Hospices across Simcoe County will be receiving a little boost from the County of Simcoe.
As part of their last regular meeting before summer break on Tuesday (June 28), county councillors voted in favour of providing a capital funding investment of $2.5 million over a four-year period (2021-2025) to be split evenly between five hospices that make up the Simcoe County Hospice Alliance: Hospice Simcoe in Barrie, Hospice Georgian Triangle in Collingwood, Matthew’s House Hospice in Alliston, Hospice Huronia in Penetanguishene and Mariposa House Hospice in Severn Township.
In 2020, the County of Simcoe fulfilled their commitment of $1.5 million to expand residential hospice bed capacity in the area, which has increased from 20 beds in 2018 to 40 beds today.
According to the presentation provided by Hubbard, this saved over 10,000 hospital bed days and ensured that hospices across Simcoe County were able to provide care to over 1,000 individuals in 2021/22.
“The five hospices have really come together because of that,” said Kelly Hubbard, Executive Director of Hospice Simcoe in her presentation to councillors. “It was a good starting point for us. It solidified good relationships.”
Currently, the five hospices receive approximately half of their operating budgets from the Ministry of Health, resulting in collectively fundraising over $7 million annually to make up the difference.
“This capital money you have helped us with in the past is vital for us,” said Hubbard.
The $2.5 million in funding requested for 2021-2025 would be used for capital projects at the hospices, including increasing bed capacity, improving HVAC systems and IT infrastructure and leasehold expenses for expanded community program space.
At the end of the meeting, council voted in favour of approving the funding.