Port Hope business owners honour former employees

Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) has announced the opening today of The Rose and Bob Avery Integrated Stroke Unit.

The unit’s name, The Rose and Bob Avery Integrated Stroke Unit, carries with it sentimental value for many members of the NHH family who remember past patient, Bob, and his wife, Rose, and the unit was brought to fruition thanks to the generosity of the Gupta family. Ray Gupta, along with his family, operated several businesses in Port Hope, including the Comfort Inn, where the Averys were long-time employees. Later in his life, Bob became an admitted patient at NHH for an extended period of time, and Rose was a frequent visitor, getting to know many of the volunteers and staff by name.

“Rose and Bob were dedicated members of our team and became family to us,” says Ray Gupta. “They looked after everything with care and passion. My family and I wanted to honour their memory in a significant way within the community they loved. We will continue to look for other opportunities within the community to do more in their memory. We are happy their name will live on within NHH, and are grateful to the management and staff of NHH for going out of their way to facilitate our request for Bob and Rose to name this unit in their memory.”

This new 6-bed Integrated Stroke Unit, located within the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, on the hospital’s first floor, will provide best practices in post-stroke patient care and minimize the time between a patient experiencing a stroke and beginning rehabilitation – which has been shown to result in better patient outcomes. With both acute and rehabilitation care offered within the same space, the creation of this unit will reduce the need for transfer between units for care and ensure patients are surrounded by those with expertise specific to their needs.

“The official opening of an Integrated Stroke Unit at NHH brings to fruition work that was started in 2020, when we participated in discussions with regional partners around opportunities to enhance stroke care for local residents. We’re grateful to our regional and district partners, including the Central East Stroke Network and the HKPR District Stroke Program, for their input,” said Susan Walsh, NHH President and CEO. “We knew that an ISU, staffed by dedicated, specialized staff trained in the latest best practices, translates to very real benefits for patients and their families. Thanks to a dedicated effort to build that team, expertise and program, strong regional knowledge we could tap into and, final, the community’s support through the Gupta family’s generous donation, this is becoming a reality for local families today. I want to extend thanks to all involved, including our clinical team, our regional partners, and our Patient and Family Advisory Committee.”

”Stroke unit care is the one intervention from which all stroke patients can benefit. Research has shown ISUs have significant impact on short- and long-term patient outcomes,” said Dr. Mukesh Bhargava, Chief of Staff. “When individuals experience a stroke, having access to a dedicated interprofessional team with stroke expertise increases one’s chances of surviving the stroke, regaining function to return home, and decreases one’s chances of subsequent strokes, compared to general medical care.”

“We are grateful to Ray and the rest of the Gupta family for their generosity towards our hospital,” says Rhonda Cunningham, NHH Foundation CEO. “I remember Rose and Bob fondly and am truly touched the Guptas have chosen to make this tribute. Their donation, made towards our Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign, will help us continue to support crucial redevelopment, essential new programs, and life-saving technology at NHH.”

Support for the new Integrated Stroke Unit is one of the key projects identified within the Foundation’s $25 million Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign. Additional projects include the replacement of both the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scanners, redevelopment of the Pharmacy, the building of a fourth operating room, expansion and centralization of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), redevelopment of the Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD), and more.

Additional information on this campaign and key priorities can be found at www.ItsTimeNorthumberland.ca.

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