Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
BRACEBRIDGE — SMMH has some very generous cottage friends around the Muskoka Lakes.
South Muskoka Hospital Foundation says they will match hospital donations of up to $250,000.
Colin Miller, the foundation’s executive director, says the group of cottagers — known as Friends on the Muskoka Lakes — are more than 20 families who have decades of great memories on the Muskoka Lakes.
While they wish to remain anonymous, a spokesperson said their motivation is personal. “Although Muskoka may not be our full-time home, it is our home, nonetheless. We view South Muskoka Memorial Hospital as our hospital and feel a responsibility to support it,” a foundation release says this week.
While individual members of the group have given to the South Muskoka Hospital
Foundation before, this is the inaugural donation from the group as a whole.
Members hope that it will inspire both seasonal and permanent residents to give some thought to the importance of the hospital to the Muskoka region and to support the vital work it does day-in and day-out.
“In accordance with the wishes of The Friends on the Muskoka Lakes, the group’s
matched donations will go first toward addressing additional expenses incurred by the
hospital as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Miller says.
For example, to prepare for a possible influx of Covid-19 patients, the hospital acquired 12 acute care beds at a cost of $15,000 each.
Additional funds raised will be directed to other capital priority needs of the hospital. This year the hospital is looking to invest more than $1.5 million in new equipment.
Miller says hospitals “rely on the generosity of community donors” to purchase new or replacement equipment.
The emergency department at SMMH sees approximately 22,000 visits each year with a surge in visits during the months of July and August accounting for roughly one-quarter of that number.
Six of 10 patients who come to the ER require additional testing, such as x-rays, other imaging modalities, and lab work.
“The generosity of donors such as The Friends on the Muskoka Lakes is critically
important to maintaining South Muskoka Memorial Hospital’s standing as a world-class
health provider,” says Miller.
“We hope other Muskoka residents will be inspired to join The Friends on the Muskoka Lakes in this gift-matching opportunity and support the hospital’s critical work during this unprecedented time.”
If you would like to make a donation as part of this initiative, please contact the South
Muskoka Hospital Foundation at 705-645-4404 ext. 3193, or online at www.healthmuskoka.ca.
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