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.

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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.