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STEGH Sets Sights on Space
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St. Thomas Elgin General's ER Expertise is shared with hospitals throughout Southwestern Ontario. Patient flow software we developed improves healthcare across the World. Indeed, there is only one frontier left for the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital - Space!

That is to say, on Wednesday, May 14th at 1:30 p.m., weather permitting, the STEGH Foundation will symbolically launch the most audacious fundraising campaign in our community's history by physically launching a balloon 30 km into the air. A payload of meaningful artifacts will be sent into orbit to properly launch It's OUR Hospital, the name of our award-winning Hospital's $13 million fundraising campaign.

The public is encouraged to suggest items to be included in the aptly titled "Space Capsule" and post their ideas on the Foundation's Facebook page. A small vile of sand from Lake Erie, as well as a pocket sized tractor, are two of the items that will exit Elgin County orbit in order to celebrate $10 million pledged or paid towards our goal.

A Lunch and Launch is just one of many opportunities for the public to learn about the historic transformation taking place at our Hospital. Earlier in the week, on May 12th, we are celebrating STEGH's diamond anniversary by giving away 500 sundaes to the public and our incredible staff team. It is Nursing Week after all!

Friend of the Foundation, Chair of the Capital Campaign, and champion of everything Elgin, Ken Monteith, explains. "We live in a good community with generous people. We understand what the Hospital means to our friends and families who depend on an excellent patient care experience. I am fiercely proud to support our Hospital and invite you to join Luella and me in making a financial pledge to this project."

The name of the project is the Great Expansion. It includes more space, new space, but the same great patient care experience. We are building a three storey tower on the northwest corner of our current location. This will result in a new Sterile Processing Department, ER, Surgical Suite, as well as a permanent home for our Mental Health Program.

"The balloon launch is about drawing attention to the importance of the fundraising campaign," says Paul Jenkins, Foundation Executive Director. "Our campaign has and will continue to be powered by the skills, talents and passions of our community. The name of our campaign, It's OUR Hospital, is no accident. We want everyone in the community to know what an unbelievable place our Hospital is and the very real need we have for people to support it financially."

STEGH Foundation President, Susan O'Brien adds, "the Great Expansion has been a long-time coming, but it's finally here. STEGH offers the perfect mix of innovation and compassion. I'm a patient and a donor. I know my family can depend on our incredible Hospital and that makes every aspect of my life better."

Along with Monteith and O'Brien, Paul Collins, President and CEO of the Hospital, accompanied by his executive team, will take part in the roundtable discussion on the project. This begins at 12:15 p.m. on May 14th in the Atrium and offers $5 boxed lunches, the chance to ask the key players of the project questions, as well as the first public viewing of the campaign video.

The event will then head outdoors, where Cooperative Exploration, a local team of family and friends determined to explore beyond our terrestrial reach, will launch a helium powered balloon into the stratosphere to commemorate the event.

Paul Collins says, "I am truly excited for May 14th. I look forward to celebrating the launch of our fundraising campaign with the entire community. We deserve new Hospital facilities that will truly lead to an even greater patient care experience for everyone who uses STEGH."

May 12 | Sundae Monday | Celebrate STEGH's 60th Anniversary over a delicious dish of local dairy. It's Nursing Week and the event is free and open to the public from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Special thanks to the Sodexo and STEGH's food service team for sponsoring this event. (First 500 people - suggested donation).

May 14 | Lunch & Launch | Join the Foundation in the Atrium at noon for $5 boxed lunches; at 12:15 for a roundtable discussion on the Great Expansion, and the debut of the It's OUR Time campaign video; and at 1 p.m. for some near space exploration. There's also an open house from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the public to learn about the campaign. (first 250 people for lunch)

We're putting a payload of Elgin artifacts into space and we want the public to like us on Facebook and submit ideas for what we should send up.

We're hosting a roundtable discussion involving:
Paul Collins, President & CEO, STEGH
Dr. Nancy Whitmore, VP and Chief of Staff, STEGH
Karen Davies, VP and Chief Nursing Executive, STEGH
Mary Stewart, VP and Chief Human Resources Officer, STEGH
Santiago Kunzle, Principal, Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc.
Ken Monteith, Campaign Chair
Susan O'Brien, President, STEGH Foundation
We're providing $5 boxed lunches to those who arrive hungry.

May 21-23 | Tour of Elgin | STEGH benefits families from every corner of our county. The Foundation is taking the Hospital's Great Expansion to the people by touring a display through Aylmer, Dutton, and Port Stanley:

Aylmer: Wednesday, May 21st - Trillium Park Apartments, 24 Sydenham Street West - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dutton: Thursday, May 22nd - COTRAC Ford, 204 Currie Road - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Port Stanley: Friday, May 23rd - Royal Canadian Legion, 310 George Street - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All May Long | Cut IT out! Love your Hospital as much as the Foundation? Show it! We're giving away eight sets of boxed seats to the Blue Jays on June 1st. Simply post a family photo posing with the It's OUR Hospital logo to our Facebook page and you and your favourite kid will be entered into a draw for an epic day cheering on Canada's boys of summer. #selfies4STEGH

Exactly one half of each pair of tickets must be used by a child under the age of 13. Photo winners will be chosen at random. The prize includes two tickets to the Jays Care Community Club House, a Jays cap, unlimited food and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as transportation to and from the game. Winners will be chosen on May 23rd and announced on our Facebook page that same day. Participants have 24 hours to claim their prize or we will choose a new winner.

Project Overview | The Great Expansion of St. Thomas Elgin General is the single largest investment in our award-winning Hospital since we opened on Elm Street in 1954. We are building a new ER, Operating Suite, as well as a permanent home for our Mental Health Unit.

The Great Expansion is the single largest fundraising campaign in Elgin County's history. The Foundation is tasked with raising $13 million for this project. Thanks to the generosity of the County of Elgin, City of St. Thomas, good corporate citizens like Masco, and philanthropically minded individuals like Ken and Luella Monteith, we have already raised more than $10 million towards our goal.

The Foundation is inviting the public to join us as we embark on the single greatest investment we can make for the families and friends who depend our OUR Hospital during each visit, at every stage of life, and as close to home as possible.

Since 1985, the STEGH Foundation has played an integral role in supporting patient care excellence at the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital by independently raising funds to acquire patient care equipment, support educational endeavours, and upgrade the Hospital's physical facilities. Our Mission is to partner with the community to support our award-winning Hospital in the delivery of an excellent patient care experience.

The St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital is a 166-bed facility providing comprehensive 24-hour coverage in Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Anesthesia, Emergency and Family Medicine. More than 800 professionals work at STEGH, including over 200 credentialed Professional Staff who provide in-hospital care ensuring that we provide the highest quality of care to each and every patient that walks through our doors. As a fully accredited hospital, we are proud to serve the city of St Thomas and all eight municipalities within the County of Elgin.

Cooperative Exploration (COEX*) is a team of family and friends cooperating to explore beyond our terrestrial reach, and collaborating with our community to inspire greatness and wonder. We use high altitude balloons and advanced electronics to deliver payloads to near space and record our journeys.

Empty Cup Media is a video production company from Oshawa, Ontario. Colin Burwell and Carla Sinclair make heartwarming films that reveal the humanity in the world. They combine their experience in writing, editing, and storytelling to create films for businesses and individuals who share Empty Cup's positive social outlook.

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