As appearing in the County Weekly News
IT’S OUR HOSPITAL: How does the Foundation work?
By Garth Manning, Former Director of PECMH Foundation
Along with so many other motivated County residents, I spent and enjoyed my time as a Director of the Foundation a few years back. County people are passionate about their threatened hospital, and the Foundation plays a major role in supporting it and the healthcare needs of County residents and visitors, using your money, generously donated in ways and for reasons perhaps not fully understood.
No level of government buys equipment for hospitals; this has to be done by raising funds from local communities. In the case of PECMH, that’s us, those of us who live in the County and have come to rely on our hospital’s care, compassion and professionalism.
Why a Foundation? Because it must have the legal right to raise money only for the benefit of PECMH and its patients, with all of the responsibilities and accountability that go with that, and be entirely separate from the corporation, QHC, which owns and runs the hospital, and thus is in no way beholden to or influenced by the ebb and flow of QHC’s occasional difficulties.
Accordingly, in July of 1985 the Foundation was incorporated without share capital (a “not-for-profit corporation”) by three local residents one of whom, Don Stanton, went on to become its President. When four hospitals, including ours, were merged into QHC in 1998 the legal objects of the Foundation were amended to ensure that money was raised only to benefit PECMH and not the wider merged group. Money so raised qualifies for Revenue Canada approved charitable receipts.
The Belleville and Trenton hospitals each have their own Foundations. All three can contribute money towards the cost of equipment installed in another QHC hospital used by residents of Hastings and our County. That makes obvious, practical, sense.
Since 1998 our Foundation has contributed over $7.6 million in funds generously donated by you. Among other projects, the money has been used to completely renovate and expand the Emergency and Diagnostic Imaging Departments, both much appreciated not only by patients but also by physicians, nurses and staff. And a considerable amount of very expensive equipment has been acquired.
Now a new initiative beckons. It appears more and more likely that a new hospital will be built in one of two identified locations in Picton within the next few years, concentrating around it the Prince Edward Family Health Team and other relevant community agencies. That will require the Foundation to raise a very large sum of money to equip the more modern building. The Foundation is already working on this challenge, as you may have noticed.
Current Foundation Chair Monica Alyea heads a good-sized Board, with an impressive diversity of gender, backgrounds and experience in a number of businesses and professions. They are supported by a two person staff working out of a small office in the hospital. The Board meets at least once a month, oftener if required, and its constituent committees meet frequently. The Directors ensure that they keep current with all requirements relating to good and effective governance and to the constantly changing world of fund-raising, seeking input from qualified outsiders where necessary.
The Foundation is grateful for the continuous support it receives from individuals and businesses in the County, several of whom hold imaginative events on their own initiative to raise funds to contribute to the Foundation and so to OUR HOSPITAL. Let’s keep it going!