South Muskoka Hospital Foundation - Newsletter Spring 2018

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Spring 2018

Looking to the future of our hospitals It's a tough job - and there's no crystal ball. As the comm u n i t y wrestles with the Cameron Renwick future of their beloved hospitals 20 years down the road, the path to tomorrow is entangled with dauntingly thorough research, public consultations and difficult decisions. At the helm of this challenge is Cameron Renwick, the chair of the task force that will make a preferred model recommendation to the board of Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC). Renwick has been a board member since 2013 and is currently the chair of the MAHC board's strategic planning committee. Why is MAHC looking so far ahead? Renwick explains: "Because we have to. The province requires all hospitals to follow its capital planning process for redevelopment projects over $10 million. Our buildings are getting old; we are bursting at the seams; the sites are unable to expand to meet future needs without an approved capital plan." Both hospitals are in need of immediate repairs and require large investments as they continue to age. They

aren't easily adaptable to evolving best practices for infection control, to housing new and advanced equipment or medical technology, and addressing the needs of patients and their loved ones. “In approving us to the next stage of their planning process, the Ministry asked us to continue exploring the options along with looking at the potential of shifting services from the hospital to the community,� says Renwick. The board directed the creation of a task force to oversee a new chapter in MAHC’s planning work. The task force includes 25 members, who Renwick believes, well-represent the community, from municipal representatives to local physicians, foundations and auxiliaries, and community stakeholders. For the past seven months, the group has been studying ...continued on page 2

South Muskoka Hospital Foundation reveals new brand identity

2018 our community is our foundation.

Kathy Todd assists a patient with a specialist appointment.

Telemedicine brings specialists to Muskoka What if you could access any specialist across Ontario simply by visiting your community hospital? The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) can do exactly that at both Muskoka hospitals. In fact, says Telemedicine Coordinator and Registered Nurse (RN) Kathy Todd, the demand has steadily grown since she started in the department in 2016. Over the past year (April 2017 - March 2018), there were 1,133 telemedicine patient visits at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital. Todd explains the popularity: "We keep people comfortable at their community hospital. Not only does this save them the time and money it takes to travel to a specialist, but it also reduces their stress." Telemedicine is particularly effective for follow-up oncology patients - representing approximately 60 percent of the visits. Also in demand are patients of dermatology and psychiatry, areas of specialty for which Muskoka has no local expertise. ...continued on page 7

our community is our foundation

Sououth Muskoka Hospital Foundatiion

It can happen to anyone snowmobiling since he was six. "It could happen to anyone," he explained. Unpredictable conditions around a corner on Lake Rosseau meant Don found himself flying through the air, landing on his right hip. But he got back on his sled and rode back to the marina. "I could walk, so I figured I'd just have some pretty ugly bruises."

"It can happen to anyone and it's at those times when you truly appreciate your community hospital." One sunny Saturday in March, Don Wilton went snowmobiling with friends. Initially a cottager and then a full-time Muskoka resident since 2004, he'd been

After driving home to Windermere, he laid down on the couch - until the pain hit and he discovered he couldn't get up. He called the ambulance and they carefully loaded him on to a stretcher. At emergency, he was x-rayed within an hour of arrival. "They could tell that I'd cracked my pelvis and told me I had to stay overnight. The staff were amazing, they explained everything to me. I found them to be very professional."

Looking to the future the two-site models in more detail. Through consultation with hospital clinicians, community health care providers, municipalities and others, the task force has recently arrived at the programs and services that are proposed in each of the three different models. “Community input played a role too,” said Renwick. “Because of this input, we've ensured both of the two-site models would have Emergency Departments at each site. One of those models, (the Two Acute Sites model) further

...continued from front page.

includes core services like general surgery, obstetrics and intensive care at each site, just like they do today.” Yet, despite its unpopularity, the one-site model remains an option, Renwick explains, "The Ministry requires a thorough review of all potential models with no stone unturned. We need to say we looked at everything and make our case for a preferred model having compared every option. We are doing the work required and no decisions have been made.”

It was a good thing hospital staff wouldn't let him use crutches until after the CT scan the next morning. "The doctor was very down-to-earth and showed me my scan on her laptop. She went through all the details, about how it was cracked." He learned that his hip was broken in such a way that it was susceptible to slippage and if jarred, could have pushed the hip apart. To be safe, he was kept another night in hospital and is now recovering at home, with follow-ups at the fracture clinic in Orillia. "I'm so grateful for the treatment at the hospital. The staff were professional, kept me well-informed and made me feel comfortable and reassured over the three days of my stay. I even liked the food, which surprised me."

The next step is for each task force member to evaluate the three models using five criteria that they've also just finished defining. These criteria are posted on the MAHC website, and in brief include: patient and family-centred care; financial implications; alignment with health care system future directions; municipal impact; and community support. More information about the work of the task force and background of the future planning can be found at

Passionate about Muskoka

Colin Miller, Executive Director, South Muskoka Hospital Foundation Over the past few years I've spoken with many people across Muskoka and the one thing that stands out is their passion for their community. It's what gives them the desire to serve as a volunteer, what drives people to support their hospital, to join a community club, and it's the reason why they get so deeply rooted here. People want to raise their families here, build a career here, and enjoy their sunset years here. They enjoy travelling but they enjoy coming home even more. It's part of why I love my job - being among people who have such zeal. Fundraising campaigns bring that passion out in people and I see it by their willingness to support their hospital. I am constantly awed by their enthusiasm.

didn't mind the drive (with some exceptions in the bad weather) but eventually I realized that the passion for the Muskoka community so evident in those all around me had slowly taken hold. Yikes, I've been infected. What do I do?

And then one day I suddenly realized - it has rubbed off on me.

“Passion has another side to it. � I used to commute more than an hour's drive from another community to come to work. I

So I moved here several years ago. My commute is now five minutes. My clients, the donors, the staff at the hospital, my neighbours seasonal and year-round they've all become my family. I officially acquiesced and became a Muskokan. I asked others what made them want to become Muskokans? It may start out with the natural beauty of the place which is continued below...


Mark Gidley Chair

Jodie Evans Vice-Chair

David Smith Treasurer

Ron Austin Director

Natalie Bubela Director

Robinson Clark Director

Keith Cross Director

John Curran Director

Glenn Greavette Director

Bob Jones Director

Ron Nicholson indeed persuasive - it calls to you to come visit and stay awhile. But then, they tell me, it's the people who seal the deal. Wonderful, dedicated and yes, that word

...continued from above

again - passionate people. Passion has another side to it. It means we fight for things that are important to us. Right now, people are concerned about the future of the hospital. No matter what we each believe is the answer to the question

about what our hospital should be in 20 years, we are all on the same side. So we try to listen, understand and respect those with different points of view. And whatever is decided, we will make the best of it for the community that we all love. We are all in this together - we are all Muskokans. Including me.


Kevin Smith Director

Leslie Wilford Director

Sououth Muskoka Hospital Foundatiion

” our community is our foundation.” South Muskoka Hospital Foundation reveals new brand identity

In collaboration with a local creative agency, we are developing an exciting new brand identity for the Foundation, including logo design, photography, communication, print collateral, digital campaigns, as well as a modern, engaging and accessible new website. This new brand reflects our objective to join the heart of our hospital, with the spirit and voices of our community. It is after all, why we are here. Without our community we would not exist.


the greatest gift of all. Why Give?

Give Today

our community is

our foundation. give today.

“Our focus has always been our community, says Foundation chair Mark Gidley. “As we shift into an age where technology has become paramount, we not only need to refresh our ways of communication through rebranding, but we also need to provide our community with state-of-the-art medical technology. That’s one way we can continue to provide the highest standard of health care.

We are inspired by our community every day, and this inspiration is reflected in our new branding.

The Foundation’s new brand will be revealed over the next several months, leading up to the launch of the new website in August 2018. The website aims to offer viewers modern tools for online donations, honour the faces and people in our community through storytelling, and provide information about who we are, what we do and why our community’s involvement is so essential.


ver the years, the staff and board at the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation have learned time and time again how fortunate we are to be surrounded by such a supportive community. Our community is passionate about its hospital and we are grateful for that passion. Most days, someone tells us about the experience they or their loved ones had during a hospital visit, or that they have an idea for a fundraising event, or some other encouraging thought. Every fundraising campaign we have undertaken over the past 15 years has achieved its goal far earlier than our anticipated timeline. That is our community’s doing – not ours.

The needs of our hospital are great: everything from lifesaving equipment to health care education and urgent renovations and repairs. Through our initiatives this year, we hope to inspire our community to continue to invest in the highest standard of health care and the greatest needs of our hospital.

2018 Follow our journey this year, as we reveal the new brand on and Facebook.

Community Highlights The Port Carling Lions Club gave a $7,500 donation to purchase a new hospital bed in support of our Beds & Monitors Campaign. Pictured from left: Cathy Duck, Colin Miller of the Foundation, Bev Hyatt.

Lions Club of Bracebridge presents their final instalment of $5,000 of the club's $25,000 pledge to the Foundation. Pictured from left: Colin Miller, Randy Bates as the club mascot, Mike Guiry, Ed Rynard and Art Meredith.

Craig Wilson (at left), President, Legion Branch 161 (Bracebridge), presents a cheque to Colin Miller of the Foundation on behalf of The Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Provincial Command Branches and Ladies’ Auxiliaries Charitable Foundation. The cheque for $6,300 is designated for the purchase of a procedure cart in the surgery department.

True North Log Homes gave back to the community with a donation of $10,000. Pictured from left: Colin Miller from the Foundation, and then the following representatives of True North Log Homes: Robert Wrightman, Marilyn Wrightman, Kyle Wrightman, Mark Wrightman and, at front, Denver the company mascot.

our community is our foundation My (our) cheque is enclosed in the amount of:

Sou outh Muskoka Hospi ospital Foundation ion

75 Ann Street, Bracebridge ON P1L 2E4

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The Natalie we know Chief Executive Officer, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare This spring, the CEO's message is about Natalie Bubela, instead of written by her. This is an excerpt from a letter to the community written by Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare's (MAHC) leadership team.

Every day we bear witness to her steadfast leadership, the long and tireless hours spent advocating for

Telemedicine ...continued from front page.

Telemedicine can access specialties including neurosurgery, neurology, bariatrics, nephrology, endocrinology (allergies), and cardiology, among others. "Every day is different and so incredibly interesting," says Todd. Although the majority of OTN appointments are follow-ups to an initial in-person appointment or procedure - such as surgery - in some cases patients never need to

that have enabled locally-grown produce to be used in patient meals. These are just a few examples of the many improvements to health care in Muskoka from Natalie’s leadership.

Natalie is a mentor to many of us. She coaches us through challenging situations, encourages us to live and breathe our organizational values of accountability, respect, optimism, leadership and engagement. She supports us in developing and implementing programs that enhance the patient experience, from expanding services through the addition of ear, nose and throat and gynecological surgeries to creating a comfort fund for patients in need, to developing community partnerships

Natalie is part of the Muskoka community. She cares about the residents of our community. She works within the mandate of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, manages significant financial deficits and handles daily operational issues, all while ensuring our communities are provided with the outstanding care they need and deserve today and into the future.

see that specialist in person. Dermatology is one such example. The use of a portable magnifying camera means Todd or one of her counterparts can help the specialist take a closer look remotely at a skin condition or a wound.

Todd enjoys each day with her patients. "We get very close with our patients. We're with them on their journey, through diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. It's an honour to support people through that difficult journey - we cry with them."

Except in the case of psychiatry appointments where the patient is left alone for privacy, an RN stays with the patient during the appointment. RNs perform patient exams and facilitate a productive exchange between the patient and specialist, as well as answer questions afterwards.

Initially people believe talking to a screen will be cold and impersonal but afterward, "They often tell us that it really did feel like the specialist was in the room with them. They felt well-connected. It's very interactive."

This is our Natalie: nurse, mentor, coach, leader. We stand firmly behind and beside her.

"Our Natalie: nurse, mentor, coach, leader."

Natalie began her hospital career as a front-line registered nurse. She cared for patients receiving chemotherapy treatment, she worked long days and nights, and she exhibited a kindness and true caring attitude, just as many of our nurses do today. These attributes have transcended her 41-year health care career; a career that progressed to leadership, from roles like clinical nurse specialist to Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive roles and for the past eight years as MAHC’s CEO.

safe, quality care in Muskoka, and her enduring compassion for the patients and staff of MAHC. Natalie is the type of leader who fetches a warm blanket for patients when she has seen that they are cold. She is the type of leader who has gotten out of bed in the late evening hours to come to our hospital to help the staff during a time of need.

Sououth Muskoka Hospital Foundatiion

75 Ann Street, Bracebridge ON

P1L 2E4

Campaign for urgently needed beds and monitors Hospital staff members stand next to one of the new beds.

A comfortable and functional bed may be the most basic of all patient needs during a hospital stay - but it is also one of the most essential. The hospital has an urgent need to replace old patient beds that are no longer functioning. Earlier this year, the Foundation launched a campaign to raise funds for 36 beds as well as for another urgent need: 10 post-operative surgical monitors. A good hospital bed means a patient can get better rest, more easily adjust themselves and it helps with blood circulation. Health care workers can more effectively treat, monitor and transport patients in a well-designed

bed. Post-surgery monitors provide a critical role in observation, monitoring patients' vitals and alerting staff when further treatment is required. "People immediately understand," says Colin Miller, "how important these items are to patient comfort and quality care." First out of the gate to support the campaign was Muskoka Chrysler, vouching for one bed and one monitor. Muskoka resident Brock Napier has also committed to fund 10 beds. The cost of a bed is $7,500 and post-op monitors are $5,000 each. The goal for this campaign totals $320,000 by the end of the summer. If you are interested in supporting this campaign, or have a group of friends or colleagues who would all like to chip in towards an item, please contact Colin Miller at the Foundation office at (705) 645-4404, ext. 3246.


Our Privacy Statement

South Muskoka Hospital Foundation appreciates your generous financial support. We recognize your right to privacy and we pledge to protect it. The information you have provided to us will be used to process your donation(s) and to provide you with acknowledgement and an appropriate receipt. From time to time, we may use your contact information to keep you informed of other activities, events and/or fundraising opportunities in support of the Foundation. We are also pleased to send you our biannual newsletter. The South Muskoka Hospital Foundation does not trade or sell donor lists. If at anytime you do not wish to be listed in our recognition programs or to receive our newsletter, please contact us at (705) 645-4404, ext. 3193 or For more information about your privacy, please visit our website at and click on ‘About Us’ then ‘Accountable To You.’

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