Submission of Pastor Brian Horrobin

To: Ontario Health Coalition

Date: March 4, 2010

Transcribed March 17, 2010

It was a very famous physician that once said “It’s not those who are well who need a doctor, it’s who are sick.” Jesus of Nazareth, and he also said “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also”. I want to come from a different perspective from the other people who have shared and talk about some of the intangibles, why our hospital is necessary in our community. The reason that Jesus said “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also”, when someone has their treasure, their money in something their heart’s in it. This hospital was paid for by private dollars back in the late 50’s, people’s heart is in this hospital. Even people like me, who are Johnny, come lately, not a native of Wallaceburg, I’m a Windsorite, but since being here, I’ve lived here since 1993, I have felt a part of this community. Four of my five children were born in this hospital with exceptional care. My oldest daughter was born in Charlotte Elanor Engleheart Hospital also with exceptional care. Rural hospitals are very much in my heart. I want to say something about the center of excellence perspective or that vision by the Health Alliance. I think that’s a fantastic vision in principle, on paper, I think it’s excellent. I think it does work as a template for other things, I don’t think it works here for these intangibles I’m giving you. It doesn’t work because it excludes some of these intangibles in a small town hospital. A small town hospital; speaking from a perspective of not only a husband and a father (because I had children born here) but as a pastor who has visited people in the hospital; either at the beginning of their life or the end of their life and anywhere and everywhere in between. So there is something about a community hospital that you feel you belong when you’re in a hospital. I visited one of my parishioners lately, who said, (she lives at Sydenham Residence) she had some blood issues and she’s been released now. She said she was so glad they brought her to the Wallaceburg hospital, she didn’t want to go to Chatham, and she said I belong here. And to me that’s not a criticism, I’ve visited the Chatham hospital, there’s good care there, I’m not about to point my finger at that. What I’m saying is she lives in Wallaceburg, she belongs here.

Mayor Arnold also mentioned about other communities in our catchment area, David McCarron said the same thing, that it’s other areas too that are a part of the Wallaceburg catchment area that feel like they belong to this hospital. Charlotte Elanor Engleheart Hospital said the same thing, its not just Petrolia, its Wyoming, the other communities around there. When I was Pastor there we had lots of people there.

I’ve used the ER for my family. My youngest boy this week, kept us up all night on Monday night and my wife finally took him to the ER with an earache. We were reluctant to do that but it got so bad and we knew there was great care there. My wife had vertigo about a month and half ago and we got excellent care there. I responded to numerous cold blue calls, so have my colleagues in the ministerial. That is just an awful and frightening thing for a family to go through. When you get there and a nurse on emerg says “Brian, this person came in DSA or dead on arrival, the family is waiting for you in the quiet room.” There’s something about the tranquility, the closeness of a community hospital. I’m not saying it can’t happen in Princess Margaret Hospital or a bigger hospital, I’m just saying there’s something about a community where people are rallying. Nurses coming in with a tray of drinks, coffee and refreshments to help, the doctors spending time talking to the family, the pastors there on call, whatever staff is there. There is a community of care that surrounds a hospital like this.

I appreciated statistics that Jeff gave about, you know we’re ill, I hate to say it but we live in a municipality and we have a lot of ill people. We need this hospital. Pastoral care is also part of the accreditation process of our hospital. Our pastors take that very seriously. We consider it part of the holistic care that a patient gets in addition to having a physician, the nursing care. Mayor Arnold also brought up the idea about his municipality has different hospitals that he uses but the proximity for family and friends to be able to visit the person in the hospital. It’s terrible if you have to sit there all day and you don’t have any family around you. The ability to have your family nearby and able to visit helps them feel like they belong to the hospital. I think the key ingredient though, but Jeff didn’t use the word but it was bleeding all over his presentation is the word passion. People in our community have passion for this hospital. I attended some meetings, I’m glad that I did, back in November 2007 at the Legion and then our church hosted the ones in April 2009. Vision planning meetings for our community, all sorts of different community leaders attend these meetings, talking about how we were going to recast vision for our town because of the economic woes we’ve gone through, trying to get ourselves back on our feet; excellent meetings, very energizing. As I listened to the different ideas they came up with, we formed sub-groups that are trying to do different things, the community task force is a part of that, the hospital is almost a common denominator in almost every one of the ideas and the things that we want to attract business, we want to attract industry, well we need a hospital. And so the hospital seemed to be a common denominator and when I hear people talk about the community they talk about with passion. They speak with passion because they have an investment, they bought and paid for this hospital, they support when they had the MRI Campaign, people want to give because they believe it, because it comes back and benefits the people of this community. So this passion is an “intangible” your not going to see it on a spreadsheet, its not going to be a budget item on any funding, but its an intangible, its there, it slithers through and seems to reach every part. And people have passion, like I said I’ve lived in this community since 1993, I feel very much a part of this community, even though I grew up in Windsor, and visit my mom there. I still say I am going home to Windsor and my kids say no home is here because they were born here. Even my oldest daughter, she’s too young to realize she was born in Petrolia. But you know, this is our home, so we feel passionate about it.

I also want to say one more thing; a community hospital is a welcoming center. So that patient has access to their friends and family as I said before. So to remove that is to remove the heart of this community. I know you are going to think, well what about other local communities they don’t have a hospital. I know, but we bought this one, people, no thanks to me, people back in the 50’s and before that paid for and saw ahead and said this is something we need for this community and since then it has grown on us, including people like me who have moved to the community well after this hospital was built and have then benefited by having my children born here, my family ministered to here and my doctor is Dr. Mayo and I’ve haven’t seen him as my doctor for 12 years but if I want to see him I have to go visit my people at the hospital and say hello to him because of doctor shortage. But I feel close to the people here, so if you don’t remember anything else I’ve said think of the word passion, and you’ll have got my point or I will have gotten my point across.

Thank you very much.