It’s Our Hospital
Let’s make it happen!
By Fran Donaldson, Vice Chair, PECM Hospital Foundation
Last month (Former) Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins visited Picton on a beautiful sunny day to announce the good news about our new hospital project. Shortly afterwards, friends invited me to dinner. To start the evening, they brought out a bottle of champagne to toast the good news and thank me for my work with the Hospital Foundation!
While I was touched by their charming and generous gesture, I was also reminded that our hospital – our existing one and the eventual new one – is really about everyone in the County, not just those closely connected to the project. This was evident by the number of people who attended the Minister’s announcement and their obvious delight at the news: our proposal has passed another milestone, completing an important step in the multi-stage process for approval by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. The good news was enhanced by the announcement that the Ministry’s support includes $500 000 toward the planning costs, and then more good news when the municipal government agreed to contribute $75 000 this year!
In five years, we hope to be well on our way to building the new hospital. Quinte Health Care (QHC) and the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) are leading the process, making the capital building project a priority. Now that we have completed the first stage, the next step is to prepare and submit Stage Two planning to the ministry. Along with other things related to the budget, this involves more detailed and specific plans about the building, including the layout of the space and equipment, in consultation with the staff and technical experts. We are hoping, if (when!) we get approval from the provincial government at all the stages of the development application, to have the new hospital ready to open possibly as early as 2024. (And let’s not forget that in the meantime, we have to keep our existing hospital equipped and running!)
The new hospital will have the same services as the current hospital, but with better facilities and better equipment than what we have today – specifically, a 24/7 emergency department, diagnostic imaging, cardio-diagnostic services, 17 inpatient beds with the ability to expand, ambulatory, laboratory and dialysis services. It will also have state-of-the-art infection control and ventilation, wider halls for modern medical equipment, and larger patient rooms each with its own bathroom (as required by modern standards). The Prince Edward Family Health Care will continue to run clinics in the hospital and will continue to operate their clinic on the adjacent property. In other words, we will not just continue to provide the timely, friendly professional services needed and appreciated by residents, visitors and tourists, but have them in a brand-new, modern, safe and efficient building.
So now our Capital Campaign is really underway, led by our Capital Campaign Manager, Marthe Robertson, a local resident and fund-raising professional, who joined the Foundation staff last fall. Marthe has already been very busy, hosting meetings of focus groups and assembling an advisory council, providing ways for members of the community to become involved with the project. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! We need everyone’s help to bring the plans to reality. If you would like to get on this bandwagon, you can call Marthe at 613 476 1008 ext. 4502. And of course, for further information, you can contact Penny at 476 1008 ext. 4503 or Briar at ext. 4425. You can also visit our website at www.pecmhf.ca.