Guelph General Hospital Announces New Alex and Deb Beath Acute Stroke Unit
The Foundation of the Guelph General Hospital is celebrating a generous gift from Alex and Deb Beath, a local couple who previously owned Artemis Technologies Inc, in Guelph. Over the decades, they grew their business and upon its sale last year, they began to consider how they might pay it forward to the Guelph-Wellington community where they were both born and raised, and where they raised their family.
After careful consideration and seeing others in the community make significant gifts to local hospitals, the Beath’s decided to make a generous gift to fund all of the patient care equipment required for the Acute Stroke Unit, and the purchase of a portable mammography unit for use during surgeries.
“Our leadership at Guelph General Hospital is continually looking at ways to enhance patient care, particularly in times of high patient volumes. This past fall, the team identified a unit on the 7th floor that could be converted to allow us to co-locate stroke patients with similar care needs in one single unit,” said CEO Mark Walton. While GGH averages eight stroke patients in hospital at a time, the recently converted space will allow up to 12 beds. This will accommodate days where there are more stroke patients needing care. If not needed for stroke patients, the beds are available for other priority patients.
Walton continued: “Having met Alex and Deb, I can tell you it’s an honour to name the Alex and Deb Beath Acute Stroke Unit for them, and to recognize their generosity. It was inspiring to hear their story and to learn about their gratitude for the care they’ve received at GGH. They are the kind of quietly generous people who make this community better and stronger.”
The Beath’s generous donation allowed the Hospital to accelerate the opening of the new Stroke Unit, which is expected to occur this Fall. Alex and Deb had an opportunity to tour the new space with their family as the unit neared completion, and they were happy to see their donation turn into something tangible that could immediately help the community. “We are happy to be in a position to donate to the hospital to help improve patient care. We have lived in the Guelph area our whole lives, our children were born in this hospital, and when I recently had health issues, I was cared for at this hospital. Hopefully our gift will inspire others to consider donating to further improve health care in the Guelph-Wellington area” said Alex after touring the unit.
Julie Byczynski, CEO of The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital, said “Alex and Deb have given an extraordinary gift, and we are so grateful they chose to invest in better care for our community.” She continued, “Donations of all amounts help ensure our local hospital has the resources it needs to provide the best possible patient care. Donations are in fact the only source of funding for patient care equipment, which is not publically funded.”
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada and the tenth largest contributor to disability-adjusted life years. Timely access to care is critical in improving healthcare outcomes for patients. Since 2013, Guelph General has been one of two dedicated stroke centres serving the region, allowing GGH to administer special clot-busting medication and leading to faster access to treatment for local residents who no longer have to be transported to another hospital.