HHHS unveils palliative care centre
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | June 1, 2017
Three years of hard work and community support were celebrated during the grand opening of the Haliburton Highlands Palliative Centre.
And during the May 26 event, it was announced that the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation’s fundraising campaign had reached its target.
“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, over the last 36 hours, we are now complete and have raised the $1.25 million,” said foundation chairman Peter Oyler, as the crowd burst into applause.
“I’m ecstatic to announce that it’s done.”
At the start of the week, there was still $92,000 to go, said Oyler.
When the foundation embarked on its campaign, the goal was to raise $900,000 for the construction of the centre located at the back of the Haliburton hospital. This was based on a preliminary estimate and did not include other costs such as equipment and furnishings.
It exceeded that goal by $25,000 and committed to raising the rest of the money.
Don Popple, campaign co-chair, recalled what it was like to find out about the shortfall.
“We hit a little bit of a bump in the road because we thought we had all the dough,” said Popple.
On behalf of the foundation, he expressed gratitude for the financial contributions of more than 118 individuals, businesses and organizations. Each will be recognized on a donor wall for giving more than $1,000.
“This is your palliative care facility,” he said.
Greystone, a Huntsville-based developer, was hired to build the 1,600-square-foot addition. Construction began in December.
The space includes two suites, a kitchen/lounge area, quiet room and a central washroom. Visitors lined up for tours of it during last Friday’s event.
Finishing touches that need to be completed include painting, flooring and interior finishing. It is scheduled for occupancy at the end of June.
“Holding the celebration early allows us to ensure that the moment the space is ready for occupancy, we’re going to be able to move patients into it immediately,” said Carolyn Plummer, CEO of Haliburton Highlands Health Services. “That’s providing them and their families with the much needed comforting space as soon as possible.”
She added “it will feel much more like a home than an institution setting.”
After the parking lot is paved, a garden will be installed. This is made possible with a $25,000 donation from the Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary.
The grand opening also included remarks from MP Jamie Schmale, MPP Laurie Scott, Warden Brent Devolin and Central East LHIN board chair Louis O’Brien. A barbecue was provided by Smokin’ Jake’s BBQ Shack and Jeff Moulton offered live music.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.