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Nayan Patel

2015 Whitchurch/Stouffville

Nominated by the YRMG (York Region Media Group)

“Happiness is a benefit of giving back. You know you’re giving, but you know you’re getting something back, not in a material sense, but in an emotional sense… it has proved to be true that people that give are happier people.”

Nayan Patel, R.Ph., CDE immigrated to Canada in 1974 with his parents from India. His father was an industrial chemist and his mother was a data-entry clerk. They both worked hard and instilled their work ethic in their children and believed that education was the key to success. Nayan attended University of Toronto Pharmacy School, graduated in 1993 and became a pharmacist, while his sister became a general surgeon. He owns two Pharmacies and a medical clinic, and co-owns three pharmacies and another medical clinic, and works once a week at a Family Health Team.

His portrait was taken in the new part of the Markham Stouffville Hospital building, which is significant to him as a resident of Markham and because his children were born there. The hospital is part of the community — it is what Nayan calls a tangible charity, “It’s more personal because you are giving to your community, and your friends and relatives benefit from it.”

Nayan believes fundraiser events that include fun activities are most successful. He explained, “I want our charitable events to raise public awareness, raise funds, create fun and inspire others to contribute.” His most memorable moment of giving back was when he participated in the Mix 999 Shave to Save event to benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation where his head was shaved in front of customers, staff, family and the Mayor.

Like most people that give, he has a connection to the charities that Nayan supports, his focus being mainly education and health-care related. His personal goal is to become a motivational speaker to help convince people to take more control of their health. “Every year I want to do one charity event with my children. My Dad did the same thing with me, the amount of volunteer work that my Dad did was incredible. He instilled in us that we should carry on that legacy.” Nayan also gives to the local (SMCC) Sanatan Mandir Cultural Centre, the Hindu temple which his father helped co-founded. He said, “If we don’t support it, we are at risk of losing our Gujarati heritage and culture.”

Recently Nayan helped a man from India obtain his Canadian Pharmacy license. When the gentleman wanted to repay him, Nayan encouraged him to help someone in the same position. The man immediately went and found someone to help. “The difference that he can make in, not only his own life, but in that of others’ lives is incredible,” Nayan said. “My father had the same opportunity and that is why I felt so strongly about doing that. Before my father died, he told me that this was his wish. He wanted to find people whom he could help and coach. I am glad I was able to do this and fulfill my father’s wish to help this particular man.”

Nayan acknowledged, “There are people behind me who have allowed me to give. Without that kind of support I really can’t do it. My wife and kids are very supportive, as well as my staff and co-workers. I try to surround myself with people who have the same kind of attitude and drive.” He maintains that in the healthcare profession having empathy towards customers is imperative. His staff are 100% behind the charity BBQ and donate their time to this event. “If you want to give, the people around you have to be on board,” Nayan said. “And what you need to do is be a leader, because if you start something, people will join the cause. We are not expecting anything in return. We know that we are supporting the community.”

Looking toward the future Nayan wants to continue to help the community where he can, to support MSH through the Stouffville Pharmasave Charity BBQ which has raised over $7,000 in total, and to support the Canadian World Education Fund and the SMCC Scholarship Fund.


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