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Hospital headlines

On November 16th, Cholly Boland, CEO for Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH), spoke with reporters, giving updates on what is happening at the local hospital.

He told reporters that there’s “a lot of things we do that are worthy of note.”

“We are in the process of developing a research initiative.”

In addition, “we have academic programs and placement programs for everything possible,” said Boland. He reported talking to many students at the University of Ottawa as well as the Elizabeth Bruyere Institute.

He said WDMH has “nurses and doctors at every stage of their training. We have two medical residents.”

Boland is also trying to attract administration students to the hospital through visits to the University of Ottawa.

He said the “backbone” of the hospital is technology, where computerization and the full implementation of patient information will allow all departments to be “connected with one source of communication.”

Boland believes that the health professional’s “biggest tool is information.” 

Having a patient’s information all stored in one location that’s easily accessible to all health care professionals is “really invaluable. It’s really going to move us ahead.”

Boland also talked about working in conjunction with the Ottawa Hospital “to bring more services (like surgery) here and,” he continued, “helping Ottawa, which is a bottleneck” with lengthy emergency room wait times. 

The integration of Dundas Manor with the hospital is expected to be “concluded some time  early next year, subject to the government giving us final approval.”

As for the controversy over the purchase of Dundas Manor, Boland said, “the owners of Dundas Manor were looking for a buyer and they could have picked anyone. We’re a public organization. We’re all about health care.”

“None of the money will go to profit; it will all be reinvested.”

According to Boland, “the first driving force is  to provide quality healthcare.”

“We do some really progressive senior services care here.” 


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Area Lions ‘see’ to Winchester District Memorial Hospital needs

Eleven Lions club representatives from around the Winchester District Memorial Hospital’s catchment area gathered together in the hospital’s ophthalmology clinic last week to celebrate a grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation of $74,696.63.

Helen Porteous, Secretary of the Metcalfe Lions Club welcomed everyone, and shared how much the regional Lions clubs have contributed to the newly renovated Winchester District Memorial Hospital.

“Clubs from all across Lions District A-4 have pledged and raised over $124,000 for the Ophthalmology department at WDMH, and now the Lions Clubs International Foundation is showing their encouragement for all of our hard work by making a grant of $74,696.63,” said Porteous. “Through this support, as well as the support of the generous doctors at WDMH, like Dr. Gerry Heymans, we have been able to raise over $200,000 directed towards quality eye care, close to home.”

Although not present for the cheque presentation, Metcalfe and District Lions Club member Ann Velthuis has had cataract surgery on both of her eyes at WDMH, has recovered well and so appreciates the quality of care she received. 

“Our eye doctor from Ottawa began working at WDMH and our experience has improved so much.  Now we don’t have to pay so much for parking or gas to drive into the city and my eyesight has improved so much that I can read the bottom line on the eye chart.”

Troy Cross, Executive Director of the WDMH Foundation and Lynn Hall, Senior Vice-President, Clinical Services & Chief Nursing Executive at WDMH were there to accept the cheque on behalf of the WDMH Foundation. 

Both he and Hall thanked all those present for all of their hard work in organizing events and raising money for this hospital, helping to keep quality care, close to home.  

Cross commented how impressed he is with these community efforts. “Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. This is a quote from the Lions website and it couldn’t be more true for WDMH. Their commitment to vision health will save the sight for hundreds of patients from our communities. Vision care close to home will benefit our families for years to come. The Lions are true community leaders.”

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) supports Lions’ compassionate works by providing grant funding for their local and global humanitarian efforts. 

LCIF is a leader in providing support for preventing blindness and restoring sight for people around the world.  Our sight programs range from developing and improving eye care systems to providing sight-restoring surgeries and treatments to distributing medications to those most-at-risk for eye diseases. 



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Iroquois Matilda Lions give to Christmas Exchange

The Iroquois Matilda Lions Club donated $500 each to the Christmas Exchange on November 17th at the Morrisburg Food Bank.  The Christmas Exchange supplies Christmas dinner to those in Dundas County who may otherwise have gone without on Christmas Day. Boxes, filled with everything needed to make a scrumptious meal, are available for pick up a few days before the holiday.


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Buoy oh Buoy

 Iroquois has a jaunty new nautical look these days. On Tuesday, November 15, the community welcomed two completely refurbished Canadian Coast Guard Channel Markers to their new home just in front of the shopping plaza. 

“These markers recognize Iroquois’ long connection to the Seaway with the locks here, the Galop Canal, the Marina and our extensive boating areas,” said local businessman, Jeff Beaupre. 

“These brightly painted buoys will draw attention to tourism and also to boating safety.”

Several community organ-izations and businesses assisted in the project including the township of South Dundas, the Iroquois-Matilda Lions, Frank Ault Excavating, Swank Construction, the Iroquois District Business Group and the Coast Guard through Bill Mullin.

The twin buoys should soon become landmarks in the South Dundas region.


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STOP Program: helping smokers quit smoking

Media Release – Nov 21, 2011

EASTERN ONTARIO – Smokers from across Ontario have the opportunity to enroll in the STOP (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program and receive nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), free of charge to help them in their attempt to quit smoking. 

For many smokers, the cost of nicotine replacement products is a barrier to quitting. The evidence-based STOP Program provides five weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy, a practical support for alleviation of nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which we know will help them to stop smoking.  

Those interested in participating in the STOP program may do so by attending a STOP workshop, to be held in Cornwall on December 12 and 13, and in Alexandria on December 13. To find out if you are eligible to participate, and to register for the workshop, call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120. Ask for Health Line.

The STOP Program is conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and is funded by the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport as part of its Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy.  

In addition to providing NRT, STOP will offer educational material to encourage the program participants to make broader changes that can improve their health even more, because often smoking does not occur in isolation, but rather accompanies other risk factors for disease, such as poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada’s leading addiction and mental health teaching hospital. Integrating clinical care, scientific research, education, policy development and health promotion, CAMH transforms the lives of people impacted by mental health and addiction issues.

Background: The STOP Program

Introduced in 2005 through a partnership between the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, the STOP Program has already provided nicotine replacement therapy such as nicotine gum and patches, as well as bupropion and varenicline, free of charge, in addition to counseling support to an unprecedented 68,000 people from across Ontario.  

Baseline questionnaires and follow-up surveys, spaced over six months post-treatment will help the STOP Program researchers learn more about the long-term impact of providing nicotine replacement therapy and other smoking cessation aid free of charge to smokers Ontario-wide. To date, results for STOP participants have shown an improvement of at least two times the typical quit rates.  

While smoking rates in Ontario have declined over the past twenty years, 1.6 million Ontarians continue to smoke and 16,000 die each year from the effects of commercial tobacco products. Therefore, provision of smoking cessation support to smokers in Ontario is strongly indicated.


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Dear Santa opening at Upper Canada Playhouse

And you thought you had trouble getting ready for Christmas this year!

In Upper Canada Playhouse’s delightful Christmas production, Dear Santa, Santa is an Elf on the Edge with Christmas eve just around the corner.

His work shop elves are complaining, a pushy sleigh salesman is touting the virtues of rocket power over reindeer, his house keeper is in a tizzy, the chief of staff is in a pickle and the choir cannot sing! To say nothing of a stowaway on the North Pole Express, and a special Christmas wish that Santa desperately wants to fulfill. 

With only three days left until Christmas eve, why it’s enough to turn a man’s beard white! 

Dear Santa, by renowned Canadian playwright, Norm Foster, opens at Upper Canada Playhouse on November 24, with several school matinees and evening shows.  “It’s a show filled with tons of laughs, wonderful live music, a really good story, and lots of Christmas cheer for children and adults alike,” says director Donnie Bowes. 

Bowes has put together a stellar cast of performers for this final production of the 2011 season at the Playhouse. And joining the professional actors on the Playhouse stage will be 30 local elementary students from Morrisburg and Iroquois, who will perform as the choir and take on the roles of four of the elves. 

“We are right in the thick of things getting the show ready,” says Bowes. “It’s working out well having local kids in the cast. We have two separate choirs which means everything has to be rehearsed twice, but the kids are on top of it and enjoying the experience.”

Dear Santa welcomes back some familiar and favourite performers to the Playhouse. 

Doug Tangney is playing Santa Claus in the production and looking forward to the role. 

“Santa has the joy of life in him,” Tangney said at a recent press conference. “But in this play, we also get a chance to see him as vulnerable with all the wonderful chaos going on all around him. He’s a magical person, yet filled with humanity. Santa is forever and I am playing in the spirit of this special being.”

Tangney’s Santa will have a lot to cope with. 

Susan Greenfield, Santa’s housekeeper is suffering from “unrequited love” and it’s seriously disrupting her duties. The object of her affections is Algernon, North Pole Chief of Staff, who “never notices her of course,” says Jamie Williams who plays the harried Algernon. 

Timm Hughes, as Lou Flapdoodle, has landed at the North Pole determined to drag Santa into the 23rd century with a new rocket powered sleigh: Lou simply can’t take no for an answer. 

Richard Bauer, as Bozidar, is a mad cap Russian, whose confusion over English is not helping the elf production lines operate any more efficiently. And even less so now that glue supplies have “dried up.” 

Meredith Zwicker is both Piffle the Elf and musical consultant for this song and dance filled production. “There was music in the play orginally,” Swicker says, “but Liz (Gilroy) and I have added some extra songs, ones we think really highlight the outstanding skills of people in this cast. The music is such a lot of fun.”

Liz Gilroy, besides working on the music, also has the key role of Kitt, a young stowaway, who has come to the North Pole for reasons of her own with a very special letter to deliver to Santa. Her arrival just makes the chaos at Santa’s workshop even worse.

New to the cast and the Playhouse is Travis Seetoo, an accomplished singer, dancer and musician. “It’s great to be in this play as YeGads, a sort of elf wrangler. Foster has created such a wonderful realistic, imaginary world in this play,” says Seetoo, “and music is a big part of it. I am loving it here at Upper Canada Playhouse.”

Audiences will love the energy, the humour, the excitement of this Norm Foster Christmas classic. 

“There is much in this show that demonstrates Norm’s real understanding of kids, of what it is to want to be part of a group, yet also needing to be proud of being different. There is so much variety in Dear Santa,” says Donnie Bowes. 

A bright, imaginative and wondrous set helps bring Santa’s Workshop to life (even to files marked Elves Pensions and Naughty and Nice).  No matter what your age, Dear Santa is guaranteed to bring the joy of the season to your heart. 

Dear Santa runs until December 18 at Upper Canada Playhouse with evening shows and a number of matinees. For ticket information call 613-543-3713 or contact


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Mischief in Morrisburg

On November 16th, SD&G OPP officers responded to a disturbance at an establishment on Main Street in the Village of Morrisburg. 

Investigation revealed that an intoxicated male had caused damage to two vehicles in the parking area.

Casey Eyegetok, age 19, of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, was arrested and is charged with: Mischief to Property Under $5,000 (2 counts); and, Being Intoxicated in a Public Place.

He is scheduled to appear in Morrisburg court on January 10, 2012.


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Morrisburg Arts and Crafts Show gives back

The annual three day Christmas Show staged by the Morrisburg and District Arts and Crafts Association in the Legion Hall in Morrisburg, Friday, November 18 to Sunday, November 20, saw attendance down this year, but feedback from those who did attend was very encouraging. 

“We thought it was a pretty good show, and a lot of the people who visited thought it was a great show,” says association president Linda Schenck. 

“I had a lot of positive feedback. Our visitors told us they thought we had a great assortment of crafts. Unfortunately, we didn’t have as many people go through as we would have liked. Some of our artists reported good sales while others could have done better.” 

With some 20 plus participants in the show, the Association was once again very pleased to be able to give back to the community with donations to Winchester District Memorial Hospital and the Dundas County Hospice.



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No Humbug in this wonderful Christmas Carol

On December 4, at 7:00 p.m., step back in time to the gas lit, snow-covered cobblestone streets of Charles Dickens’ London as Lakeshore Drive United Church, in collaboration with Upper Canada Playhouse, presents a dramatic reading of the wondrous tale, A Christmas Carol.

Bring the entire family out to enjoy again the classic story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the Cratchit family and the Ghosts of Christmases  Past, Present and Future. Five performers in full Victorian costumes will re-tell the much loved Yule tale complete with music and Christmas songs.

Proceeds from the presentation will benefit this community. 

“All the funds raised from this event will go towards the purchase of four cardiac monitors for WDMH’s recovery room (where patients go following surgery),” said Chelsea McIntyre, Fund Development Associate for the WDMH Foundation. “These will be an update to the current cardiac monitors and will benefit the patients who need them greatly, as monitors allow caregivers to more closely watch the healing process during recovery.”

McIntyre was thrilled when Lakeshore Drive United Church, and Gail McCooeye, approached the Foundation with the idea of staging a dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol as a fund raiser. As part of their Third Party Event, the Foundation has helped out with posters, tickets and programs for the fund raiser. 

McIntyre is also delighted that WDMH doctors Wayne Domanko and Paul Coolican have joined the cast of A Christmas Carol. “I think it is wonderful to see our family doctors and hospital staff take part in fund raisers, but,” she added, “I must give Gail credit for getting them involved in this instance.”

“I had heard a dramatic reading of the Christmas Carol done before in a church, and thought it was a wonderful experience,” McCooeye said. “I took the idea to the Lakeshore Drive United Church Outreach Program, and they said they would be glad to host the event. The Church has wanted to become more involved in the community, and this seemed a perfect way.”

McCooeye approached Donnie Bowes, artistic director of Upper Canada Playhouse, and he offered his enthusiastic support. Not only is he going to be one of the readers, but he will rehearse the performers and publicize the event during the run of Dear Santa at the Playhouse. 

“I’m reading the first stave of the adaptation,” Bowes laughed. “I get to be Scrooge at his meanest, venting all my frustrations.”

While Dr. Coolican will act as emcee for the evening, Dr. Domanko and Bowes will be joined on stage as readers by Doug Grenkie, who has been an active and dedicated advocate of the Hospital; by Joan Farlinger, who has just completed a two year term as chair of the Hospital Auxiliaries Association of Ontario; and by Wendy Gibb, former drama teacher at Seaway District High School. 

Victorian costumes for the event will come from Upper Canada Playhouse. Diane Crummy, of the Hospital Foundation, will be heading up refreshments, to be served in a 19th century like setting in the church.

A major supporter of the festive fund raiser has been the Scotiabank. 

“Kim Butler, manager of the Morrisburg Scotiabank, has just been an enormous help to me,” said McCooeye.  “Scotiabank branches in Morrisburg, South Mountain and Avonmore have all agreed to sell tickets to the fund raiser. 

And what is so incredible is that Scotiabank has agreed to be our corporate sponsor and to match dollar for dollar every ticket sold at these area bank branches. That is incredibly generous of them and we are very grateful.”

Tickets to this wonderful, one night only, dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol are $15 each and are available at Scotiabank  branches. 


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Don Graham Trail

Don Graham played a key part in resurrecting the hiking trails that are now owned by South Nation Conservation (SNC) and referred to as Two Creeks Trail.

At the November 15th South Dundas council meeting, Mayor Steven Byvelds said, “I think it would certainly be fitting if Don’s name be named on one of the trails.”

Byvelds had already approached Graham on the subject and reported that “he said he’d be honoured with that recognition.”

The mayor also “talked with Josée Brizard (Director of Conservation Programs at SNC) and she thought that would be a great thing to do.”

He told council that he was looking for their approval to pursue the request with SNC.

Deputy-Mayor Jim Locke saw the request as “very fitting” and later referred to Graham as a “very very dedicated man.”

Councillor Jim Graham agreed adding, “over the years Don’s done a lot for the community.”

Byvelds said, “I’d like to call it the Don Graham Trail.”

He pointed out that SNC has a trail in Russel named after James Reid so, “we’re not setting a precedent. It’s been done in the past.”