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Gift in memory of husband honours importance of County’s hospital

Pictured at the Carousel Canada Equine Riding Centre in Trenton, where Betsy keeps her horse, from left, are: Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; King Arthur, thoroughbred; Betsy Sinclair; Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign co-chairperson and David Smith, past president of the Rotary Club of Wellington Foundation. Briar Boyce photo

A memorial donation toward backing the build of the County’s new hospital honors both compassionate care received, and access to care for others in the future.

Betsy Sinclair, and her now late husband Arthur, were passionate about helping others and advocating for the future of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH).

The two moved to Wellington in 2005 and were introduced to the Rotary Club there soon after, by an old friend who invited them to their breakfast. Art went right to work, volunteering for the club, and was heavily involved in Rotary’s beach projects. He served as club president in 2011/12.

Betsy notes Art’s health began to deteriorate, resulting in him having to visit PECMH on many occasions, adding, he visited the hospital so often that he was on a first name basis with many of the staff members. He took a keen interest in learning about them and their families.

“He always remarked about the personal and compassionate care he received as a patient,” said Betsy. “The caregivers at PECMH always made Art feel comfortable and he knew everything that could be done, was being done.”

Art passed away in June 2019 in the hospital. As the couple had supported the hospital for many years, when donating through the Rotary Club of Wellington became an initiative, a $50,000 gift was made by Betsy to the Back the Build campaign in Arthur’s memory.

The couple had invested time, expertise and financial support for the hospital and Betsy felt the contribution was also a meaningful way of paying tribute to Art’s service to Rotary.

They were also involved with the non-profit community advocacy group POOCH (Patrons of Our County Hospital) that formed in 2012 to act as watchdogs in the community to protect, improve services and promote PECMH. POOCH volunteers kept a vigilant eye on and successfully advocated for keeping hospital services in Prince Edward County.

POOCH stepped back from its advocacy role in 2019 – the same year Art passed away.

“Every interaction with Art’s care team and the hospital staff was filled with kindness and compassion,” said Betsy. “I will always be grateful for the care he received and that is why I decided to Back the Build, so other families can experience the same level of kind-heartedness and have access to care, close to home, in their loved one’s time of need.”

“Quite often we hear stories from those who have received exceptional care in our hospital, like Art did, and these stories are so heartwarming and reinforce the importance of having access to a hospital in our community.” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “We are extremely grateful for Betsy’s support and interest in the future of our hospital and for honouring the memory of Art in this impactful way.”

The gift will see the naming a patient room in the new hospital’s emergency department.

“Today we celebrate Betsy and Art’s philanthropy and we thank Betsy for this gift facilitated by Wellington Rotary to our new hospital,” said Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign chairperson. “Betsy and Art have gone above and beyond to help ensure the new PECMH continues to be one of the best rural hospitals in Ontario.”

“I want to ensure there is a piece of Arthur in our new hospital,” said Betsy. “This community has supported a hospital since 1919 and the hospital gives back with its love and care. This community will love their new hospital just as it has the current one.”

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds to advance health care for the patients of the hospital and the people of Prince Edward County.

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