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OPINION: Great things going on at Cornwall Hospital

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By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: Great things going on at Cornwall Hospital
Amy Gillespie, Executive Director of the Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation and Jennifer Barkley, Director of the Cornwall Community Hospital's Imaging Department stand next to the hospital's mammography machine (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

I think that it is worth noting that the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) has made great strides over the past year that I believe are worth recognition.

Often on Facebook, I see complaints that the hospital’s wait times are too long, or other complaints about service, but I feel like this is missing the bigger picture. For one, in late 2018, I wrote a story comparing Emergency Room wait times at the three hospitals in Cornwall and SD&G, and the CCH was not noticeably better or worse than either the Winchester or Alexandria hospitals.

The CCH, and their fundraising arm, the Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation (CCHF), have done a lot to bring new services and better-quality healthcare to the citizens of Cornwall.

In 2018, the CCHF reached their goal of raising $1.2 million for the hospital’s new Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 10 months ahead of schedule.

Just last month in March, the CCHF successfully lobbied the City of Cornwall for $50,000 in funding to help start a program to bring new doctors to Cornwall and this was after months of coordinating and negotiating between the CCH, CCHF and Queen’s University.

Last week, the CCHF saw their annual Corus Radiothon bring in one of the largest returns in the fundraisers history of over $150,000. This significant sum will go towards purchasing a new mammography machine. The new machine will cost around $400,000. The CCH does currently have a mammography machine, but it is 10-years-old and is reaching the end of its service life.

It is through efforts like these that the CCHF is ensuring that Cornwall’s hospital has services that not only meet the needs of local residents, but that are also turning the CCH into a medical hub in the region. Often, residents may see the ORNGE helicopters flying into the hospital, but they are not always there to take patients to Ottawa, Amy Gillespie the Executive Director of the CCHF told Cornwall City Council in March that in fact, the helicopters are also often bringing patients to Cornwall because of the services and treatments they can receive here.

All of this is possible because of the strong support this community gives to the CCHF, like during their Radiothon, but it can’t stop there. Yes, the Radiothon was a big success, but the CCHF requires support all year round.

Supporting the CCHF should be an easy sell. At some point, we’re all going to need the services they offer there, and if not us, then a loved one. Let’s give a little bit out of pocket to make sure that we, our neighbours and the region have the best care possible.

What do you think of the services offered at the CCH? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nicholas.seebruch@tc.tc

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