Strong Rural Health Advocates
Nancy Evans, Quinte Health Board Member, delivered the following Values in Action Award presentation to Kim Bishop, Tammy Davis, Dr. Parambir Keila, and Dr. Peter McEnery.
“At the beginning of each meeting of the Board of Directors, we shine a well-deserved spotlight on the great work of our teams that bring our Quinte Health values to life—Imagine it’s you, Value everyone, We all make a difference, and Stronger together. Today, it’s my privilege to share a story of resilience and unwavering advocacy for rural health care.
Rural hospitals like North Hastings Hospital often serve as the first line of defense in emergencies, where every minute counts. They are the health care backbone of the communities that rely on them, and for the many visitors to this beautiful region.
The importance of advocacy in rural health care cannot be overstated. It is the driving force that ensures rural hospitals have the equipment needed to provide care when they are the only beacon of hope for miles around. It is a reminder that healthcare should know no geographical boundaries, and that every community deserves the chance to thrive, and equitable access to care.
The four individuals we are acknowledging today have helped to bridge an important gap between this rural area and the healthcare they deserve close to home. They are the tireless advocates that brought CT Scanner services to North Hastings Hospital—Manager Tammy Davis, Chair of the North Hastings Fund Development Committee Kim Bishop, lead physician Dr. Parambir Keila and retired physician Dr. Peter McEnery.
According to a very credible source (Kim Bishop), when Dr. McEnery first arrived here over 45 years ago as a young physician, he declared the need for a CT Scanner in Bancroft. Now I will quote Kim in saying, “Everyone thought he was crazy”.
Fast forward to about 15 years ago, Kim and Tammy picked up the torch, and with the strong support of physicians like Dr. McEnery and Dr. Keila—they began making the case for a CT Scanner including a plan for how to pay for it. It was a difficult sell at the time, as CT services were not generally provided at small rural hospitals. Over the years, as technology advanced, it became more commonly used and more of a standard practice tool for diagnosis, which further strengthened their case. Eventually, perseverance paid off and the request was supported by Quinte Health leadership, the Board of Directors, and Ontario Health—with the green light coming from the Ministry of Health in April of this year.
In her impassioned presentation to the Leadership Committee back in 2020, Tammy told a compelling patient story through the lens of our value “Imagine it’s you”. She didn’t start out with the business case, instead she started out with how the CT would make a substantive difference to the people we serve—before moving forward with the other details including the Fund Development’s commitment to raise the capitol costs. Her approach says a lot about her leadership style, her commitment to patient care, and the faith she has in her hospital colleagues and her community.
Kim, your leadership and fortitude on the fundraising front has been remarkable. This is a self-funded initiative, meaning that the purchase and implementation of the CT services is only possible because this community shares your avid belief in supporting care close to home. Dr. Keila, the physician’s voice brings such value to this effort—I know it’s been a long journey to get here. Dr. McEnery, all significant change and progress must start with a visionary that functions ahead of their time. I’m immensely proud to state that a CT Scanner was delivered to North Hastings Hospital yesterday, and we are on track to be in full operation in early 2024.
On behalf of the Quinte Health Board of Directors, I thank you for your advocacy, your steadfast determination and, perhaps most heroically, your patience! Please come forward to accept the Quinte Health Values in Action Award. I look forward to seeing you all at the ribbon cutting next year. Thank you and congratulations.”