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Community support rounds up County hospital fundraising milestone

Preliminary design for the new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital in Picton

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation celebrated the community’s support to earn a fundraising milestone of more than $6.6 million during its last fiscal year, ending March 31st.

The foundation’s virtual annual general meeting Friday highlighted achievements in fundraising for medical equipment and the new hospital. In total, the foundation raised $6,655,541 million in its past year.

Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the foundation, thanked the community for its generous support again this year.

“Year in and year out, we raise money to purchase medical equipment for our County hospital and to support regional healthcare, and that is vitally important work. It ensures our hospital medical and technical staff continue to have the equipment they need to treat us, their patients, with the excellent care we appreciate so much,” said McConnell. “And now, as we know, the foundation is raising money that is our community share of the cost of our new hospital. That’s an even bigger job with a target of $16.5 million. So far, we’ve raised $15.7 million in cash and pledges. That is a great achievement, one that this entire community can be proud of.”

The board’s treasurer, David Griffith, reinforced the significant role the foundation plays in raising money each year for medical equipment for the County’s hospital and the greater Quinte region.

“In the last fiscal year, we transferred $441,799 to QHC to fulfill our responsibility to raise funds to pay for medical equipment,” he reported. The essential equipment included two bladder scanners, a food steamer, a crash cart defibrillator and two new SMART beds now in use at Picton.

Through donor dollars, the foundation was also able to help support the purchase of maternal child-related equipment such as milk warmers and pediatric stretcher cribs needed at QHC Belleville General Hospital where more than 150 County babies are born each year.

Griffith also noted the Back the Build campaign received nearly $5.6 million in donations in that one year toward the goal of $16.5 million for the new hospital.

McConnell noted that moving into the 2021/22 fiscal year, the foundation will launch a refreshed strategic plan with an eye to being ready for a future with a welcome sense of normalcy starting to return after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite COVID, our donors have been steadfast with their generosity and we thank all of Prince Edward County and beyond for faithfully supporting the foundation,” she said. “We look forward to announcing the results of our COVID-19 fundraising efforts at a presentation planned for June 25.”

Chair of the Governance Committee, Pat Evans, noted the foundation’s immediate response to the need for a separate COVID-19 pandemic fund in early spring of 2020 reflected the innovative thinking that is part of the foundation’s DNA.

“We felt that people needed a positive way to react to the enormity of what was happening, so we quickly established the fund to allow people to take a simple step to help our greater community cope. It was inspiring to see how quickly that fund grew to more than $100,000,” Evans said, adding the fund is helping to pay for unexpected COVID costs in the hospital.

The foundation also bid a fond farewell to long-time director Cline Pierson, of Wellington, who retired from the board after 17 years of service. He joined the board in 2004 and was its longest-serving member.

Pierson helped shepherd through raising money to purchase countless pieces of priority medical equipment, the building of the healing garden, the ER renovation in 2009, the installation of the helipad and the first donor recognition wall in 2011. He also saw the transition from using film for x-ray and mammography, to digital, in 2012, and most recently, his insights into the County helped to guide the process of getting approval to build the new hospital.

In turn, the organization welcomed three new members: Ann Galvin, a retired CPA, and Dr. Andrew Janikowski, a retired family physician, both of whom live in Picton, and Mohamed Khimji, a law professor at Queens University, who lives in Ameliasburgh. These new members increase the board to 16 directors. The existing directors are: Monica Alyea and Barbara McConnell of Milford; John Walker of Consecon; Dennis Darby, Leo Finnegan, David Griffith, Sherry Tait, Peter Brady, Pat Evans, Sandra Foreman, Cathy Starkey, Ken Menlove and Dr. Cliff Rice, all of Picton.

McConnell emphasized the future success of the foundation’s work will result from continued collaboration with community partners, in addition to continued support from donors across the region and beyond.

The PECMH Foundation’s audited financial statements are available online at http://pecmhf.ca/about/documents/.

To make a donation, or for more information, contact the foundation at 613-476-1008 ext. 4502, or visit www.pecmhf.ca.

 

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