC registered nurse) running towards them and calling their names. Apparently, they had forgotten their immunization cards at the clinic and both Zi Jin and her husband were so moved that Vivien went the extra mile to run out into the cold in her indoor clothes so that the records could be returned to them immediately.  While Ms. Zhao only communicates in Mandarin, SCHC always provides translation services for Zi Jin, and for that, she is always kept up to date with her health appointments and queries. She has great respect for the many SCHC professionals who have contributed to her health journey. For Ms. Zhao, SCHC’s healthcare providers go above and beyond the notion of “doing a job”.  

“Doctors and health care professionals must understand the patient as everyone has their own unique qualities. Understand and place the patient first. Being competent in your medical skills will be heightened when they are nested in compassion and a passion for your work. The environment molds a person and professionals must also strive to cultivate a healthy work culture in addition to tending to their patients. As a society let us keep good healthcare professionals in Canada!”  

Ms. Zhao has a motto to Treasure Life, as time quickly passes. She is thankful for the ethic of care embedded in SCHC: from running in the cold winter weather to returning an immunization card, being consistent with appointment times and follow-up, to kneeling on the floor to examine a patient’s feet. Perhaps it is the knowledge that while we can never fully know what it is like to walk in another person’s shoes; with compassion and care we can kneel to understand a person’s journey and in turn walk beside them. Being with and holding space together so we can continue to treasure life and make everlasting memories.  

 At 83 years young, we at SCHC are incredibly humbled by her praise, respect, and kind words. For this, we say thank you and by her example, she has also taught all of us to Treasure Life. 

Written by Alan Faigal, Community Engagement Coordinator