The first in-person Annual General Meeting of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) was a celebration-both of a successful year of fundraising and the longevity of service of Chairperson Barb McConnell.
PECMHF reported Wednesday that the community stepped forward to help raise $5,033,681 in the 2021-22 fiscal year ending on March 31.
Held at the South Marysburgh Town Hall in Milford, the AGM highlighted PECMHF’s achievements, particularly its fundraising work to provide leading edge priority medical equipment at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and the “Back the Build” campaign for the new hospital. At the meeting, the board also welcomed three new board members.
McConnell thanked the community for their generous support again this year, noting that the funds raised during the 2021-22 fiscal year were used to support the foundation’s two priority missions—raising funds to pay for priority medical equipment and donations to support the community’s share of building the new hospital in the County.
“Year in and year out, we raise money to purchase medical equipment for our County hospital and to support regional healthcare, and that is vitally important work. It ensures our hospital medical and technical staff continue to have the equipment they need to treat us, their patients, with the excellent care we appreciate so much. And now, as we know, the foundation is raising money for our new hospital. That’s an even bigger job with a new target of $27 million. So far, $20.7 million has been raised in cash and pledges. That is a great achievement, one that this entire community can be proud of. Now that we are in Stage 4 of the process, the expectation is that we will open the doors of our new hospital late in 2027,” the chair said.
Board Treasurer David Griffith reinforced the significant role PECMHF plays in raising money each year for medical equipment for our County Hospital and the greater Quinte region.
“In the last fiscal year, PECMHF transferred more than $329,000 to QHC to fulfill our responsibility to raise funds to pay for medical equipment,” he reported.
These donations equipped QHC PECMH’s Endoscopy Department with a new defibrillator and portable cardiac monitor and bought a portable blood analyzer for the Emergency Department. The ultrasound machine, which benefits 2,200 patients annually was purchased along with an Automated Endoscope Reprocessor (AER) which cleans and disinfects gastroscopes and colonoscopes. New bariatric stretchers were added to the fleet and the workstation to review mammographic images was replaced.
Griffith said that in addition, the Back the Build campaign received $1,672,244 in donations.
“The donations to our medical equipment fund and our Back the Build fund put us firmly on our path to raising the money we need to support our two important missions,” Griffith said. “We are very grateful for our donor support.”
In her presentation at the AGM, McConnell said her participation on the volunteer board first as a director, and now embarking on a rare fourth term as chairperson, has been deeply rewarding.
“I see the foundation’s mission to raise money to support quality healthcare for everyone in the County as one of the most critical services available in this community. I am very proud of the foundation board of directors, the campaign cabinet and the staff for their commitment to advancing our efforts and reaching our goals. This volunteer board and our outstanding staff are deserving of our gratitude and appreciation for all they do to help make sure our healthcare team is supported and has the equipment and facilities needed to do their job well. Their dedication to keeping our County hospital strong is unsurpassed,” McConnell said.
The foundation bid farewell to retiring directors John Walker of Consecon, Peter Brady of Milford, and Pat Evans of Picton. In turn, the organization welcomed three new members: Steve Geist and Wendy Reid of Picton, and Doug Taylor of Wellington.
These new members increase the board to 16 directors. The existing directors are: Monica Alyea and Barbara McConnell of Milford; Mohamed Khimji of Ameliasburgh; Dennis Darby of Cressy; Ken Menlove of South Bay; and Leo Finnegan, David Griffith, Sherry Tait, Sandra Foreman, Ann Galvin, Dr. Andy Janikowski, Cathy Starkey, and Dr. Cliff Rice, all of Picton.
McConnell said she looks forward to new fundraising opportunities, including the Regional Health Information System (RHIS) which will increase efficiency in making medical records more accessible to health care professionals serving patients, and connecting with new as well as long-time donors in a post-COVID environment.
“I’m very proud to be part of the philanthropic community that supports our County Hospital so enthusiastically. I’ve witnessed our hospital provide outstanding care to so many in our community. When illness strikes, we want to ensure our health care system has the latest technical and diagnostic services available right here in Prince Edward County, now and for years to come. It’s comforting to know that a great hospital with fine facilities is nearby, staffed and equipped to make a difference,” she said.
McConnell emphasized the future success of the foundation’s work will result from continued collaboration with community partners, in addition to support from donors across the region and beyond. She expressed gratitude to the PECMHF staff, Shannon Coull, Briar Boyce and Sue Vincent, for their dedication and hard work.
PECMHF’s audited financial statements will soon be available online at https://www.pecmhf.ca/our-accountability.