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Your gift offers more than just better health in our community

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Your gift offers more than just better health in our community

NHH Foundation Launches Largest Fundraising Campaign in Hospital’s History

NHH Foundation Launches Largest  Fundraising Campaign in Hospital’s History


For Immediate Release
May 3, 2023

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY – On the afternoon of May 3, 2023, at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) Foundation publicly launched the Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign – the largest fundraising campaign in the organization’s history, and in the history of Northumberland County. Addressing a room filled with community supporters, NHH Foundation CEO, Rhonda Cunningham, announced the Foundation’s commitment to raising $25 million to address the significant capital needs NHH is facing.

“A Hospital is so critical to its community and sharing our vision for our ‘next chapter’ is something that has been in the making for over 3 years now,” said Cunningham. “While many will be hearing about our plans for the first time, our hope is that after today, everyone in Northumberland County will have a much deeper understanding of where we must go, what we have set out to accomplish, and how they can help.”

Addressing the crowd, NHH President and CEO, Susan Walsh, spoke to the needs facing the hospital as a result of Northumberland County’s growing and aging population.

“We are here today because of the Visionary leadership and the unwavering support of our community donors,” shared Walsh. “The core of Northumberland Hills Hospital will always be the people and the special, synergistic bond that exists between our dedicated teams and the community who supports them. We have an excellent facility, a broad range of health care services, a talented staff, volunteers, and clinical team, and most importantly, we have a hospital our community can be proud of.”

Walsh went on to detail key projects the Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign will help to fund, including:

  • Replacing both the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scanners
  • Building and equipping a fourth Operating Room
  • Creating a new Integrated Stroke Unit
  • Expanding and centralizing the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • Redeveloping both the Pharmacy and Medical Device Reprocessing Department

This event also celebrated the progress made towards the $25 million goal to date. Throughout a three-year ‘quiet phase’ of the campaign, volunteer leaders and the Foundation team have been working behind the scenes, and thanks to the generosity of the community, $18 million – or 72% – of the goal has already been raised. The $18 million raised to date includes: extraordinary support of more than $2 million from volunteer leadership, a $1 million contribution from NHH Auxiliary, seven naming opportunities, and a total of 133 gifts and pledges, ranging from $100 to more than $1 million, in addition to community support of Foundation annual programs.

Serving as Chair of this campaign is local business leader and long-time resident, Hank Vandermeer, whose dedication and leadership has helped advance the Foundation’s mission to date.

“It has been 3 years since the Foundation placed its trust in me to lead the Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign,” shared Hank Vandermeer. “An intimidating request as fundraising in this magnitude was not something I had experience with – but hey…I love people and I love selling a great product with my team, so I said yes. Yes, because I understand how important it is to have a good hospital. Yes, because we need excellent health care services and programs. Yes, because the Hospital has been there for me and my family throughout my life. I am honoured to have been entrusted to Chair the campaign and I have vowed to stay involved until the last dollar is raised.”

Vandermeer went on to introduce the rest of the volunteer leaders on the Campaign Cabinet, including: Blake Jones, Tom and Teresa Behan, Paul van Laren, Tony Pulla, Dr. Andrew Stratford, Wendy Ito, Jeff Gilmer, Pam Went, Jan Boycott, and Albert Botha. Further to the Cabinet, Vandermeer highlighted efforts are being supported by a Communications Committee of local marketing and communications experts, including volunteers: Joanne Marrison, Ian Everdell, Kate Ingram; as well as NHH Senior Director, Patient Experience, Public Affairs, and Strategic Partnerships, Jennifer Gillard. Lastly, Vandermeer thanked the dedicated Foundation staff team for their efforts.

Towards the end of the presentation, Dr. Andrew Stratford delivered a heartfelt thank you from the frontlines, highlighting the difference community donations make to the entire medical and staff family at NHH as they strive to provide the best care possible to patients.

Leaving the crowd with a call to act, to come together, to support the hospital in its preparations for growth, and to encourage others to do the same, Dr. Stratford shared, “We didn’t come this far, to just go this far.”

In the coming months, Northumberland County residents can expect to hear more about the Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign and ways to get involved. Additional information about the campaign, and how you can support, can be found at

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