As appearing in the County Weekly News on Thursday, April 21, 2017
By Fran Donaldson
Vice-Chair of PECMH Foundation, Past President of PECMH Auxiliary
Our hospital is supported by many organizations in the community, but two are specifically named and incorporated as such: the PECMH Foundation and the PECMH Auxiliary. Both have offices in the hospital, both raise money for the hospital, and quite a few people are involved in both. Confusing? Read on…..
According to the Ontario Public Hospitals Act, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care pays for the administration of hospitals (nurses, doctors, staff, medicine and supplies, for example), and for the “bricks and mortar”, but the community is required to pay for medical equipment, which is both essential and expensive. Many communities, including ours, have set up a Foundation for that purpose.
Our Foundation was established in 1985 and is covered by the Corporations Act. It is also a registered charity under the Canada Revenue Agency, so your donations are eligible for a tax deduction. We have an elected Board of Directors (including the President of the Auxiliary) and we currently have two staff members working in our office: Executive Director Penny Rolinski and Coordinator of Communications Briar Boyce. Together, the Directors and the staff run the Foundation, but are not involved in managing the hospital.
The Foundation’s primary purpose is to raise money for hospital equipment. We do that directly by soliciting your donations, and by organizing fund-raising events, often with the help of generous sponsors. Other organizations also run campaigns and events for the benefit of the Foundation. All these are ways in which we fulfill the community’s responsibility toward our hospital. In addition, we contribute to equipment located elsewhere and used by County residents, like the MRI in Belleville.
The Hospital Auxiliary is a very different story. Originally called the Ladies’ Auxiliary, it is over 80 years old. The early volunteers – many were the wives of doctors – brought food from their own gardens, rolled bandages, rocked babies, and donated mattresses. Over the years, the situation evolved, and so did the Auxiliary.
Today, the Auxiliary still consists entirely of volunteers (Men are welcome!), but it is also incorporated and registered as a licensed charity, and managed by its own Board of Directors. Hundreds of volunteers now help with activities in the hospital, like the endoscopy and dialysis clinics, the Coffee Cart, and direct assistance to patients, but it also supports other health services in the community, such as blood donor clinics; it runs the Coffee Shop in the Picton Clinic building, and gives scholarships to students in post-secondary health sciences programs. The Mary Catherine Scott suite at the hospital provides accommodation for the families of patients, with furniture and supplies provided by the Auxiliary. Several projects, like next month’s Tag Day and the Festival of Trees in late November, engage the community and earn good money. And then, of course, there’s the Second Time Around Shop, a long-standing fixture in the community and a very important source of revenue, allowing the Auxiliary to make significant donations every year to…the Foundation.
Because, you see, the Auxiliary and the Foundation are like good neighbours, helping one another and working together for the common purpose – our hospital, now and in the future – while still operating as separate, independent organizations. You can support either one, or both, knowing that your generosity benefits our hospital.
For more information, please contact Penny or Briar in the Foundation Office at (613) 476-1008 ext.4425 or 4503, or visit www.pecmhf.ca.