The Southwest Wire
Anonymous donation bolsters future of Yarmouth Hospital
Millions of dollars are pouring into health care in Yarmouth.
This is exciting the community, including health-care providers like Western zone internal medicine chief Dr. Brian Moses.
Moses says it was an investment like no other when the Yarmouth Regional Hospital received an anonymous $22-million donation, which followed $2.5 million from the province last fall for emergency room improvements.
Moses says these combined funds have meant a great deal in Yarmouth and the tricounty region, where healthcare systems have faced struggles in recent years. He says these combined dollars will help change that and could bring more doctors to the area.
“I think and hope this will be an attraction for healthcare providers of all sorts to say, ‘this is a place that cares,’” says Moses. “The kind of place they want to work.”
INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE
Moses says it was hard to mentally process the donation at first, simply because he’d never heard of anything like it.
“I didn’t really wrap my head around the implications of it — I had never heard of anything like that before. Seemingly no one else in Atlantic Canada has either,” he says.
Moses says the province’s $2.5-million investment for updates to Yarmouth’s emergency department was planned for some time. He says its arrival will now shift the department from “dismal” to new and innovative.
“It was a sigh of relief to know emergency room upgrades would move forward. It was the final green light,” says Moses. “For all of us, staff and patients in emergency, this is very exciting.”
This money, according to Moses, will further enable Yarmouth to continue supporting Shelburne’s Roseway Hospital and the Digby General Hospital, which Moses says, in turn, reinforces the entire system.
“This funding will ensure care for patients who do need to come here are supported,” he says.
Ensuring this even further is the decision to invest the $22-million donation, which Yarmouth Hospital Foundation board and executive chair Dr. Harold Cook says will be managed through a health-care enhancement endowment to guarantee as long an impact as possible.
“We know it’ll have an impact on our health-care environment for a long time,” he says.
Cook says the continued donation investment income will allow the foundation to shift its support at the hospital to also include community-based projects, which it will support with 15 per cent, or $150,000, of this income each year.
The foundation will also continue supporting the hospital through its regular fundraising work for equipment upgrades, something that will also benefit from the investment income.
This, in turn, will also help recruit more doctors. Recruitment has been a priority for Moses.
“This will mean more equipment upgrades, service components within the hospital that will be attractive to physicians who might want to come here,” he says. “They’ll be coming into a wellequipped environment that is supportive of what they want to do.”
Cook says while no final decisions have been made, he’d love to see money put towards enhancing mental health care and orthopedic procedures — hip or knee replacements specifically — at the hospital.
“This could be a good use of funds. It would help reduce wait times for these (procedures) provincially and allow patients to have these procedures right next to home,” he says.
Moses says while these donations are already making a massive difference in Yarmouth health care, he hopes the Yarmouth community will keep supporting its hospital, as ongoing support will help make even more of a difference.
“Donations will still be relevant, even after this massive gift. Ongoing donations will enhance what’s going on, rather than keep doing what’s been done,” he says.
“I didn’t really wrap my head around the implications of it — I had never heard of anything like that before.”
Dr. Brian Moses
Chief of Internal Medicine, Western Health Zone