by Cecilia Naismith
Colour Run is coming to Port Hope
After several successful years with their annual street-hockey fundraiser, the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation's youth ambassadors are trying one of the latest crazes on July 14 – the Colour Run For Care.
Reporting at the hospital board's April meeting, foundation board chair Tyler Hathway added that their previous fiscal year had ended successfully by surpassing its $2.38-million fundraising objective. In the end, they brought in $2.6-million.
Each event is important in helping the foundation reach its fundraising objective of $3.4-million for the new fiscal year.
The Colour Run is becoming quite a trendy event these days, Hathway said. Participants run a set course (in this case, a Port Hope course that offers a choice of one, two or five kilometres) and having everyone spray them with colour bombs as they run past.
“You start with a white T-shirt and, by the end, you are very multi-coloured,” board member Lynda Kay explained.
As well, the foundation has a slate of annual events that are much anticipated (as well as lucrative for the hospital), and their dates have been established for 2018:
Northumberland's Biggest Coffee Morning on June 6
The Equipped To Care golf tournament on June 13
The Vandermeer Father-Daughter Ball on June 23
Wine And Ale in the Park on June 28
Bike Up Northumberland on Sept. 15, a joint fundraiser with the Campbellford Memorial Hospital Foundation
The 18th annual Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation gala on Nov. 3
In advance of that, Hathway said, the new Turtle John's Restaurant on County Road 45 has generously offered to donate a portion of proceeds from their grand opening April 15 from noon to 3 p.m.
NHH auxiliary is a multi-million-dollar asset
The Northumberland Hills Hospital Auxiliary has proven a multi-million-dollar asset to the hospital over nearly a century, the hospital board heard at its April meeting.
President Pat Page Hosiak introduced the auxiliary's director of finance Brian Driscoll – a retiree who has taken on a host of volunteer duties throughout the community in addition to this role.
“On top of all that, he pushes wheelchairs up and down the hall each Thursday,” she added.
Driscoll presented a cheque for $131,000 from the auxiliary, which brought their donations for the fiscal year that ended March 31 to a total of $200,000.
He said the 300-plus auxiliary members deserved a lot of credit for making it possible.
“The big dog in our organization is Petticoat Lane,” he said, referring to the thrift store on Munroe Street. It brought in $110,000.
“When you buy a chocolate bar downstairs in between meetings, you're supporting the Little Treasure Shop,” he added. They brought in $68,000.
The Crafters group, which has monthly bazaars, accounts for $4,000.
The HELPP break-open lottery tickets are a real draw in the hospital lobby, and they brought in $6,000.
Finally, the bridge club (of which board president Beth Selby pointed out she is a member) brought in $1,800.
In November, Driscoll said, the auxiliary will celebrate 95 years in existence. Over those years, it has generated $4-million for the hospital. Of that total, 26% or $1-million has been donated over the past five years. Since the hospital opened in its current location in 2003, 62% of that total (or $2.5-million) has been donated.
Two more anniversaries are coming up next year – the 50th anniversary of Petticoat Lane and the 60th anniversary of the Little Treasure Shop.
Chief among challenges leading up to that milestone is the aging of its membership and a 32% decline in its ranks since 2004. Nevertheless, Driscoll said, they are committing to raising 170,000 for the hospital in the coming year.
As well as supporting the hospital financially, auxiliary members assist hospital staff in many areas of service. And the monthly report from president and chief executive officer Linda Davis pointed out a new service they are providing – helping to orient incoming patients to the medical-surgical unit.
“An additional resource to patients and their families as they familiarize themselves with the hospital and its amenities, the volunteers are now helping to greet patients on arrival, ensure they have the necessary information regarding hospital services and procedures (infection control, visiting guidelines, parking, TV, cafeteria) and pointing them to hospital resources,” Davis's report said
“The introduction of the new 28-volunteer team represents one step toward achieving the priority identified in NHH's latest strategic plan to continue to provide meaningful opportunities for our diverse range of volunteers and better leverage their talents and skills across the organization.”
Hospital pharmacy earns praise from provincial body
The Northumberland Hills Hospital pharmacy came in for special praise from president and chief executive officer Linda Davis at the board's April meeting.
The Ontario Association of Pharmacists has come forward with a number of new standards for pharmacies located in hospitals, Davis explained, and the NHH pharmacy has been working diligently toward compliance for almost two years.
Recently, when association representatives checked back in after almost a year, they made a remark Davis felt should be shared – that they'd seen very few pharmacies accomplish what NHH's had done in such a short time.
“They were very, very complimentary,” Davis said.
Vice-president of patient services Susan Walsh agreed, saying they were pleased to achieve a pass-plus-action-plan after being assessed on some 120 standards.
“They said the entire operation had improved its engagement with pharmacists, its engagement with senior management. They were very impressed with the improvement we made,” Walsh said.
“We do have some work to do but, overall, we are really pleased.”
Tanzania doctor makes NHH stop
An annual visit to Tanzania for their students has been an annual tradition local principals Jeff Kawzenuk and Steve Truelove have organized for years.
They are now winding up a reverse exchange, playing host to 12 girls from an all-girls' school in Arusha and Sister Doctor Clarissa Mehallo, medical officer in charge of the Tumaini Health Centre.
“They arrived March 26, and we have traveled the province,” Kawzenuk said, “I think they are absolutely exhausted and freezing cold, but we have done lots of wonderful things.”
As part of a visit to Northumberland Hills Hospital facilitated by Dr. Andrew Stratford, Sr. Dr. Clarissa attended the April board meeting to describe the focus of her work on maternal and child care.
Kawzenuk said they first met Sr. Dr. Clarissa in 2005 in Kilema, Tanzania, where she ran a hospital.
“She has done some fabulous work, and it has been a long-standing friendship since then,” the Cobourg Collegiate Institute told the board.
The students typically work with HIV orphans, do structural work on the schools, sponsor some of the children for school and (through the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board) provide some investment in health care.
Sr. Dr. Clarissa moved to a small hospital in Arusha, Kawzenuk said, where she continues to do great work.
She is also pursuing a proposal she has worked up for the health centre for expanded facilities that, among other things, will reduce morbidity and mortality in pregnant mothers and children.
Sr. Dr. Clarissa is driven not only by her passion for this area of her practice but also by the obstacles her patients face in an area where health-care facilities are not only too few and far between but also too expensive. Insurance is not universal, she explained, and the 100-shilling annual fee can be too steep for too many.
“I am fighting against women's deaths, especially during their pregnancies. That is why I am looking for funds to construct the hospital,” she said softly.
The challenge is to manage their limited resources in order to provide the best quality preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative services to individuals. She gave the estimated budget for her project as 180,000 Euros.
Dr. Stratford pointed out that Sr. Dr. Clarissa is currently fundrdaising for the first phase of this project, which will establish facilities for women and children, as well as medical and surgical services for men.
The second stage will bring an outpatient hall, doctors' offices, laboratory, eye unit, dental unit, diagnostic imaging, an outpatient pharmacy and a specialized reproductive health-care department for pregnant mother and preschoolers.
The third stage will involve two operating theatres, one for minor surgery and one for major surgery.