Haliburton Highlands Health Services Foundation executive director, Melanie Klodt Wong, said she and her board are currently in the “quiet phase” of a campaign to raise millions of dollars for a CT scanner and CT mammography unit for HHHS.

The Ministry of Health has approved the machines but does not provide funding for them. Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) interim president and CEO, Veronica Nelson, said she wants them in place by summer 2024.

Asked for a status report at the HHHSF AGM Sept. 21, Klodt Wong said, “we’re planning. We’re talking to folks who are interested in larger gifts.”

She said they know it is going to be a lot of money. “Even though we raised a million dollars last year, this is going to be a lot more than that. We need to make sure we have all our ducks in a row.”

She added that generally with these sorts of campaigns, the foundation will raise a certain amount “before the thermometer goes up.”

Pushed as to when they might launch a campaign, Klodt Wong said, “I think a good time would be when there’s a lot of people around.” She said it would not be before the holidays.

“The goal is to get to a certain amount, so however long it takes to get there, that’s when we’re going to look to have that launch.”

Responding to a suggestion that might be “aggressive” to have funding in place for the spring, Klodt Wong said it was. “But we’re hopeful. We want to support that (timeline) and we’re acting as quickly as we can to get funds. Anyone out there who is interested in supporting health care in a big way in this County, we want to talk to you.”

Last fiscal year

Klodt Wong said in the 2022-23 fiscal year, they’d had 1,934 donors, averaging $509 per gift, had retained 27 per cent fewer donors; but saw 437 new donors give $290,000.

She said the number of active donors is down from the previous fiscal year but closer to the historic average. She added the pandemic and economy had affected donations.

“We’ve seen less donors, especially at the lower levels. However, those who are giving, are giving more,” she said.

As a result, she said overall donations were up approximately $400,000. She added their goal is to bring inactive donors back and retain more donors as they move forward.

She said they were able to transfer $284,279 to HHHS for things such as a long-term care nurse call bell system, a blood bank fridge, emergency stretchers, park benches and gardens and replacing the engine on a community support services’ (CSS) van. They also transferred $50,000 to CSS to subsidize its meals-on-wheels and medically-required transportation programs. Another $12,506 went into the education assistance program.

Some of the highlights included the Matt Duchene Charity Golf Classic golf tournament returning in 2022 after a twoyear hiatus, and raising more than $200,000 for “smart” IV pumps. The annual radiothon raised more than $31,000. The winter holiday campaign garnered nearly $275,000. The 50-50 lottery and the collectible bear puzzle, Mosely Moose, Haliburton cottage pack and reopening of the Haliburton gift shop all helped the effort, Klodt Wong said, as well as volunteers.

Klodt Wong said she is always impressed and grateful for “the generousity and care that comes from this community.”