4th annual Mississippi Mills River Walk and Run sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart Almonte helps ‘grow women’s health’ at AGH

(Almonte, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017)  The 4th annual Mississippi Mills River Walk and Run sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart Almonte  took place on Saturday, Sept. 9 on the grounds of the Almonte General Hospital (AGH) and Fairview Manor resulting in approximately $18,000 being raised in support of AGH’s Birthing Centre and women’s health care.

More than 300 walkers, runners, sponsors and volunteers took part in the fundraiser which featured a 3-km family walk, and 3, 5 and 10-km timed walk/runs. Local Shoppers Drug Mart owner/pharmacist Rina Houri was thrilled with this year’s results.

“Shoppers Drug Mart is dedicated to caring for the health and well-being of our employees, patients and customers, as well as the communities in which they live and work,” said Houri. “With AGH’s birthing unit not only serving Mississippi Mills but also families up and down the Ottawa Valley, we are so proud to support it.  Families from up around Pembroke, through Renfrew and Arnprior, and down to Carleton Place, Carp Kanata and Stittsville, are now having their children at AGH.”  

“These funds will help us pay for the two new digital ultrasound machines the Hospital purchased last year,” said Hospital President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider.  “Ultrasound is an essential diagnostic tool for our physicians in so many areas including obstetrics, gynecology, emergency, and family medicine. Hundreds of our patients are benefiting from this new equipment every month.   Having added a second ultrasound machine also means our patients are not waiting as long for their examinations, which often means less anxiety too.”

Prizes were awarded to the top three male and female finishers in all timed events and to the top fundraiser and top fundraising team.   Official times for participants are available at: www.runninggoattiming.com  Prize recipients, race winners and event photos will be posted at www.almontehospitalfoundation.com by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11.

As well as Shoppers Drug Mart Amonte, sponsors contributing to the success of the event included:  Bean Chev Olds, C.R. Gamble Funeral Home and Chapel, Art and Helen Levi, Levi Home Hardware, Priority Patient Transfer, Patrice’s Your Independent Grocer, Orchard View by the Mississippi, Coady’s Car Care, L.G, Lee & Sons, Almonte Civitan Club, Absolute Massage Therapy, Cliff Bar, the Running Room and Ryno Motors.

The AGH FVM Foundation is currently raising $4 million through their Put Yourself in the Picture campaign to cover the cost of having replaced all of the diagnostic imaging equipment at the Hospital and to acquire a C/T scan.  The Hospital counts 100% on funds raised from the community through the Foundation to purchase  new and replacement equipment. 

Media: For more information: Al Roberts, Managing Director, AGH-FVM Foundation (613) 277-6203

Jim Hugessen and Louise Stevenson are 'in the picture'.

According to many fundraising journals and how-to articles, the number one reason that people most often cite for not supporting a charity is “no one asked me.” 

Having worked in the charitable sector for many years now, I was reminded of this recently when I sat down with Jim Hugessen and his wife Louise Stevenson to thank them for the generous gift they made to the diagnostic imaging campaign, shortly after the campaign launch in May.

When I asked Jim why they decide to put themselves “in the picture” and support the campaign? I fully expected an answer that would touch on his late wife’s (Mary) connection to Almonte and her tireless efforts to raise money for the Hospital and Manor.  Instead, Jim responded, “because you asked me… .”  Both he and Louise did go on to talk about how the Hospital and Manor’s excellent patient and resident care make it an institution that they feel warrants the community’s ongoing support.

Having high-quality health care close to home is also something they feel is vitally important, particularly psychologically for patients and their family members. Both felt that travelling to (the big city) and finding parking etc. just adds another layer to what is already a stressful situation.

In the coming weeks and months, volunteers and staff working on behalf of the AGH-FVM Foundation will be fanning out, meeting with community members, and telling them about the $4 million campaign currently underway to replace all of the diagnostic imaging equipment at the Hospital.  Although the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care funds Hospital operations, it does not contribute funds to replace or purchase new equipment.  The Hospital must count on the generousity of community members, service clubs, local businesses, and granting agencies.  This means that eventually, we are going to ask you to “put yourself in the picture” and support your local hospital.  Regardless of the size of the gift you make, like Louise and Jim’s, your support will have an immediate impact on local health care close to home.

Patrice's Independent customers 'in the picture'.

Customers and staff at Patrice’s Independent gave a big boost to the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation’s diagnostic imaging campaign during the week of July 13-26.  A whopping $4,490 was donated as customers made their way through the checkouts. These funds will go a long way in helping to pay for the new digital ultrasounds and x-ray machines now in use at the Hospital which cost $1.8 million.

“We have participated in the Give A Little, Help A Lot campaign for the past 10 years,” said store owner and perpetual community booster, Guido Patrice. “This store initiative is geared to raise funds for a local charity of choice.  Tanya and I designated this year’s donations to go towards the Diagnostic Equipment campaign at AGH.”

Guido estimates that about 12,000 customers would have visited the store during that week and approximately 40 front-end staff would have been working at some time during that week too.

“Almonte and the surrounding area has always been such a caring and generous community that has helped to raise funds for many local groups,” said Guido.  “I hear from the various groups when fundraising in our store how great our customers are, and we have to agree!”

Thanks to Guido, Tanya and all their customers and staff for ‘putting themselves in the picture’ in support of new diagnostic equipment at AGH.  By giving a little, patients at the Hospital are getting a lot.

To find out more about ‘putting yourself in the picture’, please visit www.almontegeneralhospitalfoundation.com


Special nursing education fund established to celebrate Pam Murphy’s retirement from Fairview Manor

On Saturday, Sept. 30, Pam Murphy will officially retire from her position as Director of Care (DOC) at Fairview Manor (FVM).  This will mark the end of a work career that has spanned more than 40 years, including 12 years overseeing resident care at FVM.

Throughout Pam’s time at FVM, her work philosophy has focused on the delicate balancing act between caring for the residents, which she readily admits is the highest priority, and caring for her staff, which she sees as equally important.  It is no surprise that Pam says that well-trained, engaged, caring staff is the key to the high-quality resident care for which FVM is known.

According to her successor, Karen Buness, “Pam is a wonderful nurse and a fantastic leader.  Her knowledge, caring approach and dedication to the residents and staff are unparalleled.  She leaves big shoes to fill.”

Pam has seen things change a lot in long-term care over the course of her career.  She attributes this to modern medicine’s ability to better treat many chronic diseases.  This positive step forward means that people are living longer; therefore the need for long-term care is constantly growing.

When she first became DOC at Fairview in 2005, about 80% of the residents were capable of getting to the dining rooms mostly under their own steam, or with a little help of another resident.  Although sometimes precarious to watch, Pam said, “You had to admire their spirit.”  Now, she believes that only about 20% of the residents would be able to do that without help from a staff member.  On average, residents are living longer and require a greater amount of support in almost all areas of daily living.

When asked what she is most proud of with respect to her time at the Manor, the answer again reflects Pam’s philosophy.  “I’m most proud of my nursing team and the Manor’s team spirit,” she says.  “These things have a direct impact on the care provided.”

“Pam will be sorely missed,” said Hospital President and CEO Mary Wilson Trider.  “Her work has touched hundreds of lives over theyears and so it makes sense that we celebrate her well-deserved retirement in a way that recognizes and continues her legacy of caring for both the residents and the staff of Fairview Manor.”

Mary is pleased to announce that the AGH-FVM Foundation will be establishing a special Pam Murphy Fairview Manor Nursing Education Fund in support of education and training.  For all the many people who want to wish Pam well on her retirement, donations can be made to the Foundation designated for this new, special fund.  Each year, the Fund will help nurses at FVM take courses or attend a conference.  Donations can be dropped off at the Foundation Office just inside the Hospital’s main door, made over the phone at 613-256-2500, ext. 2296 or made online here.

Please join us in wishing Pam a long and happy retirement.


High Times at the Heart Institute Valley Tour raises $21K for local healthcare

Last fall, Stone Fence Theatre of Eganville toured up and down the Ottawa Valley performing a hilarious musical called High Times at the Heart Institute.  Written by Ish Thellheimer, the play looked at the differences between American and Canadian healthcare through the eyes of several semi-fictitious patients at the Heart Institute.  Shows were presented in Deep River, Pembroke, Eganville, Renfrew, Barry's Bay, Almonte and Ottawa.  The end result $21,000 was shared among valley hospitals and the Heart Institute.   

Young Philanthropist

Charlotte Searle (7) proudly donated $63.70 to Foundation Director Al Roberts last week.  Charlotte raised the funds by selling her dollhouse and topping up the amount with some money she had already collected.

When asked why, her answer was quite simple.  One of her schoolmates is battling cancer and she thought that it would help. 

Thank you Charlotte for helping to support health care close to home.

The Commonwell Donates $25K to Almonte General Hospital Local Insurer Gives Back with C.A.R.E Program

The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group, a home and auto insurance company focused on clients throughout Ontario, has announced their latest major community donation of $25,000 to Almonte General Hospital and Fairview Manor Foundation. Funded through The Commonwell’s C.A.R.E (Create a Ripple Effect) program, the donation will assist with the purchase of two new ultrasound machines for the local emergency and acute care hospital.

 "The Commonwell’s donation will help ensure that each year hundreds of mothers will have access to state-of-the-art ultrasound images ‎as part of their prenatal care at Almonte General Hospital," said Mary Wilson Trider, President and CEO of Almonte General Hospital. "As will other patients being investigated for gynecological, urological, abdominal and vascular issues."

 Almonte General Hospital (AGH) is a 52-bed emergency and acute care hospital serving the Mississippi Mills region as well as Arnprior, Carleton Place, Ottawa, Perth and surrounding townships. The Commonwell’s C.A.R.E donation will help fund two new ultrasound machines to meet the hospital's growing demand for ultrasounds and to replace aging equipment. This will not only cut wait times for medical and obstetrical ultrasound scans in half, but it will update the hospital’s equipment to meet the latest technological advances.

“Our Commonwell staff and brokers live in the communities that they serve, so giving back locally has always been very important to us all,” said Tim Shauf, President and CEO of the Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group. “We’re truly honoured to work with Almonte General Hospital and support them in continuing to provide exceptional medical care to the area.”

The Commonwell’s C.A.R.E (Create a Ripple Effect) program helps to fund vital charitable organizations in the Eastern Ontario communities that The Commonwell serves. Last year, the Commonwell donated over $575K to a variety of local organizations including hospitals, food banks, Big Brothers Big Sisters, youth services, Habitat for Humanity and palliative care.

 About The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group:

Established January 1st 2014, The Commonwell is a merger of three longstanding mutual insurance companies that has been built on more than a century of hands-on commitment to the local communities it serves. Since its founding three years ago, The Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group operates on the same historical premise of its three legacy companies – maintaining a focus on local presence and service that builds strong long-term relationships for the benefit of the greater community.


176 Golfers chip in for health care close to home in Mississippi Mills

The 14th annual summer Golf Classic sponsored by Kanata Ford in support of the Almonte General Hospital / Fairview Manor Foundation raised more than $55,000 on Monday, June 6 at the Canadian Golf and Country Club.

“Our community cares deeply about their Hospital and Manor,” said Art Solomonian, Chair of the AGH-FVM Foundation. “Spending a day on the links is such a simple and fun way to provide support which results in replacement or new equipment in the hands of our doctors and staff.  Patients at the Hospital and residents in the Manor are ultimately the big winners.”

Golfer Greg Hickey thanked participants prior to the dinner.  A long-time Almonte resident, his mother is currently cared for on the Rosamond Unit (Complex Continuing Care) at the AGH.  Greg said that when family members bring her home for a visit on the weekends, she looks forward to returning to the Hospital.  He felt that speaks volumes to the quality of care she receives on a daily basis.

As well as golfing, participants enjoyed hole prizes, raffle tickets and the opportunity to bid on live and silent auctions items which were donated by generous local businesses and individuals. Sponsorship accounted for a large portion of the funds raised.  Kanata Ford was this year’s major sponsor followed by the local Rexall store and the BMO branch. 

“So many people deserve a big thank you including all our golfers, sponsors, auction item and prize donors, dinner guests, and volunteers,” said Al Roberts, Managing Director, AGH-FVM Foundation. “I especially want to thank our amazing golf committee who worked so hard to make the event a success:  Liz Taylor, Gretta Bradley, Josh Gamble, Richard Love, Bert McIntyre, Kathy Stratton, Carolyn Piche and committee chair Joy Delahunt.”

Next year’s tournament will take place Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Canadian Golf and Country Club.