Branch 160 poppy fund supports PECMH x-ray purchase

Pictured in front of the PECM Hospital from left: Shannon Coull, executive director of the PECMH Foundation and Buck Buchanan, poppy fund chairperson. (Briar Boyce for the Gazette)

As the need for priority medical equipment never stops, Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH) is grateful for the continued support from the Royal Canadian Legion in Wellington.

Buck Buchanan on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 Poppy Fund Committee presented Shannon Coull, executive director of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF) with a gift of $2,000 on Wednesday, November 16. The funds were raised through the 2021 poppy fund campaign.

The hospital foundation is charged with raising over $1 million for equipment this year. Of that, $595,000 has been designated for the purchase of a new x-ray machine.

Last year, 8,800 x-ray images were taken at PECMH. The current machine is 14-years-old and image quality is diminishing. Because priority equipment purchases are not government funded, Branch 160 has stepped forward to help ensure x-ray services remain close by, in Prince Edward County, should veterans need them now or in the future.

The Legion’s $2,000 gift will help bring this vital piece of diagnostic imaging equipment to our County hospital and will be matched 1:1 by the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

“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 have earned,” said Barbara McConnell, chairperson of the PECMH Foundation. “Over the years, our four local Legion branches, Picton, Wellington, Consecon and Deseronto have contributed to exceptional 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.”

“We are especially grateful to the Poppy Fund Committee for this gift that will go towards the purchase of an x-ray machine. Our doctors will use it to provide the patients requiring the use of the x-ray with proper diagnosis,” said Coull. “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 are also proud to announce that, with this gift, Branch 160’s cumulative giving total to our hospital over the past 21 years has surpassed $16,000.”

Each November, we respectfully wear our poppies in tribute to those who have fought and died for our country, but many of us 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 our community that provide service and care to veterans.

“Through your donations to the 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 Buchanan. “We are thankful to everyone who supports the poppy campaign and the Legion. Because of you, the Legion is able to help others living in this community, including patients at the hospital have access to leading edge diagnostic equipment.”

The Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds to advance health care for the patients of the hospital and the people of Prince Edward County.