Branch 160 cooks up donation for PECMH Foundation’s equipment fund

POPPY FUND PULLS THROUGH Pictured from left at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 in Wellington are Shannon Coull, Executive Director of the PECMH Foundation, Foundation Director Cline Pierson, Branch 160 poppy fund chair Ken MacMillan and Briar Boyce, Foundation Senior Development Officer. The Branch contributed $2,000 to the Foundation’s Equipment fund last month. (Submitted Photo)

As the need for priority medical equipment never stops, Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital is grateful for the ongoing support of our Royal Canadian Legion Branches.

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 Poppy Fund Committee in Wellington presented members of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation with $2,000 on Thursday. The funds were raised through the 2019 poppy fund campaign.

Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital is in need of a new food steamer to prepare patient meals at a cost of $11,435.60. The Foundation was appreciative when members of Branch 160’s poppy fund came forward with this donation to help offset the cost of this food steamer.

Last year, there were 845 inpatient visits with the average length of stay being between five and six days.

The new unit uses a boiler-free steam cooking system that is more efficient, produces more steam, and requires less maintenance. It cooks meals at a high speed without compromising nutritional value. Unlike deep frying and baking, steam cooking doesn’t require any additional oils and fats, making it a much healthier option for preparing patient meals.

“We are especially grateful to the Poppy Fund Committee for helping us purchase this steamer to help prepare patient meals,” said Shannon Coull, Executive Director of the PECMH Foundation. “It’s vital for our community to continue to ensure our County Hospital is equipped with the latest technology to keep our patients healthy. We hope the community will see this as another sign that we are committed to building a vibrant future for Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.”

This year, the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is raising over $320,000 for medical equipment needed across our region. Our County hospital needs a new crash cart defibrillator, two new SMART beds, a replacement bladder scanner and a steamer to prepare more nutritional meals for our patients. The Foundation is also helping to raise funds for equipment needed for the maternal child unit at QHC Belleville General Hospital, where approximately 150 County babies are born each year.

“Community support is so important because the government does not fund medical equipment. It is the responsibility of PECM Hospital Foundation, through the generosity of our donors, organizations and community partners, like the Royal Canadian Legion, that we can meet our obligation to purchase vital medical equipment needed across our region. This helps to ensure our caregivers can continue to deliver great care, close to home,” said Coull. “We are also proud to announce with today’s gift, Branch 160’s cumulative giving total to our hospital over the past 19 years has surpassed $7,525.”

Each November, as Canadians respectfully wear poppies in tribute to those who have fought and died for our country, many may not fully realize the direct impact these four-petaled flowers have on our community. While the primary purpose of the Poppy Fund is to provide assistance to former servicemen and women in need, a large portion of the funds raised in Prince Edward County help support charitable organizations in the community that provide service and care to veterans.

“Through your donations to the Legion Poppy Fund, the Legion provides financial assistance and support to veterans, including Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP, and their families who are in need,” said Ken MacMillan, chairperson of Branch 160’s Poppy Fund. “We are thankful to everyone who supports the poppy campaign. Because of you, we are able to help others living in this community, including patients at the hospital.”

Thanks to strong partnerships with the various levels of Legion governance, the PECMH Foundation has on several occasions been the beneficiary of such funding. In the last 15 years, the Foundation has been the recipient of $99,475 in donations from local Legion branches, Ladies Auxiliaries and the Provincial Command Charitable Foundation. These donated funds come largely through poppy fund sales.

“Our mission is to advance health care to our patients, and it is only through the support of our community that we can help ensure veterans receive the care they need and are treated with the respect they deserve,” said Barbara McConnell, chair of the PECMH Foundation. Over the years, our four local Legion branches, Picton, Wellington, Consecon and Deseronto have contributed to excellent care at PECMH. We are pleased to know their contributions and those of Provincial Command are not only helping ensure the best care for veterans, but for every one in Prince Edward County.”

Pick up your poppy and please give generously.