Beth Donovan Project ‘Ready to Move Forward,’ MPP Tells Minister
by Michael Jiggins, Executive Assistant to Steve Clark, MPP, Leeds-Grenville, written November 21, 2013
(QUEEN’S PARK) – Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews has committed to personally looking into a proposal by North Grenville’s Beth Donovan Hospice for funding to create a long-awaited residential hospice in the community.
The minister’s commitment came during questioning by Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark at a recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Estimates at Queen’s Park.
In pressing the minister for her support, Clark stressed, “I think our community has worked well with the LHIN. They’re ready to go. I want them to move forward … (Beth Donovan Hospice) has always provided volunteer residential hospice and now wants to move to the next level of providing that 10-bed model, and they’ve worked quite closely with the Champlain (LHIN).”
In her response at the Oct. 29 committee meeting, Matthews told Clark, “I will happily do that. I will obviously look into that particular request, but there is no question in my mind that the hospices that are being built across this province are providing excellent care to people at the very end of their lives.”
While he said he’s pleased by Matthews’ interest, Clark emphasized what North Grenville needs now is funding to get the service up and running.
“This residential hospice service has been a priority of mine from the moment I was first elected MPP,” said Clark. “I’ve championed it with every CEO of the Champlain LHIN who has held the job and I wanted to use the opportunity at the Estimates Committee to speak directly to the minister.”
Indeed, in his second ever Member’s Statement on April 12, 2010, Clark spoke about the late Beth Donovan, founder of the hospice which serves North Grenville, Merrickville-Wolford and Elizabethtown-Kitley, and the 10-bed residential hospice project that was her passion.
“It is my hope that Beth Donovan’s dream will soon become a reality,” Clark said in his statement.
“Today, more than three years later, I still have that same hope. But we’re at the point where we need the ministry and the Champlain LHIN to turn that hope into action,” said Clark. “The hospice team has put together an outstanding business case and it is clear there is a need for this service in the rapidly growing community of North Grenville.”