Rural Hospitals receive donations from Insurance Bureau of Canada
by Sandy Lindsay

February 22, 2016


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A happy day for rural hospitals

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) gave rural hospitals in Huron Bruce a helping hand when it donated $40,000 on Friday, February 19th at the Lucknow Sports Complex.

The donations of $5,000 to each of eight foundations' hospitals was orchestrated by MPP Lisa Thompson who pointed out that "... rural Ontario needs all of its local hospitals.  When winter arrives and roads are often closed, local hospitals are vital to their communities.

Huron-Bruce Hospital Foundations are responsible for raising the funds that make the purchasing of equipment, facility maintenance and assistant to staff with training and development possible.

Doug DeRabbie, Director of Government Relations for Ontario IBC said that IBC and its members have a long and proud history of working locally to make a difference.

Doug DeRabbie of IBC

 "We hope that these donations will help to provide health care services to residents in Huron-Bruce," said DeRabbie.

Among the hospitals that received the donations were Saugeen Memorial in Saugeen Shores, Exeter in South Huron, Alexandra Marine in Goderich, Clinton, Kincardine and Community Hospital, Seaforth and Walkerton and District.

Alexandra Marine & General Hospital

(L-R) Doug DeRabbie of IBC, Brenda Teichert, MPP Lisa Thompson & Myles Murdoch

"We have very different problems in rural areas when compared to urban settings," said Myles Murdoch.  "The demographics and our issues around transportation are unique but people expect and deserve the same level of health care so we have to work harder.  There is never enough money to go around, so we really thank the IBC for their contribution."

Virginia Steckle accepts for Clinton

"Every dollar helps," added Virginia Steckle of Clinton.  "We are looking at a $600,000 renovation so every donation is important."

Tim Mancell accepted for South Bruce Grey Hospital Foundation that included Kincardine

Tim Mancell, Director of SBGH, that includes Walkerton, Kincardine, Chesley and Durham pointed out that hospitals have seen no increase from the province in five years.  "We are looking at $1.8Million for a new CT scanner as our existing one is the oldest in the province," said Mancell.  "There are always projects for needed equipment that the province does not fund so when donations like this come through, it really helps."

Kimberly Pain accepted for Exeter Hospital

Kimberly Pain of Exeter Hospital also pointed out that it was good for representatives from each foundation to be able to get together.  "Each of us who lives in our communities has been touched by our local hospitals.  In Exeter, we have a 19 bed facility but still need all the resources to make it viable.  Our digital imaging equipment will soon need revamping and, like other tourist areas, our hospital is very busy during the tourist season."

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Dick Burgess and Ron Lavoie accept for Seaforth

"We are one of four sites in the Perth area," said Ron Lavoie.  "In a small rural community of 2,000 people we are trying to raise $50,000 for a new ultra sound unit and it's difficult, so we are really grateful for donations like this."

Dick Burgess also added that the biggest fundraiser of the year is the CKNX Radiothon.  "People in rural areas are very attached to their local hospitals and depend on donations from individuals and organizations such as the IBC."

Sally Kidson, Executive Director and Andy Bingham, Treasurer accept for Saugeen Memorial

Sally Kidson, Executive Director of Saugeen Memorial Hospital in Southampton, explained that she had grown up on a farm in Saugeen  Township.  "In Ontario, we need to celebrate farming," said Kidson, "and we need to remind people in urban centres like Toronto, that we are here working to provide the food that they access."

Andy Bingham, Treasurer, also pointed out that it's the volunteers that keep the health care system going in rural areas.  "It's interesting to see the unique problems that rural communities do have versus urban centres.  Our foundation is in the middle of an expansion and, given that we are a tourist area, the need for the hospital goes up exponentially in the summer, so these funds will definitely be put to good use."

 Russ Tailor accepts for Wingham & District

"We are in the middle of a $4Million campaign to expand our oncology unit," said Russ Tailor, "so this donation will help to keep the ball rolling."

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Monday, February 22, 2016