Sixty years of service
Foundation chairwoman says opening of Community Hospital was community’s ‘biggest day’
“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.
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.