David Pickles
Our Hospital

Image is Everything
January 2012
Councillor Pickles with MRI
Put Yourself in the Picture Help support the MRI in your Local community hospital.

The Image is Everything campaign was launched in June of 2010 with the goal of raising $5 million to fund a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering hospital.  To date, the campaign has raised $4 million through various community events.  Support for the campaign has come from many donors, including individuals and families, Rouge Valley's own doctors, staff and Auxiliary, as well as business leaders, service clubs and local events throughout our community, as well as local municipalities.  

I was pleased to support the City's 2011 budget which included a commitment of $100,000 per year to bring the MRI to the Ajax Pickering Hospital.  The new MRI (see photo) at Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering hospital is used to diagnose the patients in our community, with the most up-to-date equipment, within expected wait times, and close to home.  

Thanks to everyone, including the Image is Everything Campaign Team, for putting themselves in the picture and helping to bring an MRI to RVAP.  To learn more about the MRI campaign, please visit www.rougeMRI.ca or contact the Foundation at 905-683-2320, ext. 1501.

Ajax-Pickering hospital auxiliary celebrates 60 years
Moya Dillon
November 2, 2011
Celebrating 60 Years
Ajax-Pickering hospital auxiliary celebrates 60 years. AJAX -- Bev Carmichael, left, president of the Auxiliary to Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering Hospital, surveys a scrapbook detailing the organization's 60-year history compiled by Shirley Rowland, who served as historian and treasurer for much of her 50 years with the Auxiliary. October 31, 2011. Moya Dillon / Metroland

AJAX -- Members of the Auxiliary to Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering Hospital continued their long tradition of giving during this year's 60th anniversary celebrations.

Members, hospital staff, guests and officials gathered at the St. Andrew's Community Centre in Ajax on Oct. 30 to mark the organization's 60-year anniversary.

“There would be a big void in my life if I weren't a part of the hospital auxiliary,” said Bev Carmichael, auxiliary president.

“This is a very happy time for us, it's exciting to be celebrating 60 years.  The auxiliary is all about giving back to the community because this is our community hospital.  I just want to say thank you to everyone for their support and all the dedication, all the hours they put in both on the floor at the hospital and through fundraising.”

As part of the celebrations, the auxiliary presented the hospital foundation with a cheque for $50,000, which is the first installment in its overall commitment of $500,000 towards the Image is Everything campaign to pay for the hospital's new MRI.

The latest donation was one in a long history of both monetary and volunteer support by auxiliary members.

“When the auxiliary was created what followed it was the creation of our hospital, which was built around this great group of volunteers,” said Chad Hanna, president of the hospital foundation, noting that auxiliary members went above and beyond to assist hospital staff in the early years, including laundering clothes for the maternity ward and other patient supports.

“Auxiliary members were, and are, incredible leaders in our community.”

Hospital CEO Rick Ganderton echoed the sentiment.

“We're here to say thank you from the hospital for 60 years of giving by the auxiliary,” he said.  “You are incredible members of the hospital team and you contribute every day to the care of our patients.”

In addition to providing volunteer staff, the auxiliary also raised funds for hospital equipment through the gift shop, lottery sales and fundraising.

Alison Greenslade, who runs the hospital gift shop, volunteered at the hospital in the 1970s but moved away from the area.  She rejoined the auxiliary in 2007 when she moved back.

“I think giving back to the community is important,” she explained.

“I'm so pleased with all my volunteers.  They're very dedicated, we always have every shift covered even though we're a 100-per cent volunteer operation.  I really enjoy the work and it's well worth it because now you start to see the impact with things like the MRI donation.”

Honourees at the celebration included the auxiliary's student volunteers, who together contributed more than 6,000 volunteer hours, and long-time members such as Edie Murray, who received a pin in honour of her 10 years of volunteer work.

“I have always volunteered and this is another way of helping the community,” the 82 year old said.  “I plan to continue on as long as I'm allowed.”

Cheque Presentation of the Auxiliary to the RVHS Foundation's Image is Everything Campaign
October 30, 2011
RVAP Auxiliary Cheque Presentation
Councillor Pickles was pleased to attend and recognize the 60th anniversary of the Ajax-Pickering hospital auxiliary.  The auxiliary presented the hospital foundation with a cheque to $50,000 towards the Image is Everything campaign to pay for the hospital's new MRI.
Hospital MRI campaign gets boost from Pickering
July 12, 2011
Moya Dillon

PICKERING -- Rouge Valley Health System Ajax-Pickering is one step closer to realizing its goal of an in-house MRI machine after receiving the first of five scheduled donations from the City of Pickering.

On Monday, July 11 Mayor Dave Ryan and councillors presented members of the hospital's Image is Everything MRI campaign with the first of five cheques for $100,000, for a total commitment of $500,000, which was approved as part of the City's 2011 budget.

“I'm very proud, on behalf of Pickering, to present this cheque to the Ajax Pickering hospital,” Mayor Ryan said.

“The hospital does not have an MRI today and I want to thank the community at large for getting behind this project and supporting what is seen as a dire need in our community.  This machine will be used to run diagnostic tests to help diagnose diseases and will contribute to the well-being of our community.”

Lucy Stocco, chairwoman of the Image is Everything campaign, said staff have been very busy since starting the campaign in June 2010, hosting one event per week over the last year.  It seems that hard work has paid off, bringing the campaign to 75 per cent of its $5 million goal, with a possible contribution by Durham Region that would take them all the way there being considered in the region's 2012 budget.

“It's unbelievable that there isn't an MRI at the Ajax-Pickering Hospital,” Ms. Stocco said.

“I want to thank the City of Pickering for its generous donation.  I also want to let everyone know that the MRI is scheduled to arrive at the hospital on Monday, Aug. 29.  It's so unbelievable and so exciting.  The doctors and the medical community are so excited about having this ability, about having this diagnostic tool that is available to most hospitals and not ours.”

For more information on the campaign or to contribute visit www.rougemri.ca.

Pickering gives $500,000 for hospital MRI
April 14, 2011

PICKERING -- The Ajax-Pickering hospital is $500,000 closer to getting an MRI thanks to the City of Pickering.

In its budget, Pickering approved the money for the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation's Image Is Everything campaign to raise $5 million to buy the hospital's first MRI.

“I look forward to when patients of the Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering Hospital no longer have to travel for this much-needed service,” said Mayor Dave Ryan in a press release.  “Having an MRI right here in the community is essential to providing our residents with the convenience and urgency their medical situation requires.”

The MRI will produce detailed, clear images of the body while providing greater comfort with no side effects.  Currently, Ajax physicians rely solely on different procedures such as X-rays, ultrasounds or nuclear scans.  These often require additional follow-up tests to support a diagnosis and may not get the most accurate results.

The campaign team is thrilled with the gift.

“This gift is an amazing example of the generosity of the City of Pickering and its residents; and is a reflection of the community's high regard for the hospital and its services,”said Chad Hanna, RVHS Foundation president and CEO.“We are getting closer and closer to reaching our $5-million goal and Pickering has really given the campaign a boost with this announcement.”

News Release
For Immediate Release
Pickering Investment Will Help Strengthen Community Health Care

Pickering, ON, April 7, 2011 - The City of Pickering is proud to announce its donation of $500,000 to the Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering Hospital's Image is Everything campaign, which aims to bring a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner (MRI) to its new expanded Diagnostic Imaging Centre.  The contribution, which will be donated in $100,000 increments over five years, was confirmed at last Monday's Council meeting.

The new MRI scanner will produce detailed, clear images of the body, while providing greater patient comfort, with no side effects.  Consequently, physicians would not have to rely solely on different procedures like x-rays, ultrasounds or nuclear scans which might produce a less accurate result, or require additional follow-up tests to support a diagnosis.

The City of Pickering supports the hospital's mission of ensuring that the residents of West Durham have the best health-care services possible.  “I look forward to when patients of the Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering Hospital no longer have to travel for this much needed service,” said Mayor Dave Ryan.  “Having an MRI right here in the community is essential to providing our residents with the convenience and urgency their medical situation requires.”

The Image is Everything campaign team is thrilled with the generous community support it has received to date, and will continue in its efforts until the $5 million goal is ultimately reached.  “This gift is an amazing example of the generosity of the City of Pickering and its residents; and is a reflection of the community's high regard for the hospital and its services,” said Chad Hanna, RVHS Foundation President and CEO.  “We are getting closer and closer to reaching our $5 million goal and Pickering has really given the campaign a boost with this announcement.”


As the gateway city to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet.  Pickering is an affluent community that is steeped in history, natural beauty and small town charm with all the amenities and services that a big city has to offer.  The City of Pickering is considered a municipal leader in fiscal management, service delivery, sustainability and the environment; and offers a wealth of sports, leisure and recreation opportunities to its residents.  Pickering has been recognized by Profit magazine as one of the ten best cities in Canada for growth companies and received the 2008 FCM-CH2M Hill Sustainable Community Planning Award.

Media Contact:
Name: Mark Guinto
Title: Coordinator, Public Affairs, Office of the Mayor
Email address: mguinto@cityofpickering.com
Phone number: 905.420.4660 ext. 2013
TTY: 05.420.1739

Support of the Campaign for an MRI at the Ajax-Pickering Hospital
Support MRI
“as appeared in the September 2010 edition of Snap Pickering” in support of the campaign for an MRI at the Ajax-Pickering Hospital.

Image is Everything for Ajax-Pickering hospital
June 17, 2010
Kristen Calis
MRI Fundraiser
Photo by Walter Passarella

AJAX -- The Rouge Valley Health System Foundation is raising money for an MRI machine.  Lincoln Avenue Public Sschool became the first contributors to the campain with a $300 donation.  Celebrating June 11 were, from left, Rouge Valley staff Katherine Craine, Emily Moorhouse, Terry Walmsley and Jeff Hohenkerk with junior kindergarten student Warren Laughlin on his shoulders.  They were cheerleading and enteraining during the halftime of a pick-up basketball game between students and Rouge Valley Health staff.  June 11,2010

AJAX -- While the launch for a new fundraising campaign was filled with fun and games Friday, the need for an a new piece of equipment for the Ajax-Pickering hospital is no laughing matter.

The Rouge Valley Health System Foundation launched its 'Image is Everything' campaign Friday at Lincoln Avenue Public School in Ajax.  The foundation hopes to raise $5 million to give Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering hospital its first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine.  It will produce clear, detailed images of the body for improved diagnoses while offering greater comfort.  It will also allow for some freedom of movement and a quieter, shorter scan with no side effects.

“This is our time,” said Tracy Paterson, the foundation's vice-president of development, adding the new addition will coincide nicely with the hospital's redevelopment.

The campaign will wrap up on March 25, 2011 at Rouge Valley's annual gala.

“It's bold but you've got to be to make things happen,” she said.

The launch was held at Lincoln Alexander since the school was the first to donate to the campaign after the boys' and girls' basketball teams raised $350 through a bake sale and an international festival at the school's literacy night.  The launch ended with a basketball game between the school team and campaign volunteers.

“I have said many times that we're a very small school with a great big heart and today we're going to show that very big heart,” said school principal Martine Robinson, who added afterward the students will do another fundraising drive in September for Image is Everything.

The team's fundraiser began when the girls' team asked about their coach's age.

“I told the girls that if they raised money for any charity then I would tell them how old I am,” said Robyn Hadder, who revealed at the launch she's 27.

The students demonstrate the community involvement that's needed to help buy the MRI machine, no matter how big or small the contributions, and Ms. Paterson encourages community groups, individuals and schools to get on board and create fundraising campaigns to help out.

“It all adds up,” she said.

Ms. Paterson received MRIs herself when she battled breast cancer.

“It's a really stressful time,” she said.

Waiting for tests, and even the drive all become trying times.

“It's more comfortable being in your own community,” she said.

Ms. Paterson said people with a family history of breast cancer, breast cancer survivors, and even athletes with sports injuries, for example, are being referred more frequently for MRIs.

“This is a real fantastic campaign for us because it helps the whole hospital,” she said.

Ajax Mayor Steve Parish explained to the students that when he needed shoulder surgery in the past, he had to travel all the way to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

“There is nothing more important in our community than to have great health care,” he said.

Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan, a member of the campaign committee, said he's invested in Image is Everything not only for the future of the community, but for the future of his own grandchildren.

VISIT: www.rougevalley.ca/rvhsf

West Durham to Lose Important
Mental Health Services
  • Rouge Valley Health System has announced plans to close the entire 20 bed inpatient Mental Health Sservices in Ajax.
  • All beds are scheduled to move to Centenary Health Centre even though the population of Ajax/Pickering is growing at the fastest rate in Canada and the population of Scarborough is static.
  • West Durham will lose the services of 4 Psychiatrists.  There is already a shortage of Pshchiatric services.  Closing the inpatient unit in Ajax, may pose an even greater shortage as doctors move their services to Scarborough.
  • Ambulances and Police will be spending their time tranferring Durham patients to Scarborough.  This will place extra demands on emergency services.
  • The Ministry of Health has already approved expansion of the Ajax Inpatient Mental Health Unit from 20 to 29 beds.
  • There has been NO CONSULTATION with mental health professionsals or community stakeholders regarding this closure.
  • The Central East LHIN has requested Rouge Valley Health System to conduct a 30 day consultation period with community stakehholders and the general public after a board meeting was held, Friday, March 28, 2008.


Please show your support by attending the following meetings:

Friends of Ajax Hospital:
Monday, April 7, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.,
Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering,
580 Harwood Ave. South, Ajax, ON
Conference Room B and C

Central East LHIN Public Stakeholder Meeting
Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Ajax Community Centre
HMS Room

  • If you are a patient, family member, community partner or concerned citizen, please call Central East LHIN 1-866-804-5446 Ext. 218 or 1-800-267-8097

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