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POOCH Inc throws its support to PE Health Alliance

Patrons of Our County Hospital (POOCH) has thrown its support behind the Prince Edward Health Alliance.

At its public meeting in July, POOCH was encouraged to keep working toward local participation in hospital matters. Members learned about new government policies, expanded services the Family Health Team is to provide and the role of the Alliance.

“The committee agreed that right now, the health team’s increase in medical services is more important than trying to restore a fixed number of hospital beds,” POOCH said in a statement today. “So, POOCH decided to support the Prince Edward Health Alliance, a group that includes the PE Family Health Team, the Hospital Foundation and the Hospital Auxiliary.

Last winter, founder Dave Gray invited citizens to participate in a peaceful rally at Queen’s Park to protest further cuts to Picton hospital. More than 200 citizens attended.

The core committee of POOCH  reported a short, but good discussion with Health Minister Deb Matthews, local MPP Todd Smith and Conservative party health critic Christine Elliott. The group handed over its petition – signed by 5,520 citizens – for Smith to present in the legislature.

Two months later, word came down from Health Minister Deb Matthews that there was no prospect for Picton hospital to separate from Quinte Health Care “at this time”.

POOCH has recently been approved by the Ontario Ministry of Government Services for incorporation as a non-profit lobby group. Its first directors are Dave Gray, Al Reimers and Betsy Sinclair.

In their statement they indicate they “still have hope that, in the long run, our community will have a strong influence in deciding how our hospital fits into the future of health care here.”

The official name is now Patrons Of Our County Hospital Incorporated. (POOCH Inc.)

As announced in April, donations not used for the POOCH bus trip or expenses, were presented to the PECMH Foundation and Hospice Prince Edward. Future donations are to support education and publicity about new developments in government policies that affect local health care.

Hospice-POOCH-photoHospice Prince Edward executive director Nancy Parks, Fran Renoy, Betsy Sinclair and Al Reimers presenting $1,000 on behalf of P.O.O.C.H.  Briar Boyce photo

Foundation-POOCH-photoAt the presentation of $1,000 for Picton hospital, Lillian Duffy, director on the PECMH Foundation board, Fran Donaldson, vice president of the Foundation, Jane Wollenberg, secretary for POOCH, Maria Rogers and David Gray on behalf of POOCH with Sue Law, director on the PECMH Foundation board and Larry Matheson, past president of the PECMH Foundation. Briar Boyce photo

More on the Alliance: 2010 video stars Dr. Don Koval as he walks through the halls of Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital explaining the Prince Edward Edward Family Health Team and its collaboration with other agencies. Co-starring Laurel Hoard, Sylta Goguen and Debbie MacDonald Moynes.

Filed Under: Local News

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