CFN – Hospitals are supposed to be places of safety and comfort. Where we take our loved ones in times of fear to be healed. To take ourselves to be healed. Of joy when most often a new one is brought into this world to join our family or sadly at times, when a loved one leaves.
Recently hospitals across the board have had huge issues; mostly due to budgets being slashed. In some places cuts made to certain areas of staff or odd rules have led to outbreaks of fatal conditions like C-Difficile and drug resistant bugs.
Long wait times are the norm, and in some cities here in Canada hospital waiting rooms almost feel Third World which in itself can be emotionally daunting for ill patients crowded into waiting areas.
I’ve always liked our hospital here in Cornwall. While all hospitals have good and bad stories I can honestly say the care given to myself and loved ones has for the most part been exemplary. The staff are usually A Plus in care and service.
Yesterday I took someone to CCH which is currently under construction. Last time I was there a VP, Alan Grieg, had me escorted by police off the premises, and I have to admit moments of concern as I delivered someone. Nothing happened and I think she received very good care although since the last time I’d been to our emergency ward I have to admit that the hospital was looking a bit scruffier. I’ll have to pass that to the construction issue as the facility has been given a large extension just as the other hospital in Cornwall has been listed for sale for approximately $2 Million dollars.
That in itself feels a bit odd; spending multi-millions when a perfectly good facility is standing right in the heart of the city; but I understand consolidating services and manpower.
The hospital this week issued a plea to the city of Cornwall for $500K to top up their funding goals. That’s a huge issue because taxpayers are truly burdened enough, nor do they have a say if the City capitulates and scratches the cheque.
To this scribbler it feels as though because of failures of the hospital management and Foundation taxpayers are asked to forcibly donate. After all that $500K doesn’t just come out of the air? Either services are cut or taxes go up and neither of those are good.
Further irony is that Hospital reps asking the City of Cornwall for this top up money almost exclusively live outside of the city thus their fat salaries won’t be taxed via their property taxes. Does that make sense?
Our gut instinct is always to give when it comes to a hospital, food bank, etc, but surely their very high paid management should be held accountable too and that’s where things get sensitive and then certain people try to burn CFN down.
Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and ask why funding goals fail?
Experienced and knowledgeable managers know when raising funds you always under shoot your real target so that you never miss. For the Hospital management and Foundation under Helen Periard, Jeanette Despatie and people like Connie Vardy (who actually tells people about how she got her gig at the foundation via cronyism the question should be asked if they all did their jobs?
With the target being missed the answer of course would be no, and with at least one of them on the Sunshine list the next questions would be why and is it time for a change?
Recently I helped a major local event. Through the generosity of a contact I was able to assist with free frothy beverages for about 500 people. There were no ad sales connected, nor were the people I helped sponsors in anyway; nor was CFN posted as a sponsor for the event. In other words I wanted to help and be a part of the community as so many others and stepped up when the opportunity arose. Sadly the Hospital Foundation was the beneficiary of this event and not only were we never given a press release, but also an issue was made of purposely banning us from the event. And once non-hospital Foundation people found out about it, as shocked as they were, I chose to stay away because frankly I shake my head at such utter lack of professionalism.
Like it or not by some, CFN is the most read newspaper in this region. Why a fund raising group of any kind would behave in this manner only boggles the mind? And sadly it’s not unique and most likely why fund raising targets fail.
When you take public monies to raise funds in a community you cannot operate only amongst a small group of friends. That’s being exclusive when your job calls for being inclusive.
Our hospital belongs to everyone. The people chosen to manage it have to be utterly and impeccably professional (and in Cornwall bilingual apparently although most of our management is not while demanding it of most of the staff) and totally open and inclusive to all of our community and neighbors.
Anything else is unacceptable, and that’s why if people really looked in the mirror instead of asking the City of Cornwall for a $500K for failing to achieve their goal, something they are paid to do, that they should be removed from their positions and that the hospital and Foundation find people that “Get it” and can truly make our only hospital in Cornwall, as special as the sacrifices made willingly by the community deserve.
Jamie Gilcig – Editor – CFN
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