Patient grateful for donor-funded tools used to diagnose and treat her cancer, close to home

Smiling woman standing outside the PRHC

Tracey Germa’s mammogram was supposed to be routine, but a few days later she was back at PRHC for an ultrasound, then a biopsy. With invasive ductal carcinoma confirmed, Tracey had a mastectomy.

“Since then I’ve been grateful, again and again, to PRHC’s doctors, nurses, and staff for their expert care and their compassion,” she says.

Tracey is also thankful to donors, who funded the tools her team used to diagnose and treat her close to home.

“From the mammography machines and ultrasounds, to the surgical suites, lab equipment and Dysart Radiation Centre. Thanks to donors, I had access to leading-edge technology that helped PRHC shorten my wait times while giving my doctor the clearest results,” she says. “Our hospital gave me a better chance at surviving.”

Our CEO is inspiring future fundraisers!

Congratulations to our President & CEO Lesley Heighway who recently spent a week volunteering as an instructor at the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s prestigious Madison Institute at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Business.

“A year’s worth of learning in just five days”, the Institute offers healthcare development professionals an opportunity to learn and share best practices in healthcare philanthropy, while developing valuable professional connections.

A two-time graduate of the Institute herself, Lesley says she was honoured to have the opportunity to help inspire future fundraisers.

“Teaching at Madison was such a rewarding and affirming experience,” she says. “As a believer in life-long learning, it was a pleasure to share my skills and experience while also learning from my students, all of whom were as passionate about our cause as I am!”

New interventional oncology treatments pushing the envelope on cancer care treatment at PRHC

Doctor and nurse in surgery

Dr. Kebby King has been providing minimally invasive care to patients in the donor-funded interventional radiology suites at Peterborough Regional Health Centre for 14 years. During that time she’s seen a lot of innovation in her field – making interventional radiology a broad specialty that can be used to diagnose and treat patients with a variety of medical conditions.

One area that has shown a lot of innovation in the application of interventional radiology is cancer care. Known as interventional oncology, this sub-specialty can be used to treat a variety of cancers and cancer-related disease – including kidney tumours, some types of pancreatic cancers, primary liver tumours, and cancer spread from the liver to the colon, pancreas and breast, to name a few – often allowing patients with cancer more time to live their lives.

“Interventional oncology has revolutionized cancer treatment,” says Dr. King. That’s because traditional cancer care involves administering chemotherapy medication to the entire body. For PRHC cancer patients who are candidates for interventional radiology, Dr. King and her colleagues perform very targeted treatments, using catheters and wires guided through tiny incisions in the skin and blood vessels, to focus precisely on the cancer.

“We’re able to specifically target the cancer,” explains Dr. King. “Either by delivering a higher dose of drugs to the target or by performing ablation or microwave therapy to kill the tumour directly.”

“We’re bombarding the cancer with all the good stuff to try to stem its spread and growth,” she says. “And because it’s so targeted, it has fewer side effects for the patient and it can be done on an outpatient basis.” Performed without the large incisions and associated risks of open surgery, it also means less pain and recovery time for patients.

This level of advanced and complex healthcare is available in the Peterborough region as a direct result of our generous donors. But PRHC’s interventional radiology suites are now 14 years old and are too small to fit new, advanced technology and the number of medical personnel required to use it. 

Your donations now will help shape the future of interventional radiology at PRHC. You’ll enable a $6 million upgrade and expansion of the interventional radiology facilities, including state-of-the-art equipment. With this essential upgrade, Dr. King and her colleagues will be able to perform more innovative and complex, minimally invasive procedures right here, so patients can receive the best care, close to home.

For more information or to support this exciting investment, please visit prhcfoundation.ca or call 705-876-5000.

Donor-funded tools and scrubs are supporting and protecting PRHC patients and staff

Last year at the start of the pandemic, as PRHC’s leaders and staff mobilized to prepare for the spread of COVID-19, the PRHC Foundation and our donors mobilized to support them. A fund was created to respond to urgent pandemic-related needs, and we were overwhelmed with your outpouring of support for your hospital.

A direct mail appeal and generous matching gift commitments inspired community donations. Online donors made tribute gifts in honour of frontline workers and sent messages of thanks to them. Under social distancing restrictions, businesses, organizations and individuals got creative with their own initiatives and directed funds to the cause.

As a result, the COVID-19 response fund had an immediate impact, helping aid and protect healthcare providers and patients. You funded a crucial supply of additional scrubs for staff and physicians, new plexiglass screening stations at hospital entry points, and iPads and supportive equipment so isolated palliative patients can connect with loved ones.

And when Trent University donated residence space as temporary housing so PRHC staff could isolate while working on the front line, your donations funded some of the additional costs necessary in support of this arrangement.

In addition to generous donations to the Foundation, you showed your love for PRHC in many ways: window and lawn signs, chalk drawings, gratitude rocks, drive-through parades, donations of personal protective equipment and homemade masks, and so much more. All of this kindness has been so appreciated.

You’ve demonstrated that we are all in this together. On behalf of everyone at PRHC and the PRHC Foundation, thank you.

If you’d like to make an impact, please donate online, or for more information, please call 705-876-5000.

Donor-funded equipment in the NICU is helping support our smallest, sickest patients close to home

Now more than ever before, we know a health crisis can strike at any time. When it does, we need our hospital to be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to give us the best care possible. So this year, we are particularly grateful for your generous support of Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

Your support is making an incredible difference. Recent investments in areas such as women’s and children’s programs are helping save and change lives every day.

Thanks to donors, a new radiant heater/warmer is in use in PRHC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where 365 babies were treated last year. For newborn patients who need additional, critical care, the radiant heater/warmer provides open, 360-degree access for all members of the medical team and offers an accessible working surface for ventilating and resuscitating. It takes constant measurements of temperature that the unit itself can respond to, and the unit is adjustable, so family members can be at the same height as the infant and participate in family-centred care.

In this and other areas, your donations are fueling vital investments that are used by our doctors, nurses and staff every day to deliver the outstanding care we all want for the people we love when a health crisis strikes. They’re also bringing innovative new treatment options to our region and helping PRHC attract and retain the best and the brightest healthcare professionals.

On behalf of the Health Centre, the Foundation, and most especially, our patients and their families, thank you for the commitment and generosity you’ve shown to PRHC!

If you’d like to make an impact, please donate online, or for more information, please call 705-876-5000.

“I will be eternally grateful to this community, for everything it has given to me and my family.”

PRHC Foundation Legacy Society member Ivo Nightingale explains how his bequest is a way of giving back for generations to come:

“I will be eternally grateful to this community, for everything it has given to me and my family. In fact, my life was saved at PRHC. That’s why I’m so set on giving back to the people of Peterborough, not just today, but for generations to come, through a gift in my Will to PRHC Foundation.

When it came time for estate planning and our financial advisor told my wife and me that we could reduce our estate taxes with a bequest, it made perfect sense to make a gift in our Will to the Foundation. We’ve made some provisions for our children and grandchildren, but we also think it’s important to do our part to leave them a strong regional hospital. We feel great knowing that our bequest will not only benefit our family, but also our neighbours and friends, along with the rest of our community.

I’m hoping that when you reflect on your own legacy and values, that you’ll seriously consider making a gift in your Will to the PRHC Foundation. Without affecting your lifestyle at all right now, you could have a huge impact on the lives of people in our community far into the future.”

For more information about making a gift through your Will to the PRHC Foundation, please call Lesley Heighway, President & CEO, at 705-743-2121, ext. 3859 or send her an email.

Always consult a professional financial advisor to discuss the best charitable giving options for you.

Giving back is a family tradition for this long-time Peterborough citizen

Retired banker Walter Howell says his father gave him some advice about giving back to the community that became words to live by. “Dad always said to try to give something back to the community. Take care of yourself, look after your family, but also try to do something for the community,” he says.

Like his parents before him, Walter was born and raised in Peterborough. The Howell name has a long history in Peterborough: his father, Walter Howell Sr., was a well-known lawyer and member of the community.

Over the course of his 37-year career with the bank, Walter Jr. has lived in many places, choosing to come home to Peterborough in the mid-‘90s, and retiring here a decade later. Being involved in the community has always been important to Walter, and he has given both time and financial donations to the causes that mean the most to him.

“There are many things that we need to support in a community,” says Walter. “The hospital is something that we’re all going to use at some point in our life.” As he sees it, the Peterborough Regional Health Centre is one of the pillars of our community because it plays such a key role for everyone, which is why supporting the hospital is a natural choice for him.

Walter also wants to help make sure that great care will always be available in the community for future generations. With career experience in banking and estate planning, he knew there was a way he could provide support for the future—through a gift in his Will to the PRHC Foundation.

As a professional, he has long been aware of what’s involved in making a gift through one’s Will. But he emphasizes that it’s easy for anyone to do. “A call to your financial advisor or lawyer is all you need to get things underway,” Walter says.

He adds that it’s something anyone can consider doing. “We often hear about the very large amounts that are donated to charity, but legacy gifts of all sizes make a real difference to our community,” he says.

“It’s not how much you give—it’s the fact that you do give.”

Walter advises that it’s important to regularly review your Will to make sure that it’s up-to-date, since families change and circumstances change.

This regular update also provides a convenient opportunity to include a charitable bequest.

As a father and grandfather, Walter knows that looking after family always comes first; but he also knows that he can look after his family and give something back to the community at the same time.

For Walter, helping to make sure Peterborough has a hospital that can maintain its high standard of care in the years to come is a way to look after his family, friends and neighbours.

“I want to know that in 20 or 30 years when the hospital gets my legacy gift, excellent care will be available for the citizens that are here at that time. Possibly even my own children and grandchildren.”

For more information about making a gift through your Will to the PRHC Foundation, please call Lesley Heighway, President & CEO, at 705-743-2121, ext. 3859 or send her an email.

Always consult a professional financial advisor to discuss the best charitable giving options for you.

“In the blink of an eye this was all taken away.”

Cancer patient Anthony Serracino-Inglott knows all about the power of gratitude and the impact that donations are having on patient care at your hospital.

Not that long ago he was a typical 16-year-old kid from Lindsay, going to school, playing hockey and hanging out with his friends. “In the blink of an eye this was all taken away from me when I found out I had Philadelphia-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” he says.

Anthony spent months in a Toronto hospital bed, far away from friends and family. Now thanks to donors, Anthony and other pediatric cancer patients can receive their cancer treatment at PRHC, close enough that they can have time at home with friends and family and sleep in their own beds. “You know, normal stuff,” Anthony says. “I can fit my treatment into my life, not my life into my treatment.”

With the incredible support of donors, the PRHC Foundation was able to fund all of the new equipment and technology needed to operate the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) Satellite Clinic at PRHC, completing the hospital’s current funding needs for pediatric cancer care in our region. We’re so grateful for this…and so is Anthony: “Thank you to everyone who supported this project and helped make sure kids like me can get their cancer care close to home.”