Dundas St. Joseph’s Villa Margaret’s Place Hospice construction underway

Mar 6, 2020

Mar 02, 2020 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

While the St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation works to make up a $600,000 capital funding gap, and create an ongoing operating fund, for Margaret’s Place Hospice, a foundation staff member is putting her own talents toward the cause.

Chief development officer, and well-known local singer, Sarena Paton, and her husband Fernando Lima present a hospice benefit concert on Sunday, March 15, 3 p.m., at St. Augustine’s Church in Dundas.

“We’re honoured to share our voices for a cause we believe in. Music connects all of us. Music heals. Music comforts,” Paton said. “Since music and arts therapy will be an important part of the support services we offer at Margaret’s Place, we’re thrilled to be able to perform together and thank the community for their support.”

Construction on the hospice building began in January with site preparation and digging of utility and sewer lines. Costs for the estimated 14- to 16-month project have escalated, but foundation staff say community support is also building.

“We are amazed by the community’s continued generosity and commitment to see this project forward,” said foundation president Don Davidson. “With over $12.2-million raised through community donations alone, we have now raised the most funds ever to support a hospice in Ontario. It’s a proud moment for Dundas and our surrounding areas.”

Ontario’s Ministry of Health provides a maximum of $200,000 in capital costs for each bed, for a total of $2-million for construction.

The ministry also provides up to $105,000 per bed annually in operating expenses, or a maximum of $1.05-million a year.

The Villa foundation must establish a Margaret’s Place Hospice Care Fund to provide an additional $520,000 per year, and will rely on community fundraising.

“At this point, every gift matters,” Davidson said. “The construction period for Margaret’s Place gives us time to prepare for when doors open to serve patients and families in the spring (or) summer of 2021.”

Hospice care is provided at no cost to patients and their families. In addition to the 10 residential hospice beds, Margaret’s Place is expected to provide community outreach and day programs for families in need.

While supportive of the hospice services, vision and goals, some immediate neighbours have expressed concerns about the size of the hospice structure planned for the villa campus.

Ron Fulton, a resident of the Villa Estates life lease condos next to the construction site, said fencing has been put up very close to the 160 Ogilvie Villa Estates building, creating standard construction site impacts such as mud tracking from the site, noise, truck traffic and parking.

“Gone are the pathways and grassed areas once used by Villa and Estates residents,” Fulton said.

But he said neighbours are in regular contact with Villa administration.

“Hospice management been very good at keeping Estates residents apprised of progress and problems,” Fulton said.

He said rerouting of an underground Hydro line will put the two estates buildings on a natural gas powered generator for two to four weeks.

Newly appointed Villa president John Woods is excited to be part of the Villa’s expanding scope of care.

Woods joined St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton in 1998 as director of strategic planning and has held several leadership roles since.

“Long-term and hospice care are critically important to our health-care system,” Woods said. “They are the way of the future.”

To contribute to the Gift of Love campaign for Margaret’s Place Hospice, visit: sjvfoundation.ca or contact S_Paton@sjv.on.ca.

Paton and Lima’s benefit concert features Laura Pin on piano, Gary Santucci on guitar and a string quartet with Liz Tremain, Adam Simpson, Glenn Wellbourne and Beata Vertes.

Tickets are $35. To reserve, call 905-518-6078 or visit St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation for information.