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Legion Branch 160 adds steam to hospital’s equipment fund

Pictured from left at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 in Wellington are Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation; Cline Pierson, a director on the PECMH Foundation Board; Ken MacMillan, poppy chairperson for Branch 160 and Briar Boyce, PECHMF senior development officer.

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 Poppy Fund Committee in Wellington presented $2,000 to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation – funds raised through the 2019 poppy fund campaign.

The hospital is in need of a new food steamer to prepare patient meals at a cost of $11,435 and the foundation was appreciative when members of Branch 160’s poppy fund came forward with the donation to help offset the cost.

Last year, there were 845 inpatient visits with the average length of stay being between five and six days. The new unit uses a boiler-free steam cooking system that is more efficient, produces more steam, and requires less maintenance. Unlike deep frying and baking, steam cooking doesn’t require additional oils and fats, making it a healthier option for preparing patient meals.

“We are especially grateful to the Poppy Fund Committee for helping us purchase this steamer to help prepare patient meals,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation.”

This year, the foundation is raising more than $320,000 for medical equipment needed across the region. The County’s hospital needs a new crash cart defibrillator, two new SMART beds, a replacement bladder scanner and the food steamer.

“We are also helping to raise funds for equipment needed for the maternal child unit at QHC Belleville General Hospital, where approximately 150 County babies are born each year,” said Coull.

“Community support is so important because the government does not fund medical equipment,” she said, noting it is the responsibility of PECM Hospital Foundation, through the generosity of donors, organizations and community partners to purchase vital medical equipment.

“We are also proud to announce with today’s gift, Branch 160’s cumulative giving total to our hospital over the past 19 years has surpassed $7,525.”

“Through your donations to the Poppy Fund, the Legion provides financial assistance and support to veterans, including Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, and their families who are in need,” said Ken MacMillan, chairperson of Branch 160’s Poppy Fund. “We are thankful to everyone who supports the poppy campaign. Because of you, we are able to help others living in this community, including patients at the hospital.”

Poppy boxes will be placed at various business locations from Oct. 30 to Nov. 11. There will be no service at the Picton Cenotaph or church this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to strong partnerships with the various levels of Legion governance, the PECMH Foundation has on several occasions been the beneficiary of such funding. In the last 15 years, the Foundation has been the recipient of $99,475 in donations from local Legion branches, Ladies Auxiliaries and the Provincial Command Charitable Foundation. These donated funds come largely through poppy fund sales.

Barbara McConnell, chair of the PECMH Foundation said that over the years, the County’s four Legion branches, (Picton, Wellington, Consecon and Deseronto) have contributed to excellent care at PECMH.

“We are pleased to know their contributions and those of Provincial Command are not only helping ensure the best care for veterans, but for every one in Prince Edward County.”

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