Free memberships for hospital available, complete with voting rights

By Joli Scheidler-Benns

Free memberships for hospital available, complete with voting rights

Free memberships to Ross Memorial Hospital are now available again for a very short time. Since inception, RMH had public memberships where for a low annual or lifetime cost, people could have a vote on issues related to hospital decisions.

These public memberships were revoked at an AGM meeting on June 21, 2012. At that time, the board and 42 members of the community voted to end this option. Currently voting for issues related to hospital changes are now restricted to the hospital’s board of directors.

As of yesterday, RMH has agreed to offer public memberships until June 20 at Noon due to pressure from Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition. The rules are strict and the time frame is tight. The application form must be completed and presented in person with identification only to Tamra Fierheller, chief assistant to Veronica Nelson, interim president & CEO who is located on the second floor. Visit the reception area for assistance and directions. There are no proxy applications allowed, so someone cannot submit an application on behalf of someone else.

Download the application here.

KLHC says that membership is crucial to the future direction of RMH. Zac Miller, co-founder of KLHC says that membership was offered since inception in the 1903 bill.

“What community membership means to us is ensuring decisions made at the hospital are with public input with considerations to our local area. It also means following through with James Ross’ intention,” Miller explains.

Generally, Nelson says that “being a member means focusing on providing exceptional quality patient care and experiences, achieving exceptional partnerships and operations, and being an exceptional workplace.”

More importantly, Nelson explains the hospital’s legal perspective for those who are able to get their membership in time.

“From the hospital’s legal perspective, being a member means that you have the right to receive notice of, attend and vote at members’ meetings such as the Annual General Meeting; receive annual financial statements; elect directors; appoint or remove auditors; fix the auditors’ remuneration or designate the board to; and confirm corporate changes such as by-law changes. Each member has one vote. Hospital membership is not transferable. The Public Hospitals Act states that members may not vote by proxy and that the annual general meeting must be held between April 1 and July 31 each year.”

The next AGM at Ross will be voting in the board of directors on June 27 at 4:30 pm in the hospital cafeteria. The public is encouraged to attend this meeting with their signed application form as a means of voting. Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to Tamra Fierheller by June 20 at or 705-324-6111 ext. 4272.

Those who have confirmed their attendance at the AGM should receive a membership package, according to KLHC, prior to the meeting so that public members will have time to review the profiles of new board members who are up for election.

For those who wish to stay involved in issues related to RMH, you are encouraged by KLHC to attend the monthly meetings which are currently scheduled at 6 pm at the Lindsay Library through December on the second Thursday of each month. The next meeting will be on July 11.

The hospital leadership also suggests contacting local MPP, Laurie Scott with concerns. KLHC can be followed on Facebook at Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition and by emailing or calling Bonnie Kennedy at 705-738-2617 or cell 416-567-1163.

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