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.