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Help our descendants sit in the shade of our legacy: Dr. Rice

Dr. Cliff Rice with his grandson Zachary

By Dr. Cliff Rice
Director, PECMH Foundation
Anyone who knows me knows that I have an environmentalist side.
Trees are one of my passions. Since moving to PEC, I have planted or helped plant more than 16,000 white pine, spruce, maples, and walnuts.

Early on, I learned an obvious truth: you don’t plant hardwoods for yourself, but rather for the next generation.
Said another way, when you plant a tree, you may never live to sit in its shade, but you know someone who will.

It’s the same way with helping fund our new hospital. You may never have to use it, but you almost certainly know someone who someday will.

Based on recent messaging, we anticipate the government will confirm that the hospital building proposal is going onto the third stage in the near future, which means the project will be included in the provincial budget and the architects can proceed with the preliminary design.

The government will pay 90 per cent of the building costs and we, the County, have to raise the rest of the building costs plus all of the equipment, about 16.5 million, before the government will allow us to proceed with construction.

As of today, we have raised just over $11.3 million toward this goal. The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is working hard to “Back the Build” and raise the rest.

Much has been pledged already but we all need to do our part to get the fund over the top!

Many people still have questions as to what the Foundation actually is and does. It is in fact the official fundraising organization/registered charity leading the fundraising campaign for the new building and the medical equipment required in the current and new hospital.

Not to confuse anyone, we all know there are many registered charitable organizations and community groups committed to fundraising of their own, like the Hospital Auxiliary which has pledged one million dollars towards the building fund.

And there are many more but I dare go no further lest I forget someone. All of these other partners funnel their pledges and monies raised through the Foundation, as the official fundraiser of the new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.

Some have questioned me whether some of the money the Foundation raises goes outside the County. The simple answer is that all money raised by the Foundation is used to provide healthcare for the residents and people of Prince Edward County. All donations that are specifically designated to be used at the Prince Edward Memorial Hospital site stays here, in the County.

The more complicated answer is that there are some circumstances where funds do go towards things like CT and MRI scanners in Belleville that are needed and used by County residents and are not available in our County hospital, but only after careful consideration and approval by the medical staff and the Foundation board.
Similarly, the equipment used at our hospital is funded by donations received by the Foundation.

Medical equipment needs are discussed every year by the medical and nursing staff at our hospital, prioritized, then sent to Quinte Health Care for final approval and inclusion in the budget.

Every year the Foundation raises money toward this necessary equipment which the government does not fund.

By now most of us have read the story about Gord Parks. He and Al Harrott are two of the last surviving members of the board responsible for building our current Hospital on Main St. (See County Weekly News, January 23, 2020) Not only is it a heartwarming story, but we should all be grateful for the foresight and commitment by Gord, Al and this community to give us 60 years of excellent medical care we have had at the current site.

Many of us have sat in the shade of their legacy. When the Foundation calls, it is now our time to step up and leave a legacy of our own. Let’s help our descendants sit in the shade of our legacy.

For information about our hospital, or to make a donation call 613-476-1008 ext. 4502, or visit the Foundation’s website at

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