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Bay of Quinte Mutual $1.5M gift ‘ensures’ commitment to County’s new hospital

At the presentation of $1.5 million from Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance to Back the Build of Prince Edward County’s new hospital, from left, are: Nancy Michaud, medical radiation technologist at QHC PECMH; Leo Finnegan, PECMHF board member; Barbara McConnell, PECMHF board chairperson; Kerri Choffe, director of Diagnostic Imaging at QHC; Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign co-chair; Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Jeff Hohenkerk, vice president and chief transformation officer at QHC; Steve Raymond, chair of the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Board; Art Wiersma; director on the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance board; Jeff Howell, president of Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Co.; and Chrissy Poitras, director on the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance board. – Sue Capon photo

A gift of $1.5 million from Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance to the build of the County’s new hospital came with a surprise helicopter ‘fly-over’ Thursday morning.

The chopper came in low to the hospital’s helipad, but did not land, as hospital board members, officials and representatives of the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance scattered to safety. – Sue Capon photo

During the announcement, the helicopter, believed to be part of the Royal Canadian Air Force tactical low flying exercise going on this week in the County, came in low to the Picton hospital’s helipad, but did not land. Hospital board members, officials and representatives moved safely away for a few moments, then continued the presentation.

Hospital foundation executive director Shannon Coull thanked Bay of Quinte Mutual for being the first company to come forward with a major gift, and joked that not everybody gets a special fly-by saluting their donation.

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation and Bay of Quinte Mutual have been waiting two years to share the news of the significant gift.

The donation commemorates the 146th anniversary on Oct. 31 of the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Company.

“Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital is a pillar of the community. Supporting and investing in our local communities is important to Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Co.,” said Steve Raymond, the company’s board chair. “As this community continues to grow, the need for access to health care is more important than ever.”

The transformational gift has been designated to help build the diagnostic imaging department inside the new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital – expected to be complete in 2025.

The department will house services currently offered in the present hospital such as X-ray, ultrasound and mammography and will be named in recognition of the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Co.

“It’s a great day when an esteemed business like Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance expands their charitable giving and chooses to give back to a once-in-a-lifetime project like this,” said Coull. “Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance has been a member of our donor family for over 11 years and were the first major corporation to step forward with a significant commitment to help Back the Build. We are grateful for their board’s leadership and investment in continuing to support exceptional health care in our community.”

On Oct. 31, 1874, the Bay of Quinte Mutual Agricultural Fire Insurance Company commenced business in rented office space in the Jamieson Block in Picton. It wasn’t until the 1920s that Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Co. expanded to insure properties in Northumberland and Hastings Counties. In 1978, the company moved into its current location on Loyalist Parkway in Picton.

“Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance and Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital are similar in that they have been deeply rooted in this community for over 100 years,” said Raymond. “A new hospital is not something that happens often and some may never see one in their lifetime. If ever there was an opportunity for our board to support a new hospital with a meaningful gift, now is the time to do so to ensure there’s a hospital here for many years to come.”

Back the Build campaign co-chair Nancy Parks said it is inspiring to see the community come together to support a new hospital.

“Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Co. has shown great dedication and generosity, in both equipping the current hospital and now building the new one. This gift will have a significant impact on our growing community for years to come.”

Coull noted the gift has been a huge help in PECMH Foundation’s ability to raise $11.3 million of its $16.5 million goal, which represents the community share of the estimated $100 million project.

PECMH’s new build provides a number of opportunities for individuals and families to leave a lasting legacy by naming a room in the state-of-the-art facility. Naming opportunities within the new hospital are based on giving levels, starting with a commitment of $25,000, pending availability.

“Honouring and recognizing our donors is a priority for the PECMH Foundation and the Back the Build Campaign Cabinet,” said Coull. “It is a proud moment when we successfully assist our donors to find a naming opportunity that holds special meaning to them.”

Click here to visit the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation website, and here for the Bay of Quinte Mutual Insurance Company, for more information.

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