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Marion Smith, 98, says continued support of the new hospital a privilege

Pictured with Marion Smith (centre) is Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation (left) and Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign co-chair. – Briar Boyce photo

To strike while the iron is hot is to act decisively, and take an opportunity when it arises.

That’s exactly what Picton resident Marion Smith did when she heard the news the new hospital proposal for Prince Edward County was recently given the green light by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to move ahead.

Smith immediately stepped forward to be the first donor to give to the campaign after hearing the announcement, with a large gift to solidify her commitment to help Back the Build of the new County hospital. This is Smith’s second gift to the campaign.

A loyal donor to the PECMH Foundation for more than 22 years, Smith, 98, felt the time was right to make an impactful gift to the campaign, for a hospital she may never see, with the hopes of inspiring others to come forward and make a gift.

“If we want a new hospital and we want to be able to serve our community, we all have to help, no matter the amount. It’s the idea of helping,” she said. “It is my privilege to be able to further the contributions to the Back the Build campaign and I encourage others to give what they can. Together, we will get this new hospital built!”

Smith recognizes the importance of supporting the new hospital and the reason is simple; to keep the hospital a viable and vibrant institution in Prince Edward County.

“Marion’s commitment to our hospital’s future and philanthropic leadership in making this gift speaks volumes,” said Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation. “Not only has Marion benefitted from our hospital’s services, Marion’s late husband Victor spent his final days at PECMH. Since then, Marion has faithfully given back to the hospital that cared for her ailing husband. Today, with this gift, she is helping to ensure the future of health care delivery in Prince Edward County remains strong for generations to come.”

Coull calls Smith a champion in the community, advocating on behalf of PECMH to encourage charitable giving from everyone, no matter their background.

Smith believes the onus to support the hospital shouldn’t be placed on a specific person, but on the entire community. She thinks of all who use the hospital and never pay a cent for the service they receive and knows what’s here today may not be tomorrow if people were to take the hospital for granted.

“Marion’s decision to give is a highly personal one that she takes seriously,” said Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign co-chair. “As well as supporting the hospital, she has given her time as a volunteer with the Hospital Auxiliary since 1981. She sees first-hand how her gift is being used to help build our new hospital and knows about the tax advantages she will receive through making a donation. We are so grateful to Marion for her outstanding generosity. She is a wonderful example of our community’s giving spirit.”

With state-of-the-art design and infrastructure, the new hospital will offer the same services as today, in a better space. The emergency department will be equipped with the latest technology and staffed with skilled and dedicated health care professionals. Inside its walls will be a suite of clinics to provide, among other medical services, endoscopy and dialysis treatment. And it will have 18 inpatient rooms that will be larger, each equipped with its own private washroom.

Based on current projected timelines, the new hospital construction will be completed in 2025. The PECMH Foundation is commissioned with raising the community share portion of the build, which works out to be $16.5M.

“It gives me a good feeling to give. My money benefits the people of Prince Edward County,” Smith said.

If you are interested in learning more about the Back the Build campaign or for information about our hospital, call 613 476 1008 ext. 4502, or visit the Foundation’s website at

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization whose mission is to raise money to advance health care for the patients of the hospital and the people of Prince Edward County.

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