Funding for new MRI


Nine months into a fund raising campaign to pay for a new MRI that will be located at the redeveloped Cornwall Community Hospital, campaign officials have asked South Dundas to contribute to the cause.

Roy Perkins, campaign co-chair for the Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation initiative, made the funding request to South Dundas council at the November 6 meeting.

The request was simply for financial support, with no dollar figure attached or suggested. Similar requests have been made to every council in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and Akwesasne, United Counties council and will be made to the City of Cornwall.

The ‘To Your Health!’ Campaign aims to raise $3.5 million by the end of the year to fund the MRI and a digital urology table for the Digital Centre of Excellence that will bring these diagnostic tools closer to the residents of this region. Presently, those needing the use of such diagnostic tools are travelling at least an hour to Ottawa or Kingston for the services.

Cornwall is the only approved site for an MRI in this region.

According to Perkins, $2.5 million of the $3.5 million campaign goal has been raised. He reported that the councils they have visited have expressed their in principle support to provide funds to the campaign, but most are deferring their final decisions until budget time.

Erin Killoran, campaign manager, explained the many benefits of having an MRI in a small community hospital in Cornwall, including easing the burden on the health care system that presently has long wait times for MRI. Quicker access to such diagnostic equipment allows for early diagnoses, faster treatments, all the while being much less invasive than traditional methods of diagnosis.

MRI and the digital urology table, like the addition of any new equipment, has the added potential benefit of enticing new medical professionals to the region.

Once it is up and running early next year, the MRI will operate five days a week, eight hours a day. That means about 3,000 tests per year will take place at the site, which accounts for the number of patients in the region who are being sent to Ottawa or Kingston.

South Dundas council was generally supportive of providing some funding to the campaign, however they would like to see what the Counties and other communities pledge. They also want to wait to discuss the amount in the context of budget discussions.

“It kills me that hospitals have to keep coming to the community,” said South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan who suggested that if the people of South Dundas think it’s a worthy cause that they should donate themselves.

However, the nature of provincial funding only provides funds for buildings, leaving communities to fund raise for the equipment that goes into those hospitals.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds said that he has personally supported this campaign and that council will consider providing some funds, an amount to be determined, closer to budget time. 


Counties contribute $500,000

CORNWALL – The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry will be contributing $500,000 on behalf of the taxpayers of SD&G to the “To Your Health!” campaign to raise funds to pay for an MRI and digital urology table that will be located at the new Cornwall Community Hospital.

“It is certainly something that is needed in this area,” said South Dundas mayor and counties councillor Steven Byvelds who seconded the motion tabled by North Stormont mayor Dennis Fife at the counties council meeting on Monday. The $500,000 will be allocated over two years.

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