Are you getting TOO MUCH mail from us?

July 30, 2010

This is a question that comes up in our office quite frequently, especially around the time of sending out donation appeal requests.

At the Foundation, we continue to track everything we send to ensure that we’re spending our money wisely. Each dollar spent on mailings results in several dollars coming back to support the hospital. We watch this very closely, and we’ve been able to keep our expenses low in comparison to the amount of money people give. But if we’re sending too much mail to you, then that’s a waste, and we don’t want to do it. Overall, reaching out to people by mailing letters is a very efficient way for people and donors to be engaged with us and the hospital.

We know that not everybody can send a gift in response to everything received in the mail – especially with the economic downturn and job losses in the region. I want everyone to understand that you should only give when it’s the right thing for you to do – we wouldn’t think of asking for any more than that. 

Another important point is the environmental impact of mailings. In our office we make every effort possible to reduce paper usage. It’s what we should all be doing. One of the easiest ways to reduce paper use is by setting up an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) which is one of the most effective ways to help eliminate paper usage. For those who wish to regularly make a donation either yearly or monthly (at any amount), your donation will be automatically transferred to the Foundation to support patient care – with no paper required! This can be setup easily at your banking institution.

Over the past year we’ve done a lot of work to ensure our mailings (newsletters, appeals) are going to those people who wish to recieve them. If we’re sending more mail than you want, that’s not the best use of our resources. We would be happy to ensure that you only receive the right amount of mail from us. Just give us a call to let us know if you have a concern – 519-246-5906.

Legacy for Life Society Wall

September 9, 2009

As the summer comes to a close and fall approaches, I realized that we are coming up to the first anniversary of SMGH Foundation’s Legacy for Life Donor Recognition wall. This wall was installed last year as a way to recognize the many people who have so generously committed a gift in their Will.

It has been said that making such a gift is an effective way of giving to a good cause for people who do not have funds available right now but have fixed assets such as a farm, cottage or family home.

Due to the current economic conditions, donors are now turning to other ways to donate that will have a lasting impact on patient care. Some of the options they are turning to include a bequest in their will – a gift like Don and Diana Burr of Thedford decided to make after Don had a life saving experience at Strathroy Hospital.

I love to hear about why people decide to support the hospital.  Feel free to read a letter about Don’s experience. If you would like to share your story with me, please email me a note.

Other ways to help include naming SMGH as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or of an RRSP or RRIF. Planned giving offers a variety of options that will allow you to make a gift without affecting your current assets or lifestyle.

A planned gift can also offer excellent tax savings opportunities.

If you are interested in supporting the hospital but are not able to give at this time, planned giving could be the best option for you. Of course, I wouldn’t advise anyone to consider these options without seeking the expertise from your lawyer or other professional advisor. 

Feel free to give me a call anytime to discuss these options and reserve your tribute on our Legacy for Life Society Wall.

Special Fundraising Appeal Update

August 17, 2009

During our 20thanniversary year we are asking the community to support us in our fundraising for Strathroy Hospital.  Your gifts enable us to provide much needed financial support for current and long term capital and special projects for patient care, education and innovation.

Last month we mailed out a special fundraising appeal featuring  information about the hospital and current priorities. Dr. Paul Ferner, SMGH Chief of Staff also mailed a new request for donations as part of our Grateful Patient Fundraising Program.

$42,861 has been donated in the past month by 406 individuals who responded to these letters. We are extremely grateful to these donors who have been so generous in their support of Strathroy Hospital in our 20th anniversary year. These gifts will help the hospital to purchase new equipment, fund capital building projects or education and training for hospital staff.

We are now asking those who have considered supporting the hospital, but have not had the opportunity to make their donation, to do so as soon as possible. Your gift of any amount enables the Foundation to continue its work in support of the hospital and plan for the future.

For more information about the projects we’re supporting please visit the current priorities section of our website.

How to Donate

You can donate online or over the phone by calling 519-245-5295 x.5020 or download a donation formand mail it to us at the following address: SMGH Foundation, 395 Carrie St., Strathroy, Ontario, N7G 3J4.

Guest blog post from the Volunteer Co-chairs of the 20th Anniversary fundraiser: An Evening with Cirque Sublime

June 3, 2009

SMGH Foundation Fundraiser A Success

We would like to thank everyone in the community who helped organize the Cirque Sublime Hospital Fundraiser held on Saturday May 2nd, 2009 at the Gemini Sportsplex.  The experience for us was exciting and one that required many people to work together.

When we started planning the event in February 2008, we didn’t know how readily everyone would come forward to help by volunteering, donating or organizing.  We are deeply moved by the commitment of the community to support the hospital and very impressed to see a full house at the show.  In total, $13,886.84 was raised for the hospital.

To each of the volunteers, we want to say thank you.  We know some of you are motivated to help because of the important cause of patient care at SMGH.  Others have been long-time friends and are always willing to lend a hand. We appreciate your time and effort to help make the evening so successful.

The incredible performance that Cirque Sublime put on would not have been possible without the tremendous support of our sponsors. Many of you returned to sponsor the hospital gala and your financial support helped to make the event a successful one.

We would also like to thank the many contributors to the silent auction and winning bidders.  Many partner companies also helped to make the evening run smoothly.

Finally, thanks to everyone who attended that night. We hope you enjoyed the incredible performance of Cirque Sublime. 

Thank you for your generous support,

Kathleen Anderson and Jen Veeke

Volunteer Co-Chairs

An Evening with Cirque Sublime

SMGH Foundation

A Remarkable Tradition of Caring

April 9, 2009

SMGH Foundation – Who We Are and What We Do

Today, few hospitals in Ontario can maintain quality healthcare services without donations from residents in the community. This is why your support is so important to Strathroy Hospital.

It was only because of donated funds, a gift of property and medical supplies, that the original hospital site was able to open in 1914.  A group of local committed citizens saw a need for local healthcare and worked hard to raise the money to open the hospital.

From 1914 to today, many individuals have left their legacy to strengthen healthcare  while new generations have taken their place as committed donors. This is the true spirit of generosity – a dedication to helping others in need and remarkable tradition of caring.

The Hospital Foundation was established in 1989 with a very small but dedicated team who work with hospital staff, patients and their families, and residents to fund projects. Through both large and small donations, legacies and fundraising events, the Foundation strives to raise much needed funds for new equipment, education for staff, physician recruitment, and capital expansion projects like the building of the Emergency and Ambulatory Care Departments a few years ago.

Many times during the year, the Foundation transfers donations to the Hospital so that priority medical equipment can be ordered.

The Foundation’s goal is to continually meet the needs of the hospital by raising money from the community. We must bridge the funding gap between what the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) provides for daily hospital operating expenses (hospital salaries, supplies, drugs, etc.); and what they do not fund which is new technology needed to serve patients. Some examples of technology not funded by the MOHLTC include: surgical equipment, medication carts, a fluoroscopic x-ray machine, and much more. These are just a few of the items we need to fundraise for this year.  Altogether, the Foundation must raise $1,111,600 to upgrade and pay for new equipment at the hospital in 2009.

Another reason that we must continually raise funds for new equipment is that physicians, nurses and medical professionals train on the most advanced technology. They use equipment to help diagnose and treat illness as quick as possible for patients.  It’s very difficult to attract new physicians when you don’t have the tools available for them to do their important work.

Only with your help will the Foundation be able to continue supporting the hospital to purchase equipment for nursing care, surgical and diagnostic imaging services. For a full list of what we are raising funds for this year, visit 

Donations to the Foundation are an investment in your community’s health. We all deserve the best possible care.

If you would like more information or have any questions about the Foundation, please feel free to contact me at 519-245-5632, email

You can find the SMGH Foundation’s audit and compliance return listed on the Canada Revenue Agency Charities Directorate by visiting  

SMGH Foundation’s charitable registration number is 13297 4270 RR0001.

Thanks for your continued support…

December 22, 2008

What I enjoy most about my work at the Foundation are the discussions I have with donors. It lifts my spirits to hear the reasons why people choose to support the hospital.  So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when the holiday season approaches, I get on the phone and start calling people.


Every day news headlines uncover yet another troubling component of the faltering economy, and it becomes easy to miss the positive stories.


I was talking with one of our yearly donors and he told me he was laid off. Tough times face his family, and yet, he decided to continue donating because the hospital is important to his children. This steadfast support warms our hearts and reinforces our resolve.


Many donors have concerns over recent news that the hospital will be cutting back in order to balance its budget. It’s true, the hospital is undergoing a transformation. Most people don’t know it, but due to a shift in the way care is provided, the hospital now has more outpatient visits, approximately 97,000 during 2008, with fewer overnight stays – only 3,000. As a result, demand for services is changing.


The Ministry of Health provides funding for hospital operation costs including supplies, drugs, salaries and other daily expenses.  Base hospital funding increased by just over 2% in  2008. Unfortunately, this does not keep up with increasing costs. As an example, the cost of medical and surgical supplies has increased between 4-5%.


I called an elderly woman to thank her for a very generous donation she made to the Foundation. She told me that her knee was replaced and it changed her life, now she’s mobile again. The joint replacement program has been a great success and made such a difference in the lives of many people in the region.


The past year has presented some challenges for Strathroy Hospital. The Foundation’s goal is to meet the needs of the hospital, bridging the gap between Ministry funding and patient needs. State of the art equipment is a priority in order to provide the best possible care. Together with your help, we will continue to support the hospital through this period of change.


While families brace for the worst, we are empathetic to those who are faced by troubled times. Please know that we appreciate your support and will make sure as always, that every dollar donated is a dollar well spent.


On behalf of the Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and staff, I wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season. A heartfelt thanks goes to every donor and volunteer. Your wonderful spirit of giving and caring is inspiring; may it be with you all this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

What is the Foundation doing to help the hospital?

November 26, 2008


Donations received by Strathroy Hospital Foundation have funded new patient care equipment, technology, renovations and building expansion. This includes things like the CT scanner and Ambulatory/Emergency Care Department expansion. Over the Foundation’s 20 year history, $20 million has been raised for the hospital – that is our job!


It is the job of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, through the Local Health Integration Network to provide funding for hospital operational costs including salaries, supplies, drugs and other daily expenses. This year, base funding from the SW LHIN increased by just over 2%.  Unfortunately, this does not keep up with increasing costs, which in some cases are up 7-8%.


I would like to know why base funding for SMGH was not increased. I urge everyone to mail Dalton McGuinty, (copying Maria Van Bommel) to ask this question. Why didn’t they provide the hospital enough funding to cover the rate of inflation? Isn’t this why we all pay taxes??


SMGH Foundation feels it is most important to step forward and help the hospital in this time of transformation. We are now transferring more than $1 Million annually to SMGH and setting a new program in place to help even more in the future.


Earlier this year,  as required by the SW LHIN we introduced paid parking as one measure to help generate funds. In fact, we have already begun to transfer some of the funds to the hospital.  No one wants to pay for parking – and I understand that. But by paying for parking, we are all financially helping SMGH. In 2009, the Foundation will introduce a new TV rental system that will offer better service for patients and  help us to raise more money.


These are just a few examples of fundraising and revenue generation efforts. The Foundation is lucky to have great support from business leaders, community groups and individuals. This is especially appreciated during times of economic instability.

I hope everyone will continue to help us raise more money to sustain exceptional patient care that is provided by our physicians, nurses and staff at Strathroy Hospital.