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Fundraising report shows support for multi-million dollar hospital campaign

Posted August 5, 2014

A study commissioned by the Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation (SMHF) concludes a $30 million fundraising campaign to help finance the estimated $100 million redevelopment of the hospital, is a viable goal, according to a press release issued this morning.

SMH is currently awaiting Ministry of Health approval to proceed with Stage 1 of five planning approval steps for its new Emergency Department, Diagnostic Imaging, Laboratory and Operating Rooms.

"While the provincial government will pay for the majority of the costs to redevelop .... the community is expected to share in the funding, including covering all costs for furnishing and equipping the facility," according to Jody Levac, SMH President and CEO.

The $30 million is the estimated total of the community fundraising component and includes the 10 per cent of the project costs required by the Ministry - not funded by the Province.

SMHF turned to The Fundraising Network (TFN) which spent months on "research and interviews with individuals," to determine and map out directions for what will become the largest ever fundraising campaign in the New Tecumseth area.

Earlier this year, the SMHF concluded its $2.76 million, 'It takes you... Campaign" which among other equipment, financed the purchase of eight new dialysis units.

"We anticipate receiving approval in the next few weeks that will allow us to move to the next step which is the Stage 1 Planning process," according to Mr. Levac. "We were excited to receive this very comprehensive report and we will put recommendations into action as we proceed with community awareness and future fundraising campaigns."

The current facility was built in 1964 and the 4,000 square-foot Emergency Department was designed to accommodate 7,000 visits per year (it's on pace for 34,000 visits this year). In its pre-submission report to Central LHIN, SMH is described as "existing condition and capacity of the HVAC system, electrical and medical gasses systems do not meet current standards. In addition, due to the current configuration, desirable infection control standards are not attainable." The proposal would add 16,000 "departmental gross square feet" south of the existing Fletcher Crescent building with a connecting link, and separate emergency department entrance for ambulance and walk-ins.

"We are at the beginning of a lengthy and exciting process," said Mr. Levac, "and we need the strong support and commitment of our staff, physicians and volunteers as well as the community, to make sure that our badly needed redevelopment is successful."

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