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Gardiner and Gladu join Matthew Memorial board (2 photos)

After assuming their seats, directors discussed a number of items at the Matthews Memorial Hospital Association AGM

At its recent Annual General Meeting, the Matthews Memorial Hospital Association named its elected directors.

Outgoing directors Dick Beitz and Ann Bell, both from the North Shore were praised for their commitment and dedication to the association but cited personal and health reasons for declining their nominations.

List of elected directors for 2018:

Representing the North Shore: Marlee Hopkins.

From St. Joseph Island: Anita Neissen, Lavera Crack, Mark Henderson, Albert Crowder, Wendy Robertson, Sheila Campbell and newcomers, Patrick Gladu and Julie Gardiner.

A side-step from the agenda, the election of directors was held prior to the release of the portion of the annual meeting dealing with BridgeLink Community Properties.

All nine directors assumed their chairs for the balance of the AGM that included its financial statements.

Albert Crowder delivered the chair's report for the past year which saw the installation of a storage shed, automatic door opener, new mats and signage.

In the coming year, Crowder said he hopes to purchase as many windows that need replacement as he can afford for the BridgeLink building. He also pointed out the issue of its heating and cooling system.

"It's two furnaces and both in need of upgrading," Crowder said. "The plan for the future is to keep the clinic running as smoothly as possible."

Acknowledgements were made to the Matthews family which bears the name of the hospital.

The Matthews family purchased a blood pressure monitor for the medical clinic and its present physicians, Dr's Guy Lupien and Albert Beller.

Other news arising from the meeting included John Shannon raising the issue regarding In Memoriam donations and continued confusion with respect to charitable names. 

Two of the four medical-related charitable organizations are Matthews Memorial Hospital Association (MMHA), and Matthews Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. but only one is independent, the hospital association.

The Island auxiliary falls under the umbrella of North Shore Health Network, along with Blind River and Thessalon.

In years past, money raised for the auxiliary went toward the purchasing of equipment for the Island hospital but not the doctor's office. Today, those funds may or may not see the hospital.

Mary Kay Stortini asked if a group could be formed to raise funds for local health care.

"It has," Campbell replied.

Friends of Matthews Memorial Hospital Association, a fundraising group, will be established with a list of people interested in participating.

Part of the fundraising committee is to point out where specific moneys is to go, Campbell said.

It will also look at ways to improve its profile and get the word out, such as social media and updating its website.

Campbell pointed out, donations can be made at any time by logging onto

Also raised were three proposals to be discussed at a future meeting.

Proposals include an increase in membership fee which now stands at $1 per year, extend the term of office from its currently one year, and to improve access to Matthews Memorial Hospital or BridgeLink Medical Centre.

A vote within the directors was held at the end of the meeting to appoint its executive positions.

Representing Matthews Memorial Hospital Association:

  • Chair: Lavera Crack
  • Vice-Chair: Albert Crowder
  • Treasurer: Sheila Campbell
  • Secretary: Mark Henderson.

BridgeLink Community Properties

  • Chair: Albert Crowder
  • Vice-Chair: Anita Neissen
  • Secretary: Lavera Crack
  • Treasurer: Sheila Campbell.

The next regular meeting is Feb. 12. All monthly meetings are open to the public.

At that meeting, Blind River Chief Executive Officer Lisa High and Recruiter Alyssa Ferreira are expected to attend.