CGMH Wellness Innovation Fund


The Foundation created a dedicated endowment fund, The CGMH Wellness Innovation Fund, designed to generate monies from investments for Community sponsored wellness innovation projects, each year, forever.

The Halls assumed the role as lead donors and provided $100,000 of funding. The Foundation convinced the Halls that the Fund needed broader Community support and capital of at least $250,000 to provide sufficient income to fund meaningful projects. The Halls responded with an additional $75,000 of matching funds and the Foundation mobilized to find additional community donors to reach the required funding goal. Quickly the community stepped up – a dozen new donors responded, and the goal was met – and the search for community-based Wellness Innovation projects commenced.


Please find below our introduction to this new community initiative; a partnership between our Foundation, our Collingwood hospital, healthcare service providers and community wellness stakeholders throughout South Georgian Bay.

Read on about the Fund’s Mission, and the five Innovative projects awarded grants to date by the Fund. Be excited with us and join the Founding donors to enhance the value of the Endowment. Or, plan to gather your not-for-profit group to propose a Wellness enhancement program and in October apply for a grant from the Fund.

The details follow!

Barbara & Larry Hall, Lead Donors.


Larry and Barb Hall’s connection with South Georgian Bay runs deeply, beginning in the late 1960’s with seasonal visits to ski with their family at the Alpine Ski Club. Occasional family member visits to the CGMH emergency department convinced them of the importance of a best-in-class hospital in the area. And Larry got involved, facilitating the planning for one of the Hospital’s first major fund-raising drives. Fast forward to the Fall of 2017, Barb and Larry had witnessed the growth of the Hospital Foundation, its impact on helping to foster excellence in care delivery at the Hospital. Importantly, the Hospital had attracted a cadre of best-in-class medical, support and administrative staff. South Georgian Bay was also growing with its people presenting challenging high expectations for service delivery. The Foundation had responded to this challenge, progressively raising the required monies to fund innovation. The Foundation’s focus was mostly on funding tools – the equipment that facilitated superb patient treatment and outcomes. Concurrently, the Hospital’s staff had created a hotbed of treatment innovation unparalleled in a rural hospital of its size in Ontario

But, as observed by the Halls, the growing health innovation talent outside of the Hospital in the community could be better challenged and fostered. What was needed, thought the Halls, was a source of seed capital to encourage and fund innovative wellness projects in Southern Georgian Bay Communities. The Foundation’s response to the Halls challenge was swift and effective – the result-  the CGMH Foundation Wellness Innovation Fund.


Late in 2017 the Foundation reached out to the community to invite funding applications from not-for-profit groups for proposals that were “innovative, creative, collaborative and that would deliver improved wellness outcomes”. And the community responded quickly and “creatively” with numerous proposals. Since inception, the Foundation has selected and funded five innovative community project

2018 – Be Well Community Collective

A community Collective of the Georgian Bay Family Health Team, the Simcoe/Muskoka Health Unit, and Healthy Kids Collingwood striving to improve health of children ages 2-11.

Wellness Innovation provided the seed monies to help the Collective create an interactive website for kids and their family to lean about life-long healthy habits and navigate families to community support services. Visit: 

2019: The Living Wish Foundation

“Reframing Hope One Wish at a Time”. Living Wish is the brainchild of three outstanding and caring health professionals, Dr. Alyssa Boyd, Nancy Good-Kennedy, and Lisa Wright.

Their mission – to improve the end of life process helping people and their families to experience a final wish together. Wellness Innovation provided the funding for Living Wish to create a CRA eligible charitable corporation. Be inspired, visit:

2019: The Innovation Navigator Research Program

A creation of Dr. Michael Lisi, CGMH Chief of Staff and his colleagues at the Rural Ontario Medical Program (ROMP) designed to identify and to provide scientific rigour to medical/community innovation initiatives and to ensure documentation and promulgation of the best through to implementation.

The Wellness Innovation Fund joined with other CGMHF donors to support the creation and initial program funding of this important initiative.

2020: The South Georgian Bay Parkinson Disease Awareness Program

Parkinson’s has a significant presence in South Georgian Bay communities. The disease will have a much more prevalent presence in these rapidly growing communities. The projected aging demographics will also significantly accelerate the presence of this disease. The existing local Parkinson’s Support Group and the “Living Better with Parkinson’s” program teams are convinced that South Georgian Bay can and should become a Centre of Excellence for the early diagnosis and non-invasive fitness and lifestyle-based treatment of the disease. These community groups believe that a critical component of this “Excellence” is Parkinson Disease “AWARENESS” targeting   healthcare practitioners, Persons with Parkinson’s (PWP) and families within these communities. Improving quality of life for PWP is the goal and AWARENESS is a critical component for the desired early diagnosis and meaningful treatment outcomes.

The CGMH/ROMP Navigator Research Program has accepted the “AWARENESS” challenge. Led by Dr. Michael Lisi and Michelle Hunter, researchers will do a base line study charting the incidence and trends in South Georgian Bay for Parkinson Disease. Navigator will then develop tools to educate and engage healthcare professionals, PWP and members of the Southern Georgian Bay communities. Navigator will conduct the required research, tool development and communication programs.

The Collingwood Squash and Fitness Centre-based “Living Better” team will provide background briefings, advice and linkages to major organisations in the Parkinson’s research and PWP support worlds, including: Parkinson Canada, Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s, Michael J Fox Foundation, Southwestern Ontario Society for Parkinson’s, Community Connection (Dial 211) and the Collingwood Parkinson Disease Support Group.

The Wellness Innovation Fund is providing the required monies to hire Navigator/ROMP medical student researchers for six-months of program development and to fund creation of AWARENESS materials and communication programs. Program currently on Covid-19 induced hold.

2020: The Green Prescription Program (GPP)

The lead sponsor, the Wasaga-based South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre (SGBCHC) is a not-for-profit organization  convinced that “regular time in outdoor green space is associated with better mental and physical health outcomes”. The GPP team aims to convince healthcare practitioners to “prescribe time in the natural environment as part of their clients’ health care plans”. The GPP team, lead by SGBCHC’s Erika Haney and Heather Klein Gabbinck, has gathered an impressive group of committed South Georgian Bay healthcare and outdoor stakeholders.

GPP’s focus – clients with lower incomes with multiple health issues facing barriers to access exercise and nature. The 50-person pilot will be run by the SGBCHC and will include Green Prescription referrals by health practitioners for client outdoor/nature independent and supervised programs. A Green Prescription module will be developed for inclusion in each participant’s electronic medical record. The program will proceed in three phases: Resource Development – 6 months; Field Work – 1 year: and Evaluation and Reporting – 4 months.

The Wellness Innovation Fund is providing seed monies for SGBCHC to launch and evaluate the GPP three phase program. Program currently on a Covid-19 induced hold.


Although the Fund has reached its initial funding target exceeding $250,000, so much more needs to be done to ensure South Georgian Bay continues its leadership in Community-based wellness innovation – the best place in Ontario to live, work, play and be healthy! Consider joining the Halls and the other dozen donors to build this special endowment fund. Programs like the ones highlighted above await your arrival!!

You can support the CGMH Wellness Innovation Fund with an outright gift now or as a legacy gift in your estate plan. Many donors are finding that gifts of marketable securities or insurance policies are an attractive and effective way to achieve both their philanthropic and financial goals. Smart philanthropy!

Please email, to discuss a gift towards the CGMH Wellness Innovation Fund.

Do you have an innovative wellness project and want to apply for funding from the CGMH Wellness Innovation Fund?

Please contact Jory Pritchard-Kerr for more information. Application deadline for 2020 is November 30th


Phone: 705-444-8645

  • Lead applicant is defined as the group submitting the proposal and responsible for the project/program’s management
  • Lead applicant must be located within core CGMH Service Area (Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, The Blue Mountains, Clearview Township and neighboring communities in the Municipality of the Grey Highlands).
  • Preference will be given to not for profit or charitable organizations. Applicants residing within for-profit organizations will be required to apply through a not for profit sponsor organization.
Project/program outcomes must:

  • Take place within the CGMH Service Area
  • Enhance health and wellness for patients, citizens or visitors to the core service area
  • Be clearly innovative and collaborative in nature
  • For programs/projects currently in existence, the proposal must decrease delivery costs and/or improve effectiveness
  • The purpose or core outcome of the proposal must not be to increase revenue for a for-profit organization or individual