(Strathroy, ON) – Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital (SMGH) and the SMGH Auxiliary celebrated 100 years of service to the community of Strathroy and surrounding area on Monday, June 16, 2014.
“Today’s celebration is indeed a defining and golden moment in the history of our organization,” said Todd Stepanuik, President & CEO. “We have been a beacon for healthcare and a source of hope, comfort and care for over 100 years. We thank the community for entrusting their care to us.”
Opening ceremonies to officially kick off the day of celebrations began at noon. Certificates of congratulations and acknowledgement were presented to the Hospital and the Auxiliary on behalf of MPP Monte McNaughton and MP Bev Shipley. The President and the Southwest Regional Chair of the Hospital Auxiliary Association of Ontario (HAAO) were present to bring greetings and congratulations on behalf of the HAAO on this momentous occasion. Doug Miller, representing the Ontario Hospital Association, also expressed congratulations to the hospital and the auxiliary for providing outstanding healthcare to the community over the past 100 years.
Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden expressed her heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Auxiliary and the Hospital for serving the community for 100 years. “The Hospital holds a special place in my heart,” said the Mayor, “as this is where my twin sister and I were born”. The Mayor then opened and read a letter written by former Mayor Ralph Westgate (1962). She also presented a sealed envelope containing a letter authored by her to be placed in the time capsule and opened at the next milestone celebration for SMGH.
The Auxiliary celebration included the annual Strawberry Social. Auxilians served guests dressed in period costume, as in days gone by. On behalf of the Auxiliary, President Pam Hillis presented a cheque in the amount of $40,000 to the Hospital to be used to help fund surgical equipment and OR lights.
The day ended with presentations to the winners of the poster contest. Winners of the contest were Kate Vanderzwan, Caradoc Public School, first and Dillon MacKenzie, North Meadows Public School, second, for their interpretation of ‘What does the Hospital mean to you?’ and Lily Warkentin, West Williams Public School, first and Holly Thomas, Mary Wright Public School, second, for their interpretation of, ‘What do you think the Hospital looked like when your parents were born?’ Mary Wright Public School was the lucky winner of the classroom pizza party. Paul Long, Chair of the celebration said, “We are thrilled with the participation from the Grade 5 students from the area public schools. The submissions were excellent and it was difficult to choose the winners!”
The hospital is a valuable resource and our history reflects the dedication, compassion and service by the SMGH Family to the entire community. To commemorate the event, a timeline was produced identifying significant events over the past 100 years. A permanent display, together with a time capsule for the next celebration, will be on display at the hospital.
The Planning Committee would like to extend its thanks and appreciation to the community for coming to celebrate with us. Ken Williams, MHA Board Chair stated, “On behalf of the MHA Board of Directors, staff, physicians and volunteers, we look forward to continuing to serve our community as we move forward into the next century. We are very excited to celebrate this special milestone with our community.”
The Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) is comprised of two fully-accredited partner sites: Four Counties Health Services and Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital.
A progressive, team-oriented and technologically adept organization of excellence, the MHA is creating a more integrated and seamless approach to treatment by embracing and seeking out partnerships, through collaboration and investing in people. This coordinated approach helps to ensure that a high level of service is provided while reducing costs and continually enhancing quality.
Providing core acute primary and secondary hospital care, the MHA has also been recognized for establishing two notable Centres of Achievement (Orthopaedics and Diabetes Education Centre) that generate local and regional referrals.
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