As I prepared to write this letter to you and reflect on the past 12 months, I was filled with a tremendous amount of pride for our hospital and our community.
Throughout the hospital expansion and redevelopment project, our staff have continued to provide compassionate care, each and every day. I have witnessed, first-hand, the excellent diagnostic and acute care services that our doctors, nurses, technicians, staff and volunteers provide. I’ve heard about their skill and warmth in the letters sent to me by grateful patients and families.
I’ve seen incredible acts of kindness from individuals, groups and businesses within Cambridge and North Dumfries – people that have dug deep to make generous contributions to our capital redevelopment project, while continuing to support annual fundraising campaigns, like Trees of Caring.
Donation by donation, this amazing community is transforming our ability to provide you with the very best care, close to home.
So now, after years of careful planning and construction we will soon have our new hospital wing (and I couldn’t be more pleased or excited). When this happens, Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) will have the capacity to care for more patients in surgery, intensive care, mental health, and labour and delivery. Our patients will also benefit from greater privacy. There will be 30% more beds and 80% of those will be single occupancy, to speed healing and reduce infection.
This is the Cambridge Memorial Hospital that our growing community needs. It is the hospital that our community deserves, and it’s almost here.
I invite you to be a part of this historic redevelopment project by making a special donation today. With $6.9 million left to raise, every contribution matters. Every single donation, regardless of its size, will help us purchase essential equipment for our new space including wheelchairs, beds, and vital signs monitors, as well as high-tech equipment like surgical microscopes, and a CT Scanner.
The Ontario Provincial Government has agreed to cover 90% of the construction costs for this redevelopment project. The remaining 10%, plus 100% of the cost for new equipment purchases must be raised from community donations. This means that it’s you, me, our friends and neighbours all coming together to give what we can to make this hospital transformation complete.
This community has pulled together in the past to help Cambridge Memorial purchase new equipment and improve the way we diagnose and treat disease. In 2012 for example, local supporters raised $4 million for the purchase of a new MRI machine with new technology that has made CMH the ‘go-to’ hospital in this region for cardiac imaging.
Then, in 2012 a group of skilled volunteers undertook training for a new program called HELP (Hospital Elder Life Program). With their support, Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) became the first hospital in Waterloo Region to pair elderly patients with qualified volunteers to prevent confusion and cognitive decline while in hospital.
For me, this is proof of the remarkable advances a small community hospital can make with the steadfast support of its community members. I can’t help but share a handful of other successes that were recently accomplished by staff and volunteers, even while continuing to work in facilities we outgrew many years ago:
-Currently, CMH is the only hospital in the region offering breast cancer treatment and reconstruction in one surgery. The Spy Elite Imaging System, funded by CMH donors, allows our surgeons to visualize microvascular blood flow during breast reconstruction procedures and make critical decisions during surgery that may save a patient’s nipple, and reduce the rate of post-operative complications.
-Recently, our small but mighty Pathology department achieved what only 5 other Ontario hospitals have done – completing and reporting all cancer diagnoses within 10 days, 100% of the time.
-In July, 2017 the Ontario Ministry of Health recognized CMH as the Most Improved Hospital in 2016 for Emergency Department wait times and patient flow.
-In 2014 our Patient & Family Advisory Council became the first hospital-wide council in the region to advise hospital administration and board members on processes, policies and decisions that affect patients and their families.
I’m excited and inspired to see what we will accomplish together in the coming years. We look forward to the improvements to patient care that our new space will allow. In particular, we are preparing to:
-Increase the size and capacity of our Emergency Department from 27 patient care areas to 40, including space dedicated to vision care and mental health.
-Reduce surgical wait times, increase the number of surgeries we perform in our new, state-of-the-art operating rooms, and improve post-operative care.
-Offer more mental health services on-site as well as support within the community, ensuring that care is accessible and close to home.
-Provide more rehabilitation beds to patients recovering from hip replacements and other major interventions to better support recovery and restore independence.
-Deliver faster medical assessment and diagnosis with an expanded Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging Department.
-Improve infection control and privacy by increasing the number of single occupancy rooms to 80% of capacity.
Through the next transition phase, as Cambridge Memorial opens the new hospital wing and begins internal renovations to older spaces, I promise you this – everyone at Cambridge Memorial will remain dedicated to the core values that have guided our hospital since 1888. Which means that care, respect, innovation, collaboration and accountability will continue to be at the forefront of everything we do.
Likewise, CMH will remain committed to being the very best community hospital that Cambridge and North Dumfries could wish for. A hospital that listens and always has your best interests at heart. A hospital you can count on for excellence and compassion when you need us most – to birth babies, treat pneumonia, perform hip replacement surgeries, or provide emergency services.
We are dedicated to caring for you in a way that demonstrates our commitment to your health and the health of this community.
So as we move into our new space, and move toward a better model of care, I encourage you to move forward with us, as a continuing supporter of CMH and the WeCareCMH campaign.
We chose “WeCare” as the name for the final stage of this fundraising campaign because “care” is a core value at Cambridge Memorial; and care is at the heart of everything we do. Every decision made during the expansion and redevelopment of our hospital, boiled down to one thing – will this allow us to deliver the very best health care to every person that comes through our doors?
The “we” in “WeCare” is a reflection of the way that you and other residents of Cambridge and North Dumfries care for each other by supporting CMH.
Please take a moment to consider what you can give to this important campaign. The medical equipment we need is costly. But if every person in Cambridge and North Dumfries makes a special one-time gift, or like I do, an affordable monthly gift, we’ll all benefit from more efficient medical assessments and diagnosis, more privacy, and increased capacity in surgery, intensive care, mental health, and labour and delivery.
If you are interested in learning more about the redevelopment plans for our hospital, or would like to connect with a member of the Foundation staff directly, please call (519) 621-2333 or send an email to [email protected]
President & CEO
P.S. We’re in the homestretch of a $50 million campaign that will transform the delivery of health care in Cambridge and North Dumfries. Every contribution to the WeCareCMH campaign is important, and will help with the purchase of essential equipment like wheelchairs, beds, and vital signs monitors, as well as high-tech equipment like surgical microscopes, and a CT Scanner.
I hope you choose to make a meaningful gift that improves local health care for all, and will make this long-awaited hospital transformation complete. Thank you.