The doctor who calms your fears when you were rushed to the Emergency Department. The physiotherapist who gets you back on your feet. The volunteer that comforts you as they wheel you to surgery. The nurse who held your hand as you delivered your baby. Every staff member at the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital (CGMH) has the same goal – to provide you with exceptional care.
Showing Your Appreciation
Have you or a loved one received exceptional care at CGMH and are wondering how you can show your appreciation?
Please consider making a donation to your hospital in honour of the staff member who delivered great care. Your gift will be a meaningful testament to the person you choose to honour; it will also ensure more people have the opportunity to experience similar, extraordinary care.
You will receive a tax receipt for your donation to the Grateful Patient Program.
If you would like to share your grateful patient story, we would love to hear from you. Grateful patient stories inspire our medical staff to continue to do what they do. They also inspire other people to donate to your hospital and impact many other patients.
You can choose to share your story in the comment box when you are making an online donation, or if you prefer, you can either fill out this online form, email your story to us at email@example.com or write us via snail mail at:
459 Hume Street
If you send it by mail, don’t forget to include your name and phone number so we can get in touch with you to say thank you.
Please note: We will send the staff members you chose to honour a thank you card acknowledging your gift. However, we will not disclose the amount of your donation.
"In March 2021 I was admitted after a visit to emerg with an unknown heart issue, after a car accident. As is turns out, the car accident saved my life. Dr. Mark Bonta took the time to really research my existing medical conditions and put all the puzzle pieces together. Fast forward a few weeks, and my third hospital. I was slated for open heart surgery, and the night before, I received an email from him, checking in with me. He remembered me and was genuinely interested in what was going on. He didn’t have to follow up at all, but it tells you everything about his character. I just made a small donation to the Tree of Life, but I would like to say a big Thank you to Dr. Mark Bonta and his top notch colleagues. "
"The first time that Norm needed to have surgery at the Collingwood General & Marine Hospital (CGMH) was following a bad fall on the ski hill where he suffered several broken bones. Luckily, the CGMH surgical care team specializes in orthopaedic procedures that help to stabilize patients in trauma, particularly after sports related injuries. Norm’s second accident requiring surgery was after the “extreme sport of taking out garbage”. “It was in late spring, the garbage bin was in the shade and when I walked out of the shade onto the driveway, I hit a patch of black ice. My feet went up and I landed on my right shoulder and broke my collar bone,” said Norm. His wife Marg recognized right away that they needed to go to the hospital. “Once again, the Emergency Department was wonderful,” Norm recalls. After reading the x-ray, Dr. Olivia Cheng, orthopaedic surgeon, was called and surgery was booked for the very next morning. People come to CGMH for a variety of problems – acute or planned surgeries. But what our surgeons want to do is treat them as quickly and as least invasively as possible. For a patient like Norm, they also take his active lifestyle into consideration. CGMH surgeons want patients to recover quickly and get back on the hill, on their bike or on the pickleball court. They want to make sure their patients are healthy and remain active and able to do what they love."
"Terry Reid and his wife Marilynn decided to leave their busy Toronto life behind and retire in South Georgian Bay. They now spend their days travelling the world, visiting with their 10 grandchildren, skiing in the winter and golfing in the summer. If you met them today, you would say that they are a happy and healthy couple. What you would probably never guess is that just a few months ago Terry was unexpectedly critically ill and between life and death. At the end of January of this year, Terry had an infection. He didn’t have a family doctor in the area, so he contacted his physician in the city, who prescribed him antibiotics. On the 3rd day of his treatment, Marilynn started noticing something wasn’t right. He insisted that he was fine, and encouraged her to go about her usual day. Fast forward a few hours, Marilynn received a phone call from Terry, telling her he was feeling worse. Thankfully she was already on her way home. As soon as she got in the door she knew something was terribly wrong. Marilynn immediately went into action taking his temperature and vitals and called 911. Terry’s infection had migrated into sepsis. “If you read Dr. Google you will see that many people with sepsis don’t live to tell the story,” said Terry. “The only reason I am still alive today is because of my amazing wife Marilynn’s quick response, along with the extremely talented staff at the Collingwood G&M Hospital (CGMH)”, he added. “The speed and expertise with which they took care of me was incredible.” Marilynn also recalls; “It was so impressive to see how triage works. There were 6 other ambulances when we got to CGMH – a sign of the demands in our small Emergency Department. Someone had to prioritize who was the most critical patient, and at that time Terry was definitely it. His blood pressure was dropping quickly at 60/40 and his heart rate was extremely high at 140 bpm. Sepsis is very vicious on your organs.” However, both Terry and Marilynn said there was never a time when they were not confident in the skills of the CGMH staff; “Within minutes of our arrival, Terry was expertly diagnosed and medical intervention started. But it wasn’t just the physicians; it was all the staff. The lab turned the blood work around so quickly, the x-ray technicians were remarkable, and we cannot say enough about the nurses in ICU” Marilynn fondly remembers that one ICU nurse told her to go home to try to get some sleep and gave her a direct phone number to call if she needed an update. Every time Marilynn called, the nurse picked up immediately. “Everyone was so positive, and they just wanted to do what was right for Terry,” says Marilynn. Terry and Marilynn still have many friends and family in the city. When they heard Terry had sepsis, they asked why they weren’t having him transferred to a bigger hospital. “A lot of people associate the size of the hospital with its capabilities – what they forget is that it’s all about the expertise of the people who provide care. The fact that the hospital is old or small doesn’t mean anything. The level of expertise and compassion of every physician, nurse and staff member encountered at CGMH was incredible. I felt totally cared for by people who knew exactly what they were doing,” said Terry. Marilynn agreed; “That is why it is so important for the community to engage, to donate to this great cause, and to become aware of all of the amazing innovations that are "
"I am a patient at the Dialysis Unit of the Collingwood G&M Hospital. Next month I will complete my first year at CGMH. This has been a year of ups and downs, but when it comes to treatment at MY dialysis unit, I could not have asked for more. The care, consideration and attention, that I have received, is beyond anything I could hoped for, in respect to my overall care. "
"I am an employee at the G&M Hospital and, as expected in a community hospital, we provide care for our “loved ones” from time to time. As it happens, in the last 10 days there have been 2 of my “loved ones” through our doors; from the Emergency Room to Diagnostic Imaging to the Operating Room, into Ambulatory Care and onto the Surgical Floor. As an Operating Room nurse, I especially want to express the pride I feel for my skilled and caring co-workers and to thank all of our talented anaesthetists and surgeons. On top of those front line workers, I must also acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all behind the scenes staff. From the Medical Device Reprocessing Department – MDRD (where they make sure all surgical tools and medical equipment are sterilized), through to the Foundation, all of whom make it possible for us to do the job we do with the most well-functioning up to date equipment available to us. My thanks also go out to the generous folks in our community that support us so reliably both monetarily and with your time as volunteers. Respectfully, Elaine Banks, RN"
"We’re Rita & Peter Premich, born, raised & married in small town, Saskatchewan. Rita was blessed to be living directly across the street from the only doctor for miles around, lucky enough to have a tiny rural type hospital practically in her backyard, while Peter & his farming family, had a hard time accessing crucial, necessary services. We moved to Ontario in 1962, Toronto (62-64), Brampton (64-98), before retiring to Wasaga Beach, 22+ years ago. While keeping fond memories of vacation times with our young family, enjoyed at cottages near the longest fresh water beach in the world, we chose a retirement home with biking, walking, hiking trails, fresh air, wide open spaces, close proximity to airport, plus a small town hospital nearby, should we ever have an emergency! It’s sad & embarrassing for us to remember how misinformed we were to have prioritized our wants by minimizing the value we should have placed on our hospital! At that time we believed CGMH was mostly a hospital for Collingwood residents. Come on now, how ignorant & sad is that? We work at staying healthy & fit, so as not to use the hospital/health care system unnecessarily. Last summer we biked from our home in Wasaga Beach all the way to Sunset Point in Collingwood, had lunch by the water & biked back. We’re proud of this achievement. We may be seniors, but we’re not dead yet! No matter what age or experience one has, it’s proof positive, there’s no end to the learning that awaits each new day, providing we commit to an open mind, therefore we feel compelled during this COVID-19 Pandemic to tell Our Story and explain why we’ve become so passionate about CGMH. In the early years of our move to Wasaga Beach, CGMH ran information sessions at Collingwood’s Senior Centre, spearheaded by a lady named Jory Pritchard-Kerr. Interesting seminars, with news about the happenings at the hospital, introducing new doctors, specialists, innovative ideas, meeting CEO etc….We attended many of these, but in our ignorance, we never understood what the word “Foundation“ meant, or how it tied in with a hospital. As we look back on it now, reading the literature we brought home from these seminars would have helped! Sheesh! Many more years passed & we continued to use the hospital minimally for things like X-rays, tests, small surgeries, etc…. Occasionally we’d find ourselves in the hospitals’ basement, curious about the sign “Foundation” in front of an open doorway. Fearful, it might be a forbidden area, we didn’t dare go inside, but one day while cautiously peeking in, the welcoming voice of Alison Sheffer caught us red handed, with the words: “Yes, can I help you?” We couldn’t run away, so we walked in, & had the whole Purpose for the Foundation Sign explained to us, met everyone, including a familiar face, Jory Pritchard-Kerr. The same “Seminar Lady at the Senior Centre” many years earlier. Unbeknownst to us, Jory was part of the “Foundation”. My, my, my, the innocence of ignorance! We were offered a tour of the hospital, accepted, & on that very day, our mindset was changed forever! Until curiosity about the Foundation sign got the best of us, we always believed hospitals were entirely funded by the government – Wrong! We learned more & more facts on return visits, and became so interested. Our curiosity, turned into education, that led to knowledge, that caused pride in “our” hospital, and a desire to be part of the solution. We quickly became “Friends Of The Foundation” with a new understanding, becoming passionate, & can honestly admit there isn’t much we wouldn’t do in support of CGMH! We’re not leaders, but volunteer as often as we can, donate as much as we can, SO if anyone reading this story is a leader & has ideas as to how to drive much needed funds towards this hospital we’d throw ourselves behind that leader 150%. But wait this story doesn’t end here! More than 3 yrs ago, while spending the winter in Florida, Peter had chest pains, was rushed to a Big City Florida Hospital by ambulance. His heart was believed to be the cause, so he was hooked up, had various tests, spent the night in a hospital hallway, reassured the next day his heart was fine, & released. A few days later, same thing happened, again his heart was checked & he was released, however the chest pains persisted, so eventually insurance offered to fly us home, transport our vehicle (empty!) or as an alternative they’d cover Peter for 5 days, if the same problem surfaced on our drive home. Unable to leave our belongings behind, uncertain if we’d even be able to return, we decided to take the 5 day travel insurance offer. An easy 2 day drive, took us more than a heart wrenching, difficult 5 days, in stormy, cold Jan/2017. We arrived on a Thursday night late, but, at 5:00 A.M. next morning, Peter was again rushed to CGMH with, (you guessed it!) more of the same chest pains. Within a few hours of arrival, the emergency doctor on call found the problem. It was not his heart. He had a blood clot lodged in his lung. Peter was told a flight home may very well have killed him. He’s been on the same medication he was prescribed on that day, ever since. He was referred to cardiologist, Dr. Smiley, in case the Florida Hospital missed something. After a series of tests/follow-ups, etc…., we were assured all was well with Peter’s heart, confident we received the very best treatment possible. The Big Fancy Florida hospital kept testing only his heart & coming up with the same answer, while our little small town, innovative, cutting edge hospital, with its array of talented medical professionals knew there was something more in his chest, than only his heart. CGMH took a blood test plus a CT-Scan 1st. Florida did not take a CT-scan on any of the return visits to their hospital. CGMH found the problem quickly. Within a few hours Peter’s problem was detected, & treated with the medication he’s been on ever since. For us this is a David & Goliath Story, with David emerging as the Big Winner! To say we’re grateful is an understatement…. The support of all surrounding communities is crucial to keep this hospital as current as possible, while we all work towards the new one. Hopefully we’ll still be around to reap the benefits, of a brand new facility, but if we’re not, imagine what an amazing gift we’d be leaving for future generations? The morale of our story: “Give in to curiosity, & give in to donations”. Especially during this unsettling time in all our lives. Either one could save your life one day."
"Cindy James loves being outdoors. All year around she finds herself outside either on long walks with her dog, or biking when it’s warm and skiing when it’s not. She’s originally from Ancaster, but during the winter months, Cindy spends her time enjoying the South Georgian Bay slopes, working as a ski patroller. Every year she rents a place in Collingwood with a few friends, and they make the best of what winter has to offer. Cindy has been skiing since she can remember, and has never had a serious ski injury before. Until this last ski season, that is. It was a cold winter day and Cindy was skiing with friends when suddenly she found herself lying on the snow, having to count on the help of her fellow ski patrollers. After riding an ambulance to the Collingwood G&M Hospital (CGMH), going through the Emergency Department and being assessed by the orthopaedic team, it turns out Cindy had broken both her arm and her leg on the right side and needed surgery to help heal properly. Although this was not how Cindy had planned for her day to go, she recalls everything in a very positive way: “my experience as a CGMH patient was amazing since the beginning, which put me on the right track for my recovery. From the moment I was put in that ambulance to when I was discharged from the hospital, I felt really special, like people cared about me,” said Cindy. After undergoing orthopaedic surgery, Cindy stayed in the hospital for 24 hours and was very impressed: “I was overwhelmed with the friendliness & professionalism of everyone that crossed my path. Even the food was amazing – and I am not a foodie. The first time I could eat after my surgery, a blueberry scone appeared on my tray. I was a bit skeptical but took a little piece – next thing I know I had eaten the whole scone. I usually don’t even eat a full muffin, but this was too good to leave behind. And this kept happening with every meal that was brought to me. I was told that they had started a new food program in the hospital and all I can say is that it was amazing. Every time someone came to collect my tray I sent compliments to the food services staff,” recalled Cindy. Before Cindy was discharged, Dr. Collings gave her a date and time to come back to the hospital for his fracture clinic. “I immediately started to dread it. I had been to fracture clinics in the past and it was usually a long difficult day of checking in, and a whole lot of waiting: for the x-ray, to be seen, to get a follow-up. But when I arrived at CGMH, the process was so smooth and efficient from registration, to x-ray to seeing the surgeon and everyone in follow-up. There was not much waiting and plenty of time to answer my questions.” It only took a few minutes for Cindy to see Dr. Collings and Roger (the orthopaedic technician), who gave her a new brace. “Just like that I was done, ready to go back home and continue my recovery. Everyone was so lovely, pleasant, efficient and so forthcoming with information,” she said. Cindy is now recovering from home, doing her physio exercises, and continuing to get stronger by the day. “Even though I only live in Collingwood part-time, I am so thankful I was able to receive the care I needed while I was here. I am especially grateful for the all talented people who work at CGMH”, remarked Cindy."
"Barry and JoAnn Suitor are soon celebrating 27 years of marriage. They are both grateful for every day they get to spend together. Life has thrown both of them some curve balls but they were always able to surpass every challenge, with a healthy dose of positivity combined with the most amazing care from the doctors and nurses who crossed their path. In early 2012 Barry and JoAnn moved from Regina to Wasaga Beach, Ontario to be closer to their family and friends, just 7 months after Barry had lost part of his lower leg. As with anyone who moves to a new city, Barry & JoAnn did not have a family doctor in Wasaga Beach. One day Barry had to get his prescriptions refilled and went to the same-day clinic in Collingwood. Dr. Caroline Bowman was the doctor in the clinic that day. When she saw Barry’s prosthetic leg, she wanted to hear the full story. So Barry explained: “In December 2011 we went to southern Ontario to spend Christmas with our family. A few days after arriving I knew something was terribly wrong with my right ankle – the pain was intolerable. My wife JoAnn took me to a nearby hospital as I was displaying severe infection symptoms and getting weaker by the minute. A day after being admitted and then transferred to ICU I was diagnosed with Necrotizing Fasciitis, commonly known as flesh eating disease. I was in pretty bad shape.” Eleven days and 3 surgeries later, Barry & JoAnn were confronted with the decision of whether or not to amputate his leg. Although the surgical team had done an amazing job of stopping the spread of the disease, the Plastic Surgeon felt the area would pose continuing problems down the road. Therefore they left the decision up to Barry and JoAnn. Barry said the choice was really quite easy as he didn’t want a life of inevitable issues. JoAnn agreed, and 2 hours later he was taken into surgery for the lower leg amputation. Despite this outcome, Barry continued to display an extremely positive attitude which doctors and family voiced had kept him alive through it all. JoAnn said “he never allowed himself to get down. Yes, there was the odd tear but he had a remarkable it-could-be-worse, get-on-with-life attitude”. After hearing what Barry had been through and knowing he required ongoing care, Dr. Bowman agreed to take the couple in as patients with no hesitation, despite the fact that she wasn’t accepting new patients at the time. “To this day we feel so lucky to have found her. Dr. Bowman has been there for us over and over, she’s remarkable, as well as her support staff,” said Barry. About a year later, it was JoAnn who was not well. “I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer”, said JoAnn. “I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma in my early 30s, so I had some experience with dealing with that kind of news. What was remarkable to me was the speed with which Dr. Bowman dealt with my diagnosis. She called Dr. Lisi right away and I was in to see him the very next day! Within a month he was performing the surgery that saved my life.” Fast forward to spring 2019, JoAnn noticed her leg was very red and given she had a nursing background she knew something was wrong. She decided to go see Dr. Bowman, who ordered an ultrasound for the next day to have a closer look at what it might be. As it turned out it was a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot, which can travel to one of your main organs and take your life in an instant. “Given the severity of my case, the ultrasound technologist immediately called Dr. Bowman’s office with my report. I was sent to her office and by the time I got there we were able to go over my course of treatment and medications”, said JoAnn. JoAnn was amazed that this all happened in less than 24 hours. “Within a few hours of being diagnosed I was home and on appropriate medication. We are so grateful for the medical care we have received since we moved here. People like to point out that the Collingwood G&M Hospital is old, but when it comes to the people within the hospital walls, they are extraordinary,” JoAnn noted. Barry and JoAnn could not be more thankful for Dr. Bowman, Dr. Lisi and for CGMH: “It really gives you peace of mind to know that this quality of care is readily available; you know you are going to be taken care of right away and that is priceless. There’s something to be said about small communities and small hospitals. From the volunteers, to the staff in all departments, to the doctors and nurses at CGMH… they are all top notch. We feel very fortunate – it would be really tough to move away from here.”"
"On Sunday, June 7, 2020 I needed Emergency Room Treatment. From check in to send off many hours later, I was treated with care and respect for all my needs. It was an afternoon of Nurses’ questions, Doctors’ examinations, x-rays, ultra-sounds, more examinations and an egg salad sandwich. The professional Medical Team diagnosed the issue, gave me a prescription for medication and sent me on my way home to get well. We have the good fortune to have a wonderful hospital with caring professionals looking after our healthcare needs, and it is apparent that this isn’t just a job to them, but a dedication to our community. Thank you Emergency Room Staff for your kind care and understanding treatment. Yet another reason to be proud of our Collingwood Community."
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