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South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation

Our Proud History

The South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation was established as the Penticton Regional Hospital Medical Foundation in 1981. A group of individuals in the City of Penticton got together to try to improve the quality of healthcare delivery at the Penticton Regional Hospital by assisting the Hospital to buy capital equipment that the government could not provide, or could provide only a portion of the acquisition cost. As well, the founders felt strongly that a well-trained professional staff, especially the nursing staff, was key to quality health service in he community. Thus, they included in their mandate the provision for staff education.

Over the years since then the Foundation worked diligently to raise funds for much needed equipment at the Hospital. Starting with just volunteers, the Foundation raised money slowly at first. Then, in 1998, it launched its first major fundraising effort, a campaign to raise $1.5 million for desperately needed equipment, mostly diagnostic and surgical equipment. The campaign was successful and the Penticton Regional Hospital has remained a leader in technology in the Province of British Columbia.

Encouraged with this success, the Medical Foundation Board of Directors made a commitment to aggressive fundraising on behalf of the Hospital. By 1992, the Foundation had provided $12.5 million in equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital. In addition, the Foundation raised $2 million for the construction and equipment costs of Moog and Friends Hospice House, the most sophisticated palliative care facility in the Interior of British Columbia. This facility was built and equipped solely with donated funds and without any government funding.

The Medical Foundation Today

In 1998, the Board of Directors began examining the possibilities of the future of health services in the South Okanagan Similkameen. Regionalization changed the face of healthcare dramatically in British Columbia and the Directors of the Medical Foundation wanted to ensure that the role of the Foundation remained focused on assisting the people of the South Okanagan Similkameen in receiving the very best health services possible.

As a result, in 1999, the Foundation changed its name and mandate. Penticton Regional Hospital, because it is the Regional Hospital, remains a high priority for the Foundation. However, the Foundation also recognizes the important role played by other hospitals, health care institutions and agencies throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen.

The Foundation now sees its role to assist all the hospitals in the area as well as Penticton Regional Hospital. For this reason, the Medical Foundation carried out a very successful $710,000 campaign in the communities of Keremeos, Olalla, Hedley and Cawston to provide equipment for the new South Similkameen Health Centre in Keremeos. The Foundation has also raised $ 50,000 in Princeton, Coalmont and Tulameen to provide equipment for a major expansion of Ridgewood Lodge and Princeton General Hospital.

A Journey Towards Excellence

With reorganization of health service delivery systems in the Province of British Columbia, the challenge for our constituents is large. Therefore it is all the more important that the Medical Foundation aggressively generates the necessary philanthropic support to ensure high quality health services are available to all members of all our communities.

In an effort to make the Medical Foundation the most effective and efficient operation in our communities, the Board of Directors established an Organizational Task Force in 2002.
The Medical Foundation has made a commitment to use its best efforts to continue an aggressive fundraising program throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen to improve heath service delivery in each of our communities.

Penticton Regional Hospital Medical Foundation: A Brief History

With reorganization of health service delivery systems in the Province of British Columbia, the challenge for our constituents is large. Therefore it is all the more important that the Medical Foundation aggressively generates the necessary philanthropic support to ensure high quality health services are available to all members of all our communities.

In an effort to make the Medical Foundation the most effective and efficient operation in our communities, the Board of Directors established an Organizational Task Force in 2002.
The Medical Foundation has made a commitment to use its best efforts to continue an aggressive fundraising program throughout the South Okanagan Similkameen to improve heath service delivery in each of our communities.

Penticton Regional Hospital Medical Foundation: A Brief History
On June 1, 1976, a retired Notary Public who had been widowed for several years died at Penticton Regional Hospital. Herbert Ward Stones had been a methodical man in his lifetime and carefully planned the distribution of his estate after his death. To ease the burdens on his friends, he appointed an outside Trustee, Canada Permanent Trust.

Stones’ estate was originally valued at $75,000 by Canada Permanent and consisted principally of his residence at 537 Municipal Avenue, Penticton, which was appraised at $32,000.
Other than municipal property taxes and a gas bill, Herbert Stones had only one other debt: $8.00 to the Penticton Regional Hospital.

Stones had apparently been a generous man in his lifetime and continued that trend after his death. He gave his house and most of his cash to a friend in Victoria. Several charities, including the Salvation Army, the Cancer Foundation, and the Royal Canadian Legion received small legacies, as did a sister-in-law in England “for the education and benefit of her grandchildren.” The residue of the estate was left to the Penticton Regional Hospital “for the purchase of medical or surgical supplies”.

While most of the correspondence has been lost, it appears that the residue of the estate consisted of the Mineral and Claims which were transferred to the Hospital in May, 1978. This was the first major gift to the Penticton Regional Hospital and the impetus for creation of the Medical Foundation. The Mineral Claims were subsequently sold in 1984 for $100,000.

An organizational meeting of the Foundation was held December 31, 1980 at the Hospital. Those involved were members of a special “Task Committee” appointed by the Board of Trustees and included: G.P. Loewen, H.D. Merrick, W. B. Morris, Mrs. C.V. Plecash, T.E. Lougheed, G.M. Handford, F.W. Laird (Chairman, Board of Trustees), Dr. T.H. Ashton, and D.S. Gray (Hospital Administrator). It was agreed that Messrs. Loewen, Merrick, Morris, Lougheed, Handford, Mrs. Plecash, and F.C. Christian (absent from the City that day) would form the first Board of Directors. Incorporation under the Societies Act of British Columbia was completed on March 26th, 1981. The members of the Board were very clear on the direction they perceived best for the Foundation: to keep the public aware of the needs of the Hospital through the Foundation; to provide speakers for service clubs and other interested community groups. It was at this time that Mr. John Yost joined the Board of Directors. His influence was such that in 1985, he was appointed a one-member nominating committee for the Board and his selections were acclaimed at the Annual General Meeting, at which he was nominated and elected Chairman of the Board.

Work of the Foundation throughout the mid-1980’s was carried on by a core of dedicated volunteers, assisted by a strong Hospital Administration presence. Major volunteers during this period included: Gerald Pash, J. Lawrence Magee; W. ·DELETE Bruce Morris, Peter Rawkins, Adelaide Evens, Gladys Isaac, and a newcomer, Charles Albas.
Ken Burrows joined the Board in June, 1986, and was immediately named Secretary/Treasurer. His major responsibility was outlined in the Minutes as caring for the Term Deposits totalling just under $100,000 plus the cash on hand of $11,000.

A major milestone occurred in early 1988 when the Foundation contracted with Community Charitable Counselling service of Canada, Inc. to conduct a feasibility study with recommendations for fundraising. The Report was presented in April 1988 and concluded that “a successful fund raising campaign to raise $1.5 million can be initiated, although only with a significant lead gift ($125,000) from a Hospital patron and consistent effort and attention to several critical areas.”

From this point on the Foundation became deeply committed to professional fund raising to enable it to carry out its mission. The campaign began with an extremely high level of commitment from volunteers such as Ken Jaggard, Harold Schellenberg, John Yost, John Jarden, Evans Lougheed, Roy Phillips, Bonnie Ross, and Sue Irvine. The medical community received outstanding leadership from Drs. Tom Ashton, John Gibson, Harvey Speirs, and Bill Currie. Will Sullivan with CCCS was appointed on-site Executive Director and managed the campaign. A special office was set up for the

Foundation in the offices of Realty World, 480 Main Street.
In February 1989, when the campaign was half complete, CCCS’s contract to provide on-site management expired and the Board struck a search committee to locate potential candidates to be the first Development Officer. Marlene Pugh was chosen for this position in April 1989. Charlotte Busmann was hired on a part-time basis as secretary for the Foundation. 1989 also saw the arrival of more hard working volunteers like John Duncan , May Simpson, and Dr. Sandy Ross.

It was announced on June 5, 1990, that the campaign goal had been reached and $1,506,163.41 was raised! Even while the major campaign was winding down, a second major fund raising project was undertaken: $500,000 for the purchase of a C.T. Scanner. The original goal was reached in 5 months

1990 was also the commencement of The Care Closet, partnership of Penticton Regional Hospital Medical Foundation, Penticton Hospice Society, and the Junior Auxiliary to the Penticton RegionaI Hospital. The operation of this thrift shop was in rented space at 65 Nanaimo Avenue East and officially began business on July 20th. The Partnership purchased the present building at 574 Main in July, 1991.

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