Groves donors recognized at appreciation event

Groves has officially surpassed the $7 million mark in its campaign to build a new hospital in Aboyne.

A donor appreciation event at the Elora Community Centre on Oct. 8 highlighted how important financial donors are to Groves Memorial Community Hospital.

“The donors are what make Groves hospital the place that it is,” said Groves Hospital Foundation executive director Lori Arsenault.

“A portion of the equipment and all of the things that you see in the hospital is not funded by the Ministry of Health so it needs to come from the community and so through generous donations from our donors we’re able to purchase equipment and things that are needed for the hospital.”

Most recently the foundation reached $525,000 in funds raised exclusively through donations from the community for a new digital mammography machine.

“So right now they’re in the process of looking, reviewing different machines and what’s available and then hopefully by early January we’ll have that machine in place,” said Arsenault. “We would not have a digital mammography machine without the support of donations from our donors.”

In recent years a CT scanner has also been purchased through community donations and each year the foundation receives a list of required equipment, including anything from vital signs monitors to IV pumps, that is purchased through donations.

Donors will also play a large role in outfitting the new hospital with all of the necessary equipment to improve the patient experience.

The hospital’s capital project team had a mock up private patient room at the donor appreciation event and Lyndsay Warrington was on hand to answer any public questions.

Warrington said the team is currently working on an inventory list of what will be required for the new hospital and what equipment they will be able to take from the current hospital. However, one of the big areas they will be looking toward donors for support is in the purchase of enabling technologies.

“Any of the equipment such as those smart boards or an interactive television for (patients) to use … that will be a big part to improve that patient experience and the provider communication back and forth with both the patient and their families,” Warrington said.

“A lot of families are not able to spend a lot of time at the hospital so especially for folks like that, we can improve that experience hopefully.”

Another new feature officials are hoping to include in the new private rooms is a macerator, which will allow health care providers to dispose of bedpans completely in the patient’s own room.

“It’s kind of emphasizing that patient experience as well as the provider not having to take a soiled bed pan across a hall on a cart in a public area into a sealed utility; it can be disposed of right in the room,” she said. “And that patient dignity piece of it really could be improved there as well.”

Also, throughout the mock up the team is receiving public feedback that will be taken into consideration when the final decision on rooms is made.

Warrington said they’re in the process of deciding whether they will do a mock up of a different room, like an emergency department exam room or a communication station to receive public feedback.

“The big thing is just knowing that we’re putting the patient first in all the planning and design,” she said.

The new hospital itself is still in the planning stage, said CEO Jerome Quenneville. He said much of the summer was spent talking to all hospital departments to learn what is currently working and what is not, and what the hospital would really like to have in the new facility.     

“And taking that, Stantec (Architecture) has translated some of those issues into language that they call output specifications, what the builders and designers are going to have to incorporate into the planning as we go forward,” Quenneville said. “We also have what’s called clinical statements of achievements that we want to make sure that we achieve and there’s also those design pieces from a functionality or energy efficiency and all that sort of thing.”

Quenneville also highlighted that a major consideration for the new hospital will be which departments need to be adjacent to one another.

He said flow is one of the major challenges with the current hospital, which will hopefully be rectified at the new site.

“Right now you walk in and you walk right by the nursing desk,” he said. “There’s no privacy in a lot of different areas. It’s really (a) security concern for staff, for patients, but we do provide great care and we’re very fortunate that our staff are able to work through that. “

Quenneville said the hospital corporation received qualifications from potential builders in September. In the new year officials will narrow it down to three bidders. By May he said the three bidders will receive all the documentation of what the hospital is looking to achieve and an example process. They will have approximately a year to complete a full design of the new facility.

Quenneville said he anticipated going to tender in May of 2017.

“Again that’s the dream that we’re all working towards … getting that hospital moving and getting it here in Centre Wellington and knowing that … journey doesn’t occur without the support of great people like yourselves,” he told donors in attendance.

Arsenault also thanked the donors, saying, “we appreciate all the support that we receive from the community for the Groves hospital and … it’s valued by the foundation but also by the administration, by the staff, by everyone that uses the hospital.”

At the event the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora donated $8,000 from its Canada Day event, the Fergus Lions Club donated $5,000 from a bingo fundraiser and the Rotary Club of Centre Wellington donated $22,000 from its Grand Taste of the Culinary Arts. Arsenault also mentioned the Horse and Hound parade raised over $5,000 for the foundation.

Groves’ physician and local musician Doug Roach treated donors to a surprise musical performance at the event.