Goal reached for new hospice

The Peterborough Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - JES­SICA NYZNIK EX­AM­INER STAFF WRITER

Hospice Peter­bor­ough reached its fundrais­ing goal for its new care cen­tre af­ter re­ceiv­ing $2 mil­lion from the pro­vin­cial govern­ment.

Agri­cul­ture, Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs Min­is­ter and Peter­bor­ough MPP Jeff Leal an­nounced the prov­ince’s sup­port at Hospice on Ru­bidge Street on Thurs­day.

Fol­low­ing Leal’s words, Linda Sunderland, Hospice ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, re­vealed to a crowded room that the con­tri­bu­tion meant Hospice had hit its ex­panded fundrais­ing tar­get.

The orig­i­nal $8.5-mil­lion mark was stretched af­ter Hospice en­coun­tered un­ex­pected is­sues dur­ing construction. A plan ren­o­vate the his­toric for­mer Lang­ton House on Lon­don Street was thwarted af­ter sev­eral chal­lenges arose. A de­ci­sion was then made to raze the build­ing in­stead, which added fur­ther ex­penses.

Thanks to the On­tario govern­ment’s back­ing, plans for the new build­ings can go ahead.

“We are so grate­ful for the sup­port of the Min­istry of Health so we can move for­ward quickly and don’t have to go back to our com­mu­nity and ask for more sup­port,” Sunderland said.

When the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor got word that the prov­ince would help to fund the project, she was speech­less.

“It was amaz­ing to know that we could just put that off our plate and fo­cus to­tally on the new de­sign and build­ing this Hospice Peter­bor­ough Care Cen­tre as quickly as we could,” she said.

New de­signs for the build are un­der­way and will be re­vealed to the com­mu­nity in Novem­ber. Sunderland said they in­clude a two-level de­sign with a main level and a lower level that will match seam­lessly with the level al­ready in the ground for the Hospice care res­i­dence.

There’ll be two build­ings on site: one is a 10-bed res­i­dence, the other will house ad­min­is­tra­tion, pro­grams and ser­vices.

The beds will be the first hospice beds in the city and county. Cur­rently, there are only three hospice beds between Scar­bor­ough and Al­go­nquin Park. They’re in Trent Hills. That means fam­i­lies in the area have to de­cide if they want their loved ones to die in hospi­tal or at home.

When Le al’ s brother Ted was dy­ing, he spent his last days in an emer­gency room bed at Peter­bor­ough Re­gional Health Cen­tre. Though the care Ted re­ceived was phe­nom­e­nal, Leal said, in hind­sight, he thinks that bed should have given to some­one who had a chance to live.

“Given the op­por­tu­nity for the last weeks of my brother’s life, a hospice set­ting would have been much bet­ter, no ques­tion about that,” Leal said.

Af­ter hear­ing of the chal­lenges Hospice faced with the construction of the new care fa­cil­ity, Leal said he ap­proached Health and Long-Term Care Min­is­ter Eric Hoskins to con­sider mak­ing a sub­stan­tial cap­i­tal cam­paign to the Peter­bor­ough project.

He said the fund­ing is a salute to the great work Hospice Peter­bor­ough is do­ing, as well as the ef­forts of the Ev­ery Mo­ment Mat­ters cam­paign, aimed at rais­ing money for the new cen­tre.

The new hospice is now slated to open in De­cem­ber 2018.

CLIFFORD SKARSTEDT/EX­AM­INER

From left, Hospice Peter­bor­ough donor/vol­un­teer Nan Jaros­zonek, fund de­vel­op­ment man­ager Ali­son Casey and Kasia Lue­bke, di­rec­tor of health sys­tem strat­egy in­te­gra­tion plan­ning and per­for­mance at the Cen­tral East Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Net­work, lis­ten Thurs­day to Peter­bor­ough MPP Jeff Leal an­nounc­ing that Hospice Peter­bor­ough will re­ceive up to $2 mil­lion to help fund the costs of the new 10-bed hospice care cen­tre.

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