Sixty years of ser­vice

Foun­da­tion chair­woman says open­ing of Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal was com­mu­nity’s ‘big­gest day’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - HEALTH - BY ERIC MCCARTHY eric.mccarthy@jour­nalpioneer.com

“We’re tough out here. When the go­ing gets rough, we get tougher.” Eva Rodger­son

It’s the great ser­vice pro­vided by ev­ery staff mem­ber that has kept Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal O’Leary op­er­at­ing for 60 years, says Eva Rodger­son, chair­woman of the O’Leary Com­mu­nity Health Foun­da­tion.

Rodger­son spoke July 5, 60 years to the day, since the first Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal opened, and she re­calls that cel­e­bra­tion as if it were yes­ter­day.

“It was the big­gest day in this com­mu­nity that I can re­mem­ber,” she told the crowd gath­ered for the 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion.

That first cel­e­bra­tion and the 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion were pic­nic-like, out­door events.

Health Min­is­ter Robert Hen­der­son ad­mit­ted in his re­marks that the hos­pi­tal has faced chal­lenges and changes in its 60 years. Rodger­son agreed with that as­sess­ment.

“We’re tough out here,” she said. “When the go­ing gets rough, we get tougher.”

She re­called how sup­port­ers of the hos­pi­tal once blocked the West­ern Road to em­pha­size their op­po­si­tion to planned changes and that some­one once re­moved the cor­ner­stone from the hos­pi­tal in protest.

“We didn’t win all the bat­tles, but we’ve got quite a nu­cleus of ser­vices here now,” she ac­knowl­edged.

She wel­comed Hen­der­son’s an­nounce­ment that Te­le­stroke ser­vices were ex­panded to Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal.

“This is a much-needed ad­di­tion,” she said.

The hos­pi­tal, Hen­der­son noted, has 39.95 full-time equiv­a­lent po­si­tions. When the at­tached Mar­garet Ste­wart El­lis long-term care home is added, the num­ber of FTEs climbs to more than 80, and the to­tal num­ber of T-4s is­sued each year ex­ceeds 120.

Hen­der­son com­mended the foun­da­tion and the ladies aux­il­iary for their fundrais­ing ef­forts for the hos­pi­tal, and Rodger­son gave as­sur­ances the foun­da­tion will con­tinue to fundraise and to ad­vo­cate.

Their lat­est ask, she said, is for an am­bu­la­tory care nurse.

“If they can have 13 new po­si­tions for Prince County for their new ad­di­tion, one would be a small ask,” she sug­gested.

ERIC MCCARTHY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Eva Rodger­son, chair­woman of the O’Leary Com­mu­nity Health Foun­da­tion, re­flects on Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal’s sig­nif­i­cance to the area dur­ing the hos­pi­tal’s 60th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion. The cel­e­bra­tion was held July 5, 60 years to the day since the com­mu­nity’s first hos­pi­tal opened. Look­ing on are Paul Young, ad­min­is­tra­tor of Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tals West; Robert Hen­der­son, min­is­ter of health and well­ness; and Ar­lene Gal­lant-Bernard, director of com­mu­nity and fam­ily medicine, Health P.E.I.

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