‘Truly transformational’: Almonte hospital foundation receives largest gift ever

Long-time summer residents, Gene and Millie Simpson donated $1.2 million to the Almonte hospital, Fairview Manor. – Submitted photo

The Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation marked a historic moment last month, as it received its most substantial donation to date — a generous $1.2 million gift from long-time summer residents, Gene and Millie Simpson.

Hospital President and CEO, Mary Wilson Trider expressed gratitude for the gift.

“We are so grateful to the Simpsons who, after 24 years of receiving great care from our chief of staff, Dr. Graeme McKillop, a couple of stays at the hospital and a few visits to our emergency department, decided to show their appreciation and gratitude with this extraordinary act of philanthropy.”

While the Simpsons spent most of their lives in California, where they met and married, Millie’s roots in Carp, Ont., and family ties in the surrounding region brought them to support the local healthcare system. In 2004, during the hospital’s renovation, the Simpsons made a donation to name one of the patient rooms in memory of Millie’s parents, Wallace and Velma Cox. Millie’s mother had lived at Fairview Manor for a few years. The couple, residing in Santa Barbara, Calif., have been making annual trips to Almonte each spring since 2000.

“We are quite pleased to be in the position to make this gift,” said Gene and Millie. “It is quite evident to us after discussions with Mrs. Trider, Dr. McKillop, and other staff members, of the need and the benefit to those who live in Almonte and the surrounding area that this donation will bring. We have been quite fortunate to have elected to live in Almonte where our medical care has been exceptional during our stays in this friendly town.”

The Foundation Board Chair, Rob Scott, emphasized the transformative nature of the donation.

“This gift is truly transformational,” he said. “The hospital and Manor have many pressing equipment needs, and we are very fortunate that people like the Simpsons, and many others in the community, place so much value on local health care that they are willing to support it with donations.”

The AGH FVM Foundation collaborates with the community to raise funds, providing the hospital and Manor with resources to purchase replacement and new clinical equipment. While the provincial government funds the operation of the hospital and Manor, funds for replacement or new clinical equipment are not provided. Currently in the final phase of a $3.2 million campaign, the Foundation aims to fund the hospital’s first CT scanner, expected to be operational by the summer of 2024.

“As a foundation board, we are committed to working with the hospital board and senior staff to ensure that this unprecedented donation makes a significant and lasting impact on patient and resident care and that it leaves an enduring legacy to Gene and Millie for their incredible generosity,” stated Foundation Board Chair Rob Scott.

For more information about supporting quality health care close to home, please visit: www.almontehospitalfoundation.com.

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