It’s Our Hospital – column 23

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IT’S OUR HOSPITAL
By John Walker, Director, PECMH Foundation

FRIENDS & FACEBOOK —THE BALANCE!

Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University, undertook a study of the connection between whether people have lots of Facebook friends and real friends. The average person said that only about 27 per cent of their Facebook friends were genuine.

Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation has friends, and our dream is to build a new hospital. The existing hospital is nearly ready for retirement and we’re planning for the future. In this case, the future is just around the corner. Yes, we are optimistic, and if plans go as expected, in just a few years we’ll be into the process of building the new facility. The Ministry of Health’s capital building process is a multi-year activity and for our local part in this process, we need your help now as a Friend of the Hospital Foundation.
Friends of Our Hospital Foundation are real, we are genuine. We know that one of the best ways to create effective information sharing is to establish a dynamic network of friends who care, who want to get involved and maybe host an informal gathering of their family, neighbours and friends to spread the word about the new hospital plans and why we need it. Fran Renoy, who often provides sage advice to the Friends of the Hospital Foundation team and has lots of experience in the building of community networks, says, “Yes, Face Book might help spread the word, but it’s all about real face-to-face connections”.
By volunteering to host a Friends of the Hospital Foundation gathering you will help us build a dynamic network throughout the County to share information about the hospital plans. These gatherings can be anything you want them to be, and in our next column we will tell you more.
The informal gatherings are planned by each host. A Foundation board member or staff member will attend the gathering for a brief period to talk and/or make a presentation about how plans for the new hospital are progressing. The gatherings are meant for information sharing only, and not for raising money. You can even share your event pics and your own thoughts about your event with your own Facebook Friends!
The gatherings can be fun and rewarding. In the fall Fran Renoy hosted a Friends of the Hospital Foundation gathering. Fran says, “The need for a new hospital is critical for all ages from children to seniors and these gatherings help get the message out”. More recently Rachel Henry, General Manager of Welling’s, hosted a gathering at the Welling’s for residents and Rachel says, “The Friends of the Hospital program is a terrific way to build a collective voice about the new hospital and why we need it.”
Yes, we get Facebook, and are not shying away from it! In fact, in the spring of 2018 we will be rolling out a series of social media activities to support our program, but for now it’s about face to face connections.

Some food for thought — the numbers are staggering. In February 2014 the Globe and Mail reported that 19 million Canadians access Facebook at least once a month and 14 million log in every single day! How many Friends of the Hospital Foundation do you think we can we get on Facebook?

To get involved, contact Lillian Duffy (Phone: 613-476-9656 Email: duffylill55@gmail.com), or John Walker (Phone: 416-399-0813 Email: innovatealot@yahoo.ca), or Penny or Briar in the Foundation Office at (613) 476-1008 ext. 4503 or 4425, or visit www.pecmhf.ca.