Hospice for Elgin ‘is not a luxury item. It is absolutely an essential service’

city_scope_logo-cmyk“This is not a luxury hotel. It is an appropriate place for end-of-life care in a cost-effective manner.”
Coun. Linda Stevenson’s observation at the Jan. 16 reference committee was typical of the words of support from council members for the Hospice of Elgin, a 10-bed palliative care facility which, when built, would serve the residents of St. Thomas and Elgin county.
Trouble is, neither municipality has come forward and put dollars on the table.
Even though in September of last year, Deputy Premier Christine Elliott pledged $1.6 million pledge toward construction of the hospice at a yet-to-be-determined location.
Plus, the province will provide $840,000 annually toward the operating costs. The annual funding is projected to cover approximately 50 per cent of the hospice operating costs.
Late last month, the county played its cards in the form of a letter from Warden Dave Mennill to city council advising municipal officials there resolved “to support the Elgin Hospice Group through non-financial measures but declined to offer financial support.”
In a conversation with after this week’s reference committee, he elaborated further.
“It won’t be financial support because we are tied to 2023.”
That’s when the county’s financial commitment to The Great Expansion at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital is fulfilled.

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As St. Thomas positions itself for growth, the financial reality looms

city_scope_logo-cmykBy the year 2041, the city’s population is projected to exceed 50,000.
To accommodate this influx, the city will need to adjust its urban area boundary as part of a review of its official plan.
The city is undertaking – with input from residents – a project it identifies as Positioned for Growth.
The study will assemble the required planning and engineering reports to support the preferred expansion lands and bring them into the urban area boundary to designate for development.
Concurrently the city is identifying recreational and cultural infrastructure and the fire protection services required to support this growth in the coming decades.
Representatives from Dillon Consulting in Kitchener met with council at Monday’s reference committee meeting with a draft copy of its fire station location study.

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STEGH to Elgin county: don’t tell us how to run hospital


Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. On Tuesday, Elgin county council met with Bruce Babcock, St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital board of governors chairman, and following the closed-door session, unanimously approved a resolution calling on the board to recruit a replacement for hospital President and CEO Paul Collins within a year.

“Elgin county ratepayers have expressed concerns with the contract of the recently retired hospital president and CEO,” advised Elgin Warden Dave Mennill.

“It’s is council’s considered opinion that the public’s perception of the circumstances . . . are irrevocably tainted and will negatively impact fundraising efforts.”

Keep in mind the city, county and the community at large must raise $12 million as part of Dalton McGuinty’s hospital revitalization promise.
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Transcript of Elgin county council resolution dealing with St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital CEO position

Letter addressed to STEGH board chairman Bruce Babcock from Warden Dave Mennill:

“Thank you for attending our county council meeting held on this date (Tuesday, September 27, 2011) and for your comprehensive explanation of the rationale behind the contract extension discussions regarding the recently retired and then rehired President and C.E.O.

Council certainly appreciated your candor, honesty and the manner in which you explained the circumstances leading to the Board’s decision to retain the current C.E.O.following the retirement.

Likewise we trust that council’s feedback may be instructive to you as you move forward with your redevelopment plans.

After careful consideration, Elgin County Council unanimously approved today (Sept. 27) the following resolution for your board’s consideration;

WHEREAS Elgin County Council has always and continues to strongly support its local community hospital; and,

WHEREAS Elgin County Council is fully prepared to make a significant contribution to the redevelopment campaign: and,

WHEREAS Elgin County ratepayers have expressed concern with the contract of the recently retired hospital President and C.E.O., particularly the potentially negative effect the renewal of said contract may have on campaign fundraising efforts from a disgruntled public;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Elgin County Council respectfully recommends to the Board of Governors of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, that, for the betterment of the community, the recruitment of the President and C.E.O. position commence as soon as possible with the goal of replacement within one year’s time.

– Carried Unanimously
(signed) Warden Dave Mennill

Please be advised that this resolution in no way is meant to reflect negatively on the good work done by the incumbent President and C.E.O. for whom council has the utmost respect.

It is Council’s considered opinion that the public’s perception of the circumstances surrounding the position’s reappointment are irrevocably tainted and will negatively affect fundraising efforts, ultimately resulting in a higher than expected campaign contribution from municipal coffers.

All of which is respectfully submitted,

Dave Mennill