Stevenson Memorial Hospital

Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation

You need the right tools to do a good job

Dr. Ted Vandevis Alliston Herald Saturday, January 8, 2022

My family moved to the Jackson Farm on the 9th Line of Tecumseth Township in 1968. I attended Tecumseth North Central, Beeton Central and later Banting Memorial High School.

We set out to raise veal calves on our 15-acre plot. My job as a 12-year-old that summer was to demolish the inside of the bank barn — it had been built in 1906 — to accommodate new wooden stalls that I was to build, as well.

My dad, Marinus Vandevis, hired a friend of mine, Dan Rupke, and together we got started disassembling the old box stalls, stanchions, feed troughs and gutters. We encountered a few spider webs and a multitude of flaky layers of whitewash, and had a huge bonfire to get rid of the waste. Ironically, now you could sell the half-metre-wide planks for almost enough money to fund a new hospital.

The first evening, after having worked hard all day, my dad came home with a brand-new sledgehammer, wheelbarrow, Estwing hammers and pry bars for us to use in the demo. Wow, did it ever make our job easier and more pleasant.

I told him I couldn’t believe he would spend that much money to make our jobs easier. He said something I will always remember: “Ted, if you’re going to do a good job, you need the right tools.”

That was 52 years ago, and it still rings true in my brain today. Unfortunately, he is only with us in spirit now, as he died 15 years ago.

It is my goal that 73,000 residents of the catchment area Stevenson Memorial Hospital serves will donate to give our doctors, nurses and medical staff the right tools they need to continue to provide quality health care in our community.

In addition to many other types of machines and equipment they are going to need, a telephone and paging system for the entire hospital, analyzers and diagnostic equipment for the lab, and automated medication dispensing unit upgrades (Acudose) are but a few.

The provincial government contributes toward annual ongoing operational expenses and will fund a portion of the new expansion and renovation of the current building. It does not fund equipment purchases. That is left to our community to look after.

If each household gives a gift that is a meaningful to them, we can reach our goal. For example, if each individual in our community gives $100 per year for three years, we will collectively raise $21.9 million of that $43 million. We will have done our part to give our medical staff, nurses and doctors the “right tools they need to do a good job.” It will take every one of us 73,000 individuals to make this work.

Dr. Ted Vandevis is a strategic adviser for the “Because of you, we can” campaign.