Auxiliary Backs the Build with $1M pledge

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For over eighty-five years and in two buildings, the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has supported hospital staff, both financially and by helping patients. Today, the Auxiliary invested in the future, in a place where they will be supporting patients and staff in a new, state-of-the-art building.

Members of the PECM Hospital Foundation were present on Tuesday for the Auxiliary’s annual general meeting at Isaiah Tubbs to accept the first installment of the volunteer group’s campaign pledge. In 2015, the Auxiliary pledged to raise $1 million for a new hospital and the savings are well underway. The $1M will be paid in installments over the next few years.

“We can’t thank our Auxiliary family enough for their generous $100,000 installment to our Back the Build campaign,” said Shannon Coull executive director, PECMH Foundation. “Our volunteers truly go above and beyond to make PECMH a great community hospital. Early commitments from groups, like the Auxiliary, speak to the importance of community involvement and the impact that it has on the quality of care for those residing and visiting our County and who use our hospital. We are so grateful for the Auxiliary’s support and interest in the future of our hospital,” said Coull.

For the volunteers with the PECMH Auxiliary, the decision to ‘Back the Build’ in support of the proposal to rebuild Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital wasn’t a difficult one.

“We see our local hospital as one of the high priority assets in our community so we have committed to investing in the bright, healthy future ahead for the new PECMH,” said Pat Evans, outgoing president of the PECMH Auxiliary.

The new hospital will have the same services in a better space. It will have the highest standards of infection control. Every inpatient room will have a private washroom. The emergency department will include more private facilities. Also, inside the walls will be diagnostic imaging and cardio-diagnostic services, as well as a suite of clinics to provide endoscopy and dialysis treatment for our patients. Our new hospital will be built to handle everything from fish hooks to cardiac events. The estimated cost is about $80 million. The provincial government will pay for 90% of the construction while the community’s share of $16.5 million includes 10% of the building cost plus all of the equipment needed for the new hospital.

“The services Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital provides to our families and our community are invaluable,” said Evans. “Our hospital critically needs support from this community to help build a new facility and keep care close to home. Our volunteers working at PECMH have seen firsthand the impact having a hospital in our community has on so many people in the County. We are happy to be able to contribute to our hospital’s vibrant future in this way.”

This planned rebuild will carry on the tradition of care that began around the corner on Hill Street 100 years ago. Best of all, it will still be in the same familiar location as the current Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.

“Our hospital has a reputation for providing excellent care, but the building is old. The time has come to rebuild. We are so grateful to the Auxiliary for helping make our vision for a new PECM Hospital a reality,” said Coull.

“The Auxiliary’s commitment to Back the Build is monumental,” said Nancy Parks, Back the Build campaign co-chair. “There are no words to describe how grateful we are to this group of volunteers for their incredibly generous pledge. This gift will go a long way in helping us achieve our goal of building a new, state-of-the-art hospital for every person who lives in or visits our County.”

The Auxiliary raises its funds each year through a mix of activities, including the operation of the Second Time Around Shop, Coffee Cart, Coffee Shop and several community events including Tag Day and the Festival of Trees, which will usher in the holiday season the weekend of November 29, 30 and December 1, 2019 at Isaiah Tubbs in Picton.

“What better way to give back to our community than investing in the new hospital,” said Evans. “Volunteers working in the hospital admire the outstanding care given to patients, while staff cope with never ending maintenance concerns in this dated building. We’re very lucky to have a hospital so close to home, and our members are doing everything they can to keep it that way,” said Evans.

If you are interested in learning more about the Back the Build Campaign, please call 613-476-1008 ext. 4425. Information can also be found at www.backthebuild.ca.

Pictured at Isaiah Tubbs on May 28 at the Auxiliary’s AGM from left: Shannon Coull, PECMHF Executive Director Barbara McConnell, Foundation Vice Chair, Pat Evans, Auxiliary President, Betty Evans, Auxiliary volunteer, Monica Alyea, Foundation Chairperson and Nancy Parks, Back the Build Campaign Co-Chair. Auxiliary members are present in the background.

Photo credit: Liz Jones