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Tax levy proposed to help hospital foundation fill gaps

The Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation is looking for around $860,000 from Cambridge council for 2020
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Finding efficiencies has been the name of the game under this provincial government. 

Couple that with a possible deficit of $100,000 and it becomes clear that it may be tough year to get a spot on Cambridge's budget. 

Executive Director for the Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation Lisa Short doesn't focus on that challenge, but rather the good that could be done with a well-funded hospital.

That's why she went to Cambridge City Council last night, proposing a one per cent tax levy on Cambridge residents which would give the foundation around $860,000 in 2020.

"My job last evening was to explain the amount of money that we are able to invest in the hospital each year versus the needs that the hospital has for equipment moving forward, and into the future," explained Short in an interview with 570 NEWS. "One-hundred per cent of the funding at this time comes from the community for equipment."

Short said that the Cambridge Memorial Hospital is by no means the only one in this situation, but it is seeing a gap in funding nonetheless.

That's especially important given that the long-awaited additional wing is set to be moved into on January 18 of next year.

"I think I just want the community to understand how we're funded," said Short. "I'm a member of this community, I'm raising my family here. I want folks to have the very best, and right now there is a gap in the amount we're able to raise through the community."

The hospital foundation said they need to invest around $5 million per year into the facilities, while they currently sit at just $3 million per year.

Not only that, but Short explained that they also have $2.3 million in funding still to be raised in the $10 million campaign for initial equipment costs.

She added that one of the ways to help is to call your local city councillor in Cambridge.

"I think the councillors are always looking to hear from the community," explained Short. "Sometimes I sit back and don't speak out on different issues and platforms that come by. If there are folks that understand the importance of health care, and believe it's important to a thriving community, I think the councillors would love to hear that voice at the table." 

Another way you can help is by donating on this Giving Tuesday.

Despite the shortages, Short described a great excitement in the foundation for the new wing's move-in day: January 18.

"I've been in the new wing, I've seen the expansion, it is a game-changer, it is good news for our community," said Short.

You can come see it for yourself on January 11 during the open house.




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