Palliative Care Project
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In 2017 when the Strathroy Rotary Club was looking for another major community project to commit to, the group as a whole did a brainstorming activity where several ideas came to life. However, after the club voted, the one idea that kept rising naturally to the top was the hospice aspect but specifically a Palliative Care Room which was of need in our community hospital. 

Three representatives from the hospital, Rosemary Frketich, VP of Clinical Services and CNO of Middlesex Hospital Alliance, Sue McLean, CFRO CEO of the Hospital Foundation and Todd Stepanuik, President & CEO of MHA, presented their idea for the room at a Rotary meeting with a price tag of $200,000. The Club voted to commit to the project on the condition that they did not want to be financially responsible for any asbestos removal. Todd informed club members that there was a government grant for asbestos removal of $45,000 and that would go against the initial commitment of $200,000.

Following the decision by Strathroy Rotary to commit to the Palliative Care Project, the architects sent photos to the club of what the space would look like and then Ana Couto and Shari Terwilligar took on the responsibility of getting the decorating ideas together. 




They presented a decorating board at one of the club’s meetings with ideas for paint colours, fabric swatches, furniture, layout, etc. and the club then had final say on which they preferred for the space. Some of highlights of the room would be a fold out double bed, a chair that converts into a twin bed and it was also decided to go ahead with a bathroom that included a shower.  All of these seemed essential in order for families to be more comfortable in case they did not want to leave their loved ones. With the clubs funds, Shari and Ana also took on the responsibility of purchasing miscellaneous supplies for the room, such as coffee maker, microwave, coffee, toiletries, etc., for more conveniences.

Ana Couto and Shari Terwilligar along with Nate Parsons, who was a co-chair with Ana on this project committee, were all very involved from the beginning right to the end of the whole Palliative Care Unit process. Other committee members that need to be recognized were Jen Veeke, Mark Hornyak, Sarah Bongers and Max Trglavcnik.  Of course, the rest of the club was very involved in the major fundraisers and volunteered their time to help organize 2 trivia nights and 3 golf tournaments that would, combined, raise a total of $80,000 towards the end goal.  




The remainder of the funds came from a abundance of donations made through the Hospital Foundation.  Progressive Countertop from Strathroy donated the countertops and the art in the room was painted and donated by Keith Blackwell.

Project construction began in February 2019 with the grand opening celebrations and open house taking place June 26, 2019.



Strathroy Rotary Club along with the Middlesex Hospital Alliance takes great pride in this major project and it has been noted that the room brings great comfort and privacy to folks who find themselves in the situation of wanting to be with their loved one at such a difficult time.  Please hit the play button on the video below for further testimony as to the importance of this worthwhile project.