Sir: Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the most recent SOS meeting but I did attend the CKHA Open House and I agree with the comments from SOS Chair Conrad Noel and others that a new, positive and hopeful era for the Sydenham District Hospital (SDH) is before us. In speaking with CKHA officials, including the new CEO, it was clear that everyone recognizes the importance of SDH, and that the CKHA is a two-hospital organization with a 24/7 emergency department in Wallaceburg.
Our community has fought so hard and waited so long to hear that!
Thank you to the new CKHA leadership team for your support and thank you to everyone over the years who stood up for our hospital. Whether you contributed to the fundraising initiative led many years ago by Matt Miletic, helped pack the room for public meetings, drove in our car caravan to the CKHA offices, jumped on a bus to the Queen’s Park protest with the Ontario Health Coalition, took part in the forever memorable “clicker” event at WDSS or bought a SDH corporate membership, you have played a very significant role in the future of our SDH. Our community thanks you.
Sincere thanks also to members of the past SDH boards, SOS and the local and Ontario Health Coalitions – there were many tough times, difficult meetings and personal sacrifices made by a lot of people, but we always hung together for the betterment of SDH because we believed not only in our hospital but also in the people who worked there and in our community.
Thank you to our friends on Walpole Island First Nation, St. Clair Township and across Chatham-Kent.
Thank you to Minister of Health Eric Hoskins for calling in an investigator and appointing a supervisor.
Thank you to our MP Bev Shipley and MPP Monte McNaughton.
Finally, while I know I will have missed many I do want to thank two very important groups. First, it was Scott and Stacey Ewing who started an innovative Internet fundraising challenge that provided SOS with enough seed money to do many great things in the years that followed – thank you and all of those who donated in those early days. Second, our local media played a crucial role in getting the word out. While the CKHA had communication staff and funding, we had neither and we really relied on our local media to get our message out. When Jim Blake was with The Chatham Voice, he did a lot of investigative reporting and took his share of lumps for doing the right thing – thanks, Jim!
Wallaceburg and our neighbours make up a very special community filled with exceptional people. Thank you.
Former SOS Chair
Former SDH Chair