Memo from Jeff Wesley to SDH Corporate Members

Dear SDH Corporation Members:
The Annual General Meeting for the Sydenham Hospital Corporation will restart and be completed on the evening of July 28th at the Oaks Inn. You will receive an official notice soon. I met with the CKHA Nominating Committee last evening and the best I can say is that I left disappointed. I just did not get the feeling that anyone was listening. When we see the slate of nominees we will know for sure.

I want to take this time to lay out for you the thinking of myself and the SOS Committee in terms of this upcoming meeting. The goal is simply to have a local SDH Board comprised of local people who make use of the hospital. What this means is that future decisions about the fate of our hospital will be made by local people not out of the area people with no connection to SDH.

The current Board has 10 voting members and those votes are now held as follows:
Three votes held by Chatham based CKHA ex officio staff members;
One vote held by the CKHA Tri Board Treasurer (nothing in the SDH By-laws requires the Tri-Board Treasurer to be a voting member of SDH);
Two votes held by out of area Directors with little connection to SDH;
Four votes held by local community members.

What this means is that local community members, those closest to and most impacted by a further closure of services at SDH do not have enough votes to out vote the others. There is no local control. This is why the slate of nominees was voted down last time. It is important to have local control because negative decisions about SDH can not be made if the SDH Board does not agree.

What we want is a SDH Board comprised of a majority of community members who have ties to this area and to SDH. That is why on July 28th at the Annual General Meeting if at least 6 of the 7 Directors nominated are not local community members (Wallaceburg, Dresden, Walpole Island, St. Clair Township etc...) supportive of SDH I will vote against the slate of nominees put forward and I suggest you do likewise.

At the end of the day when tough decisions have to be made let them be made by people who have ties to SDH and the community. We may still disagree with the decision but we have to respect they are local people. The bottom line is that the SDH Board must have Directors who are local with ties to SDH and our communities – you should accept no less.

Be prepared – you will be told that if you do not accept the slate put forward that the sky will fall in – do not be fooled by this. It did not fall in last time nor will it this time. SDH has not had a fair shake over the years and we continue to lose services – it is time we had local control on the SDH Board – only you can do this. Attend on July 28th; ask questions and vote for SDH, vote for your community.

Jeff Wesley