St. Joseph’s General Hospital and the St. Joseph’s Foundation expressed their appreciation to Cameco and its Blind River operations staff on Thursday, March 25 for their major contribution. The hospital and foundation expressed their appreciation with a commemorative plaque on this 12-foot long Donor Recognition Wall in the hospital.
Cameco and its employees donated $90,000 to the St. Joseph’s Foundation’s CT scanner fund.
One-third of the donation came directly from Cameco’s employees, $30,000, through the company’s payroll deduction program, with the balance of $60,000 coming from Cameco itself.
Terry Davis, plant manager of Cameco’s Blind River operations, says in some years when the employees make their selection for the donation, the company matches it. Last year, Cameco doubled the employees’ donation.
Cameco and its employees have been making donations to community projects and regional organizations for a number of years.
“We try to chose projects that make a difference in the community, and this one’s an excellent example. It makes a big difference for the region. The employees had no problem contributing to that,” explains Karin Pilon, Cameco’s support services administrator.
She adds that the employee participation in the donations is usually 75% to 80%.
“We try to make a difference,” expresses Davis.
This was not Cameco’s first time making a contribution to the St. Joseph’s Foundation and St. Joseph’s General Hospital for needed equipment. It has done so a couple of times in the past.
Jeremy Stevenson, St. Joseph’s General Hospital’s CEO, says they appreciate Cameco’s contribution. The plaque was unveiled later that day, but without a crowd of people for safety reasons.
Cameco has made contributions to other organizations and projects in Blind River and the region over the years. It holds Cameco Cares Day, in which the company’s employees do a day’s work in the community and they are paid by Cameco.
Cameco also assists with school graduations, other educational programs, Easter egg hunts and more.
Groups seeking funds from the Cameco employees make presentations to them. The employees then vote on which they believe would best serve the community and/or the region.
That is what members of the St. Joseph’s Foundation did, says William Elliott, chair of the foundation.
The CT scanner was a major benefit to the people of the region.
Elliott said that in the past area residents made up to 2,200 trips out of the region for CT scans per year, which were done in either Sudbury or Sault Ste. Marie.
“So, anything we can do to eliminate that is good,” says Elliott.
The CT scanner project cost $1.8 million, which included the cost of the CT scanner and the renovations needed in the hospital to accommodate the device.