Your legacy for better healthcare

Apr 13th, 2018 | By | Category: Health & Safety, Healthy Living

Sometimes, your kindness can touch the lives of others in ways you could have never imagined.  During your lifetime you’ve probably supported charitable organizations that are important to you, and with those gifts, you’ve helped to make your community, and our world, a better place.

If you’ve supported one of the hospitals in our region, you’ve made an important contribution to better healthcare for everyone.  After all, we all need hospital care at some time, whether it’s an unexpected visit to the Emergency Room, a scheduled appointment for diagnostic tests, or for a stay of days or weeks to be treated for a serious illness or injury.

Most people are surprised to learn that their taxes don’t cover all the costs of the advanced care we’ve come to expect.  Did you know, for example, that the cost of purchasing new tools and technology must be covered by donations from people like you and me?  Under the current funding formula, the government pays for the cost of maintaining and repairing hospital equipment, but to replace old, outdated technology, or buy a new surgical tool, MRI machine or bedside monitor, hospitals in Ontario depend on donations from their supporters.

If you want to build on the meaningful contribution you’ve made, and help provide even better healthcare for those you leave behind, you may want to consider naming your favourite hospital in your will.  You can also make a future gift by naming a hospital the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or of registered funds like your RRSP, RRIF or TFSA.

Your legal and financial advisors can help you determine the gift that is best for your personal and financial situation.

“You don’t have to be wealthy to leave a bequest.  Most people who include a gift in their will for Queensway Carleton Hospital give a percentage of what’s left over after gifts for family and loved ones,“ says Nadine Fowler, Personal and Planned Giving Associate with the QCH Foundation.  “No matter the amount, you’ll be contributing to the health and healing of patients, and that’s a priceless gift.”

Sometimes, the impact on patient care is remarkable.  Dorothy Smith’s* gift is a perfect example.

After talking to her financial advisor, Dorothy decided to name the Queensway Carleton Hospital the beneficiary of her RRIF funds.  The Foundation agreed that when her gift was received, it would be used to support the care of patients in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Both Dorothy and her husband had been patients in QCH’s ICU.  Dorothy was grateful for the care they’d received and this was her way of giving back.  She’d always supported the hospital with small gifts, but she wanted her legacy to do more.

When Dorothy passed away in 2015 the hospital received the funds remaining in her RRIF.  Thanks in part to this thoughtful legacy, Queensway Carleton Hospital has been able to buy advanced vital signs monitors and upgrade the ICU’s telemetry system so that nurses are immediately alerted to any change in a patient’s condition.  Sometimes, this leads to life-saving interventions!

This year, Dorothy’s gift helped support the purchase of a new exercise machine that is being used in a research study. Led by Queensway Carleton Hospital ICU nurses, the research assesses how exercise, coupled with other aspects of care, contributes to the healing and recovery of ICU patients.

In November 2017, ICU nurses Cindy Cashman and Michelle Howland presented their findings at medical conference where attendees commented that this study could lead to a new model of care for ICU patients – not just in Canada, but around the world!

Were it not for the legacy donation that funded the equipment used in this study, the research would not have been possible.

Your legacy gift to Queensway Carleton Hospital could lead to advances that are just as exciting.

Talk to your lawyer, your financial advisor and your family about the legacy you want to leave behind.  With a future gift you could help improve healthcare for our community and touch the lives of many patients for years to come.

*Name changed at the request of the family and to protect the donor’s privacy.

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