Sobey Foun­da­tion do­nates $1 mil­lion to Time is Now cam­paign

The News (New Glasgow) - - CLASSIFIEDS/LIFESTYLES - BY RICHARD MACKEN­ZIE

“We’re over 80 per cent to­wards our goal.” That was the good news quote com­ing from Steve Smith, chair of the St. Martha’s Re­gional Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion’s (SMRHF) en­dow­ment cam­paign — the Time is Now — fol­low­ing the Sept. 10 an­nounce­ment of a $1 mil­lion gift from the Sobey Foun­da­tion.

The gift will sup­port car­diores­pi­ra­tory care at the hos­pi­tal and, in recog­ni­tion, the car­dio and res­pi­ra­tory ser­vices will be named Sobey Car­diores­pi­ra­tory Ser­vices.

Smith’s math was ref­er­enc­ing the cam­paign’s goal of reach­ing $20 mil­lion “to sus­tain and grow the ser­vices of­fered at St. Martha’s Re­gional Hos­pi­tal.”

“We’re at $16.13 mil­lion. Plus, dur­ing the last few years, we have also given to the hos­pi­tal for new equip­ment,” Smith said, adding that fig­ure is just a lit­tle more than $1.3 mil­lion. “So we’re not only rais­ing money, but pay­ing out money all the time, as the needs arise. Some things we fund com­pletely and some in part­ner­ship with the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity.”

He called the Sobey con­tri­bu­tion a “gamechanger.”

“I’ve been look­ing for­ward to this an­nounce­ment for quite some time,” Smith said. “This gives us a push to start aim­ing to­wards the end. But, of course, with the Time is Now cam­paign, there re­ally is no end be­cause when we hit $20 mil­lion, that will not be the end. Health care is be­com­ing more and more costly and there are more and more peo­ple need­ing it.”

He elab­o­rated on the thought of more peo­ple seek­ing health-care ser­vices, not­ing the area St. Martha’s Re­gional Hos­pi­tal serves has an ag­ing de­mo­graphic.

“As you get older, you start to go to the hos­pi­tal more for dif­fer­ent rea­sons and the de­mo­graphic in our area is getting older. There are more and more vis­its to the hos­pi­tal and you can see it every day when you visit St. Martha’s by just how busy it is.

“And the need for new equip­ment and doc­tors is so big; so im­por­tant. I just ask everyone to con­tinue to open their hearts and, if you haven’t made your pledge yet, con­sider mak­ing it and help us en­sure the fu­ture of great health care in our area.”

Frank Sobey, chair of the Sobey Foun­da­tion, re­ferred to the gift as a “cat­a­lyst.”

“We are mak­ing this gift as a cat­a­lyst to in­spire ad­di­tional gifts from the com­mu­nity,

cre­at­ing sus­tain­able fund­ing for health­care at St. Martha’s,” Sobey said, in a pre­pared re­lease. “The Sobey Foun­da­tion’s goal is to im­prove the lives of in­di­vid­u­als through health, ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­ni­ties. By part­ner­ing with St. Martha’s, we knew we could make that last­ing im­pact. This in­vest­ment will en­sure that the (SMRHF) foun­da­tion and the hos­pi­tal have the ca­pac­ity to con­tinue to pro­vide this es­sen­tial sup­port in the com­mu­nity where we live and work.”

Sobey was asked, fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, about the money be­ing di­rected to car­dio and res­pi­ra­tory ser­vices.

“Once we de­cided we should sup­port this re­quest, we had a se­ries of dis­cus­sions back and forth,” he said. “We then de­cided car­di­ol­ogy, car­dio-res­pi­ra­tory, was the place for us.”

Dr. Amy Hen­dricks, who works in that de­part­ment at the hos­pi­tal, was pleased that par­tic­u­lar de­ci­sion was made.

“It can be eas­ier to fundraise for a big, ex­pen­sive piece of equip­ment peo­ple can re­late to but, some­times, there are costs for build­ing a pro­gram, build­ing staff ed­u­ca­tion, de­vel­op­ing pa­tient re­lated ed­u­ca­tion re­sources that may not be quite as, for lack of a bet­ter word, sexy.

“Know­ing there will be sub­stan­tial fund­ing com­ing in for res­pi­ra­tory care, for the in­def­i­nite fu­ture, al­lows us to make some of those other kinds of in­vest­ments that may not be as ob­vi­ous in the pub­lic eye, but are just as nec­es­sary for proper care.”

Hen­dricks added that it will help the hos­pi­tal re­cruit doc­tors, as well.

“If I am try­ing to re­cruit a physi­cian to come here and be part of our res­pi­ra­tory care team, if they know they have some on­go­ing fund­ing to work with, to see their dreams come true for this hos­pi­tal and their pa­tients’ health care, it will be a gamechanger,” she said, bor­row­ing a term that was used of­ten dur­ing the an­nounce­ment.

Hen­dricks talked about the pos­i­tive en­ergy in the hos­pi­tal with the Time is Now cam­paign com­ing closer to reach­ing its ob­jec­tive.

“I’m al­ways aware and hum­bled by the gen­eros­ity of the (SMRHF) foun­da­tion,” she said, not­ing she is re­minded of their work daily, as she ac­cesses a piece of equip­ment pur­chased through foun­da­tion fund­ing. “And I think there is a great en­ergy with the en­dow­ment cam­paign; a great job has been done. If we ever won­dered if our com­mu­nity sup­ported us, we cer­tainly know now.”

RICHARD MACKEN­ZIE/THE CAS­KET

Com­ing to­gether fol­low­ing the Sept. 10 an­nounce­ment of the Sobey Foun­da­tion con­tribut­ing $1 mil­lion to car­diores­pi­ra­tory ser­vices at Antigo­nish’s St. Martha’s Re­gional Hos­pi­tal were: Antigo­nish MLA and Min­is­ter of Health and Well­ness Randy Delorey (left), Frank Sobey from the Sobey Foun­da­tion, St. Martha’s Re­gional Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion (SMRHF) past-chair Joe MacDon­ald who em­ceed the an­nounce­ment, Dr. Amy Hen­dricks, SMRHF Time is Now cam­paign chair Steve Smith and Paul Sobey, also rep­re­sent­ing the Sobey Foun­da­tion.

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