Message from the Foundation Chair 2020-2021

As with the rest of the world, 2020-2021 won’t be a year anyone soon forgets! The West

Nipissing General Hospital Foundation continued to focus on providing support and strength to our hospital and community to bring our vision of “the best possible healthcare for West Nipissing and surrounding areas” to life. This year was a year that really highlighted our perseverance and ingenuity.

In September 2019, the WNGH Foundation Board of Directors committed to donating $100,000 to the WNGH for the CT scanner by the end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year. In March 2020, we met this commitment and donated $100,000 to kickstart the CT scanner campaign! Added to our contribution was the tremendously generous donation of an additional $100,000 from Caisse Alliance and many additional community supporters.

On November 10 the CT scanner went live, and the impact was felt immediately! Since November, there have already been 1,447 examinations, of which 1,339 were outpatient exams. This was 1,339 individuals who didn’t have to make an arduous journey out of town to complete a state-of-the-art medical examination.

While most of our usual annual fundraising events were either cancelled or postponed, we are happy to report that we were able to hold our annual Run4Health virtually. This year’s event raised $5,192.57, which was put towards our general equipment fund.

Unfortunately, in light of COVID-19, the WN Fire Services made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Pink T-Shirt Campaign. But, inspired by the universal masking mandates, the WNGH Foundation decided to transform this campaign into the Pink Mask Campaign. Throughout the month of October, we sold pink cloth face masks supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With the amazing support of our community, we were able to raise $2,996.

We recognized that we needed to be creative to continue our long tradition of assisting with equipment purchases. This lead to the implementation of our new monthly 50/50 raffles. What a tremendous success this has become! So far, we have raised over $19,000 for the General Equipment Fund… and have made three lucky community members very happy!

I want to thank Amylee Laforest, Stacey Cuillerier and Cynthia Desormiers for their work that makes the Foundation a success. I would also like to thank our Board members, Collin Bourgeois, Neil Fox, Alex Laferriere, Tina Halverson, Diane Jenner, Marcy Lemieux, Mary Willemsen, Robert Pilon and our newest member, Christine Lalonde, all of whom generously give their time to the Foundation and support all our events.

I want to thank all our community partners for their generous support of the Foundation, whether monetary or time, large or small. Every gift is significant to us as it helps provide quality healthcare in our community.

While we have all become accustomed to virtual meetings and virtual events during the past year, it is more important than ever to remember that we are not virtual people and that all of the efforts of our community and our Foundation are for the sole purpose of helping real people.

Again, thank you for helping make us a leader in healthcare in Northern Ontario!

2020 Board of Directors

Cynthia Désormiers (C.E.O & President)

Cynthia Désormiers is the President & CEO of the West Nipissing General Hospital (WNGH) with 28 years of experience in health care. Cynthia joined the senior management team in 2003 as Assistant Executive Director, Patient Care Services and became the President & CEO in 2009. As a board member and CEO of the WNGH, Cynthia is an active member of the Health Care Quality, Ethics and Finance committees, as well as Medical Staff, Medical Advisory Committee, and Credentials committee. Additionally Cynthia is a board member on the WNGH Foundation and Administrator for the Interim LTC beds. Cynthia is currently the chair of the Nipissing East Parry sound Health Links and a member of the OHA Small Rural Hospital committee and the Northern Teaching Hospital Council.

Cynthia is a resident of West Nipissing, holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Master’s in Health Care Administration degree (MHA). From 1988-2003, Cynthia held various front line positions as a Registered Nurse, was an educator in the Diploma Nursing program and developed, implemented and coordinated the hospital’s Telehealth (OTN) and Diabetes Education programs. Cynthia has been an educator, practitioner, and community resource to various constituencies at a local, district, and provincial levels.

Cynthia is married with three children and enjoys downhill skiing, gardening and traveling.


Tina Halvorsen (Member)Michelle Brouillard (Board Chair)

Michelle joined RBC directly after graduating from Laurentian University. Over the last 27 years she has had the pleasure of working throughout North & Central Ontario, in locations ranging from Fort Frances, her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, to Barrie, Huntsville, North Bay and most recently as the Branch Manager in Sturgeon Falls. Almost as varied as the locations she’s worked at, are the roles she’s worked in.

Michelle has always believed that together we can make a significant difference in the betterment of our communities, through one small act of kindness at a time, coupled with thoughtful action.

Everyone knows that the heart of a community’s well-being is the local Hospital, and the quality of care that is provided. Michelle feels very privileged to be part of such a progressive Foundation whose core vision is to assist our local Hospital in the provision of excellent healthcare to all of our local residents.


Alexandre Laferrière (Vice-Chair)

Alexandre holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in finance both from Laurentian University.

Since 2015, Alexandre has progressed through various roles within the financial service industry. He is currently the Assisted Operations & Transactions Manager at Caisse Alliance for the Nipissing Central Region where he manages a team of frontline professionals. Previously he was a Commercial Account Manager at Caisse Alliance in Sturgeon Falls, where he helped entrepreneurs achieve their objectives by preparing an integrated service offering in order to assist in the growth and development of their businesses.

Alexandre has always been an advocate for the well-being of his community through his passion for helping others.


Marcy Lemieux (Treasurer)

Marcy’s experience in working with a cooperative movement for the past 33 year, has certainly allowed her to develop the abilities required to become a member of our foundation board. She moved through the ranks of Caisse Populaire, starting as a teller to become the Regional Manager of Caisse Alliance Centre de services de Sturgeon Falls in 2018.

Her professional experience and knowledge in several of the key areas required for the role of a board member demonstrates her ability to contribute to the success of the West Nipissing General Hospital Foundation. She believes in the importance of this Foundation and her passion and eagerness  to contribute to the board, show her dedication to the community. She believes in the importance of being able to provide excellent healthcare to all of our local residents.


Collin Bourgeois (Board of Directors)Collin Bourgeois (Board of Directors)

Collin Bourgeois is well known as much for his volunteer work as for his humanitarian efforts. He holds a diploma in Funeral Services from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology (1979) and was awarded an honorary diploma in Health Sciences from College Boréal in 2014.

He has served as General Manager of a most successful funeral home in Sudbury for 21 years. He is presently Chair of the Board of Directors of the West Nipissing General Hospital, was the founding Chair of the West Nipissing Community Health Center, and was elected mayor of the Municipality of French River in the fall 2006 elections.

Collin Bourgeois has a strong sense of civic responsibility and feels compelled to help others around him, and he invests this same commitment to others in his work. As a funeral director at Théorêt-Bourgeois Funeral Home in Sturgeon Falls, he works to appease the suffering of families living through a difficult time. According to Collin, when families feel confident their Funeral Director will take care of all the details, that lightens their burden: that’s why a Funeral Director who is reliable and sensitive to people’s needs is so important.


Tina Halvorsen (Member)Tina Halvorsen (Member)

Tina was born and raised in the small town of Warren with generations of her family being in retail, she loves the people atmosphere and volunteering her time. While raising her son she was on the minor hockey as well as the school committees. She also volunteers at many local events.

Tina and her husband donated part of their land and many hours of their time out in Kipling years ago to build a pond for the ministry of natural resources and the West Nipissing Hunters and Anglers, to help raise fingerlings of pickerel to re-stock our local lakes. Her enthusiasm and energy has brought her to join the WNGHF in hopes to help out with many of our local events. Tina is currently the General Manager at the Comfort Inn, from the time it was being built, she dedicated her time to the project and now her staff and guests.


 

 

Diane Jenner (Member)

 


Robert Pilon (Member)

 


Christine Lalonde (Member)

Dr. Lalonde recently graduated with her Ph.D. in biomolecular sciences from Laurentian University in 2020.  She currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship that is conducted at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and lectures weekly at Nipissing University.  Dr. Lalonde was born in rural Newfoundland and obtained a BBA from Memorial University while serving as a municipal town mayor in the southwestern town of Rose Blanche.  In 2010, she relocated to Northern Ontario to Nipissing First Nation where the community culture reminds her of her own roots–invested in helping one another.   Community service has always been a priority in her life–believing that those who can donate their time to planning and executing services have the ability to create real change–and the local hospital provides necessary physical and mental health services that are, without argument, pinnacle to the wellness of West Nipissing region.