Donation For Cataract Clinic In Memory Of Pat Mailloux
PETROLIA - A local woman was honoured today through a generous memorial donation to the Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital (CEEH) Foundation Cataract Clinic Fundraising Campaign.
Roger Mailloux, and his family, provided a gift of $150,000 to the Foundation in memory of his wife Pat, who died on November 8, 2006.
“Our family has always received remarkable care from the staff and doctors at Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health,” said Mailloux. “This donation to the cataract clinic is our thank you to those individuals who have provided compassionate care to our family and particularly to Pat during the last stage of her illness.”
“My sons and I want to honor Pat's life, and through this donation, her warmth and generosity towards others continues,” said Mailloux. “Pat's focus was her family and helping others through her volunteer work.”
Pat and Roger have two sons. Steven is married to Laurel and they have two daughters, Aliya, and Halle . Jeffrey and his wife Lindsay have a son, Miller. Pat is the daughter of Joy and the late Carlton McGuire.
At the time of her death, Pat was the President of the Margaret Stokes Chapter of I.O.D.E. She was formerly a Cub Leader, an active member of the St. Philip's School P.T.A. and the Petrolia Minor Hockey Mothers.
Pat was the co-owner of Needham-Jay Funeral Home. Her husband continues to own the business today. Roger is also a founding member of the CEEH Foundation and currently serves as Vice-Chair.
“Pat and I were very privileged to have built a wonderful life here in Petrolia,” said Roger. “We raised our sons here, have many friends, and are fortunate that we are in a position to support the local hospital, which will soon have an excellent cataract clinic and now will be named in Pat's honour.”
On April 12, 2007, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MoH) announced a one-time grant of $1.2 million for Bluewater Health to build the cataract clinic. It will be located on the 1st Floor of the Petrolia hospital.
In November 2007, the CEEH Foundation kicked of its campaign with a goal to raise $655,000 to purchase state-of-the art medical equipment for the new clinic.
“Our local community has always been supportive of the CEEH Foundation's fundraising efforts,” said Verne Gekill, CEEH Foundation Board Member and Co-Chair of the Cataract Clinic Fundraising Campaign. “Prior to our announcement today, we have received $55,000 from 24 donors for this important initiative.”
He added, “This generous lead gift from the Mailloux family brings us over 30% of our goal. With the project now out to tender, we are confident that many other individuals, groups and organizations will step forward to support the clinic and the patients we serve.”
“Donations make a tangible difference to our patients and support staff, doctors and volunteers when providing health care,” said Gekill.
“The gift from the Mailloux family supports the Board of Directors' efforts to enable patients from Sarnia-Lambton to have their surgery and follow-up care close to home with minimal travel and a shorter wait time then previously realized,” said, Sylvia Foreman, Board Member, Bluewater Health Board of Directors. “On behalf of the entire hospital team, thank you for making this initiative so successful. We look forward to opening the Pat Mailloux Cataract Clinic by the end of this year.”
Currently, Bluewater Health completes cataract procedures at the Mitton Site. Once the new cataract clinic is built at the Petrolia hospital, all cataract procedures will be completed at that facility.
On January 15, the MoH provided approval to tender the project to pre-qualified contractors. The tender was called on Thursday, January 24, and will close on Thursday, February 14. The hospital's Facilities Planning and Development Department will then review the tender documents. The Ministry of Health is required to provide written approval to the hospital before it can award the construction contract to the successful company.
Once the project is awarded, construction of the new cataract clinic will take approximately six -- eight months.
The average wait time for cataracts is now between 3 - 6 weeks. This varies depending on the ophthalmologist's individual schedule.
To the end of December 31, 2007, the two credentialed ophthalmologists at Bluewater Health have completed 1,317 cataract procedures for the current fiscal year (April 1, 2007 - March 31, 2008). Through additional wait time funding, the hospital received money to complete extra 720 procedures above its budgeted 700 cases for a total of 1,420 for the current fiscal year.
“The development of the Pat Mailloux Cataract Clinic supports our efforts to provide our patients with quality care and service in a much shorter timeframe due to the extended funding from the Ministry of Health, “ said Dr. Murari Patodia, Ophthalmologist. “This is an innovative approach to have a dedicated clinic in our rural site to service patients in Lambton County.”
“The new clinic has been designed specifically with the cataract patient in mind using the most current equipment and practices,” he added. “The CEEH Foundation's efforts to raise funds for the equipment will support our team to provide the highest quality of care for our patients.”
A cataract occurs when the lens in the eye becomes frosty. The lens is made mostly of water and protein. The protein is arranged to let light pass through and focus on the retina. Sometimes some of the protein clumps together. This can start to cloud small areas of the lens, blocking some light from reaching the retina and interfering with vision. The cloudiness may affect only a small part of the lens. However, over time, the cataract may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.
A cataract won't spread from one eye to the other, although many people develop cataracts in both eyes. If the only problem with the eye is to do with the frosty lens, then there is an excellent chance that vision can be restored by having a cataract operation, along with replacing it with a clear plastic lens, which is meant to restore the focusing power that is lost with removal of the lens during a cataract operation.
The CEEH Foundation has worked in conjunction with Bluewater Health to maintain and improve the Petrolia hospital building and grounds. Over the past five years, the hospital and foundation, together, have invested more than $2 million in upgrades and renovations to the facility. This includes work in the Emergency Department, in-patient units, Laboratory and Physiotherapy, to name a few.
The Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital (CEEH) Foundation was incorporated in 1985. Its Board of Directors oversees the collection of donations to be used at the Petrolia hospital. Since the formation of the CEEH Foundation, over $2 million has been donated. Annually, over the past five years, the Foundation has assisted students from LCCVI through the Shabsove Nursing Award. In addition, the Foundation has assisted in the recruitment of doctors, which is a major portion of their activities.
Bluewater Health is the largest single employer in Lambton County with an annual budget of $148 million. With hospital sites in Sarnia and Petrolia, Bluewater Health has 320 beds. The hospital has 1,700 staff, 100 credentialed physicians and 800 volunteers who care for 319,000 patients annually. Bluewater Health is the winner of Healthy Living Lambton's “Gold Healthy Workplace Award - 2007.”
Note to Media: A digital picture of Pat Mailloux is available by contacting Meaghan Lawrence-Kreeft, Communications Specialist, Bluewater Heath, (519) 464-4453.