WINCHESTER — The WDMH Annual General Meeting took place June 22nd and the key word was gratitude.
“We want to celebrate healthcare workers, families, supportive communities, volunteers, and generous donors,” noted Board Chair James Pitruniak in his remarks. “While COVID-19 dominated our lives this past year, it also shone a light on acts of kindness and caring. Let’s all applaud that.”
Board Chair James Pitruniak and CEO Cholly Boland shared updates from the past year, noting that the WDMH team has responded — sometimes daily — to the many COVID-19 directives ordered by government. In partnership with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, WDMH set up and continues to staff the COVID-19 Testing Centre in Winchester — sometimes receiving more than 1,000 calls per day. The Centre has expanded to also serve as a Vaccination Clinic for high-risk populations and as an Assessment Centre for certain respiratory conditions. WDMH has cared for COVID-19 patients and welcomed other patients transferred from city hospitals. This allowed the larger hospitals to care for patients from Toronto and other areas. More than 95% of WDMH staff and physicians have chosen to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. And WDMH was one of only two hospitals in the region where staff members volunteered to go and work in impacted city hospitals.
“Through it all, our very generous communities have rallied around WDMH – sometimes literally with drive-by salutes. We have received so many positive messages, donations, and ongoing gifts of food and treats. We are humbled and grateful for the support,” added Cholly Boland, CEO.
Despite COVID-19, other accomplishments over the past year were also applauded. Quality and safety initiatives remain a top priority. WDMH is proud to be partnering with the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) to save more lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. To date, more than two dozen referrals have taken place, resulting in two successful eye donors. And new staff have been added to the WDMH team, including a Geriatrician and Respiratory Therapist.
At the AGM, the Board welcomed four new members: Annik Blanchard, Steve Densham, Jennifer Milburn, and Eric Stevens. Appreciation was also extended to Marieke vanNoppen, Shawn Sutton, and Elise Guest who have completed their terms.
The AGM ended with a motion put forward by Bill Smirle “to recognize the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone who works at WDMH and thanking them for their tremendous work under great duress over the past year. WDMH truly has an outstanding team.” It was passed unanimously.
A joint Report to the Community will be delivered to close to 60,000 homes in the WDMH region in early July.