Dr. Rachel Navaneelan was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the second youngest of six children. Her father was a physician and her mother managed her husband’s medical practice. Dr. Navaneelan and her husband Dr. Christy Navaneelan, an Anesthesiologist, moved to Ireland where she practiced dentistry for eight years and started a family. They then moved to Newfoundland because they felt they could give their children a better life in Canada. In 1993 Cornwall became their home.
Dr. Rachel Navaneelan and her husband had decided that they wanted to raise their children in a smaller Canadian city where she could also establish a practice that would give her an opportunity to develop a more personal relationship with her patients. Her husband, Dr. Christy Navaneelan practiced at the Cornwall Hotel Dieu Hospital for 11 years, and now works at the Queensway Hospital in Ottawa. Her daughter Tanya has completed her Masters degree in Epedemiology in Ottawa and her son Anthony is practicing Law in Toronto.
Dr. Navaneelan is currently the Chief of Dental at the Cornwall Community Hospital and a member of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (RCDSO) and the Ontario Dental Association.
List of articles mentioning Dr. Navaneelan’s dental and charitable recognitions:
A Well Deserved Honour
Rachel's Kids Give Upgrades To City Hospital's Pediatric Ward
Garden party Plants $110K With Rachel’s Kids
CCH Pediatric Ward Gets Welcome Facelift
Rachel's Kids Provide a Special Place For Children Visiting Hospice
Dr. Rachel Navaneelan was presented with honorary diploma by St. Lawrence College's President and CEO, Glenn Vollebregt. Read More.
Rachel Navaneelan was named Citizen of the Year, at the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards night.
“It totally took me off guard – I had no idea,” said Navaneelan.
Others, not so much, as Navaneelan seems to be constantly involved with charitable organizations.
“Just to give back to the community that has embraced you; it’s so important, we need to give back,” said Navaneelan, of the philosophy she tries to live by. “This is a very generous community and I talk about (the city) no matter what part of the world I go to – which you don’t find in other places.”
Navaneelan arrived in the area about 25 years ago with her husband and quickly built a successful dental practice.
“I’ve always felt very accepted and Cornwall has helped me professionally and helped me build up a big practice,” she said.
Some of the more notable recipients of Navaneelan’s generosity are the Cornwall Community Hospital, Victim’s Services of SDG & Akwesasne, the Children’s Treatment Centre (CTC), and Big Brothers — Big Sisters.
The fallout from the massive 2005 tsunami was the spark that led to her charity, Rachel’s Kids, which has helped provide education for children and communities overseas.
“I always loved children, and have a soft spot for kids,” she said. “I heard about how the children were affected by the tsunami back home.
“I thought, we need to do something. So what started off as a little backyard fundraiser grew to be a big charity.”
Rachel’s Kids has upped the ante even more in the past year, by establishing the House of Hope, a place that will focus on helping children in the autism spectrum.
Adrian from the Guy Lauzon's office stop by today to present Dr. Rachel with her 150th award for all of the volunteer work she does in the community. Congrats Doc!
Dr. Garth Taylor Humanitarian Award was given to Dr. Rachel Navaneelan by The Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce for business excellence in 2009.