Hospital foundation looks to carry momentum as PECMH redevelopment approaches

ON THE RIGHT TRACK- Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation Chair Monica Alyea addresses the Quinte Health Care board late last month. (Jason Parks/Gazette staff)



With the amount of wind in its collective sails, it was appropriate for the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation to find one of the windiest locales to hosts it 2018 annual general meeting.

The foundation gathered at the Wellington Legion last week to review the past year, check over the audited financial statements and look ahead to the bright days to come as this community prepares for a redeveloped Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.

The meeting was a well attended session that featured members of the Patrons of Our County Hospital (POOCH), the Rotary Club of Wellington and others in attendance.

Foundation chair Monica Alyea told the Gazette after the meeting the financials of the organization which raises funds for all capital medical equipment for the hospital is well suited.

We are in very good shape and the financial statement didn’t include the municipal pledge of $4.5 million and that commitment has increased the confidence of Quinte Health Care, the Local Health Integration Network and the Ministry of Health that this community is well on its way to achieve this goal,” Alyea said.

But a great start to a $16 million goal won’t mean much if momentum can’t be maintained.

We’ve had leaders step forward but we still need more leaders to lead and step up,” Alyea added.

In her remarks to foundation supporters and those in attendance, Alyea remarked that a lot can happen in 12 months and it surely had for the foundation.

Looking back about a year ago, then-Minister of Health and Long-term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins paid a visit to Prince Edward County, touring the hospital and meeting with EMS providers who were able to articulate the geographic challenges of the area.

And then he came back this spring — two visits from a minister in about a year – from my three decades in the public service, that is so unlikely,” Alyea said. “And he told us – all the partners to the redevelopment process and the media, that we had been approved to proceed to Stage 2.”

The announcement to proceed with the heaving lifting of the planning portion of the redevelopment was big news for a dedicated community, especially those that wondered if the day a new facility would ever replace the venerable “House of Healing.”

That news was documented extensively by the local media and created clippings that serves the foundation well in case newly a installed government needs a gentle reminder that the Province has committed to a new hospital in Prince Edward County.

We want to acknowledge the key role of the local media who serve us so well. You took the stories and messages of the minister and documented those outcomes and put them out to the public,” Alyea said, adding those naysayers that consistently tried to debunk the idea a new hospital would be built have changed course.

The chair also acknowledged the Quinte Healthcare Corporation board for designating the redevelopment as their number one capital priority project in the fall of 2016 and the support of South East Local Health Integration Network chief executive officer Paul Huras and his organization has played in making a case for a new PECMH.

(Huras) is working hard to keep us on the path going forward, regardless of what political party is in charge, Alyea said.

The capital campaign process entitled “Back the Build” is underway and the foundation hired Marthe Robinson last October to lead that endeavour.

It’s simple – we need your donations. We need your financial support to make this project happen. We need you, as well as us, to Back the Build,” Alyea said.

“Along with the municipal pledge of $4.5 million, the foundation has commitments from the PECMH Auxiliary, the Huff Family Fund through the County Foundation, our own foundation, and a highly spirited undertaking by the Wellington Rotary.

We have a great start. This is a new undertaking for us and its long term benefits go beyond a new hospital. Hopefully, we will have a much expanded donor base after to support the ongoing purchase of equipment that the local communities are required to fund for hospitals in Ontario,” the chair added.

A pair of departing members Alyea recognised at the close of her remarks were longtime member Fran Donladson and outgoing executive director Penny Rolinski.

Donaldson extended her time as vice-chair by a year and has been involved with the organisation in a number of different roles at the behest of the chair and to the benefit of the organization.

She has led the governance committee and brought us up to snuff with our bylaws and pending legislation and HR activities,” Alyea said. “She’s committed to mentoring our new vice chair for the next year – and then she’s really done! So thank you Fran.”

In Alyea’s view, Rolinski had a positive and lasting impact on the organization

We are grateful for your community engagement and networking skills that have expanded and supported our staff’s numerous years of development. We are grateful for your team player attitude that has recognized the value in having everyone have the opportunity for growth and learning new things. We are grateful for your talents in data organization, distillation and application. We are grateful for your personable and professional presentation skills. You have helped us move along to be a better organization to serve this community. So thank you for being part of our foundation team and we wish you the best in your future endeavours,” Alyea said.