Jim Brewster

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Local Man Wants His Donation to Inspire Others to Support Community Health Care

This spring, one local man is challenging his community to step up and support local health care.  Mr. S. Jim Brewster, a life-time resident of Oshawa, has pledged $471,000 to Lakeridge Health Foundation to help fund technology and equipment at Lakeridge Health - and he wants others to join him.   

Mr. Brewster, 92, is one of our community's most generous donors having provided over $1 million to Lakeridge Health in the last 20 years.  The former owner of Mechanical Advertising is a decorated war veteran, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal award winner and was honoured in 2011 when The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 named their hall after him as part of their 85th anniversary celebrations.

From the front room of his home, Mr. Brewster can see the hospital he proudly supports. "It is very important to me and my family that we support health care in our community. The hospital was created for us, for all of us, to use, to get better and receive treatment.  If we want a better hospital here in Durham Region, it's up to us to make it happen!"

Mr. Brewster's major gift will fund important technology that will be utilized throughout the hospital. The equipment includes, but is not limited to, telemetry packs (new wearable heart monitors) and an Infinity Acute Care System monitoring solution. The unit is a network of heart monitors that allow for a single monitor to follow a patient during their entire experience in the hospital from ER to recovery.  This minimizes errors or undetected cardiac events and opens the flow of patient information throughout the hospital to support critical decision making. Not only that, this technology will allow for hospital staff to monitor patients on tablets so that they can keep an eye on important health information no matter where they are.

"Mr. Brewster's gift is inspiring to all of us. It means a lot to our Foundation, the entire hospital team and of course the patients and families that rely on us every day," says Yves Gadler, CEO of Lakeridge Health Foundation. "With his support, we are hoping to spark something in others and inspire them to support their hospital too."

The gift was the first donation for the Foundation's 'iSupport Lakeridge' campaign, which aimed to inspire residents by the innovation made possible through their support. The monitors are just a sample of the ever-evolving technology at the hospital including C-arms that will allow for better, faster and safer procedures in the new interventional radiology suite.   

"We're reaching out into the community to help us raise the $3.5 million remaining on our $5.5 million campaign," says Gadler. "The innovation that is happening in our hospital, right here at a local level, is fascinating and we see people's eyes light up when we walk them through. Mr. Brewster specifically told me he wanted his gift to kick start something special in this community, to use it as a way to help people understand how important local health care is - and we're doing just that with our iSupport campaign."

 "I want everyone to know how important it is to have high quality health care close to home," says Mr. Brewster. "I've been giving for many years because health is important to everyone. It's time for others to do the same.  It's time for everyone in our community to get behind this great cause."

If Mr. Brewster could stress one thing, it's that the hospital exists to serve everyone who lives in our community. "Our hospital is there for us, waiting to help, 24/7.  If you help the hospital, you'll be helping yourself. I really hope I can inspire others to join me.  We are all busy, we all work hard but the hospital needs us. It doesn't matter how much or how l little you can give, you'll be getting so much in return!"

A number of options are available for Durham Region residents who want to get involved - no matter the level.

"There are so many ways people can support their health care.  From monthly gifts to donations of stock the Foundation is happy to answer any questions people may have," says Gadler. "But we're also very excited about a new online tool we have launched that will help people create personal fundraising pages that are simple and easy to use. Anyone can set up a page and start raising awareness and support for their hospital as part of our iSupport campaign.  From runs to walks, dances, bake sales, stair climbs and even golf marathons, the tools are right there to assist. Mr. Brewster's gift will help the hospital significantly, and these pages make it easy for everyone to follow in his footsteps and help us advance the health of our community." 

To build your own personal page click here.